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Besides having a great time working on the film Bix, the second to last day of filming was also memorable as I had to take one for the team - so to speak. While we were filming, a dog kept barking just off set. So Chat asked me to quickly run over and quiet the dog down so he could record clean dialogue without the sound of the dog constantly interrupting. We were at farm location that was in the middle of the country. As I ran across the field to the dog, my foot went down into a gopher hole which was hidden by tall grass. Everyone on set and at the hospital thought I had broken my ankle. In the end, it was a severe sprain that required a cast. I did make it to the set for the final day of shooting where everyone signed my ankle cast including the Avatis.
While most of the crew were Italian, the language barrier was never a factor. The director and producer could both speak english and the rest of the crew who didn't speak english still shared a common language with us -Film. Through the upcoming years, pretty much the same crew worked together from film to film so we were very use to working with each other. The Avati's made the experience very enjoyable. Which is why I returned to work with them whenever my schedule permitted.
On Bix, my main responsibility was to assist the sound department in setting up the playback equipment and other various ways including making the sound department reports which would be used in editing (post production). The 1920's music was pre-recorded and would have to be played back on set during filming so the actor musicians could pretend to play along. The Sound Department, in addition to recording the dialogue/sound of the film also had to playback the music. So the playback equipment had to be strategically hidden on each set near the actors for every scene but out of camera view. Sometimes, the equipment would have to be re-arranged during filming as the camera could move or change angles. This had to be done very quickly as to not waste time. In a single day, we night have 30 different set ups in two different locations where the equipment would have to be set up, re-arranged, take down and moved to the next set where the process repeated.
Another challenge was the 1920's playback music would be brought up in volume and played loudly during a scene and just before any actor would talk, you would have to drop the music completely out (down to zero) so a clean dialogue recording could be made. Once any dialogue was finished, you then had to instantly raise the music level back up again so the musicians could use it as a guide track while they were playing. I really enjoyed doing that. And once Chat saw that I could do it, he let me do the playback while he recorded the dialogue and we were a great team. Working with Chat Gunter and Raffaele DeLuca was fantastic. They gave me so much wonderful production sound experience through the films that my tool bag expanded and I applied a lot of what I Iearned to my own films.
This was the first Duea Film that I worked on. I had missed the very start of filming as I was making another movie and never even applied for a position. Steve Moes, who I had worked with on Field Of Dreams was the still photographer on this film. When the production realized that the sound department needed an assistant, Steve recommended me to the producer Antonio Avati and Chat Gunter (the Sound Mixer). I received a call one day, right after I had finished the film I was making and was asked to come down to the set to interview with Chat Gunter. After visiting with Chat during filming, I was on the set the next day working with him and the boom operator Raffaelle DeLuca. This would be the first of five films that I would work on with Duea Film.