“Milford Sound was a breath-taking location and the acoustics for loud gunshots and explosions were amazing because the sound bounced off the mountains,” Osmo explains. “However, the elements were often against us and we had many days when it was cold and rainy. Ridley loved the look, so we kept filming and got around the problems caused by the weather by waterproofing as much of the equipment as we could. The d:screet™
4060 and 4061 microphones worked well in these damp, windy conditions and produced warm and even sound for most of the cast. When using the high EQ cap, they have a nice sparkle in the top end that lets the dialogue come through clothing evenly. There were a few occasions where we had to swap out mics when they got too damp, but after drying them out, they worked fine again.”
According to Osmo, the cast of Alien:Covenant were very patient with the sound crew and accepted the need for some microphone tweaking between takes. Interior scenes were filmed on a shooting stage at Sydney’s Fox Studios and in some of these boom mics couldn’t be used because the corridors in the space ship were too tight.
“In those situations we worked with the camera department and placed a d:screet™
4060 with a small transmitter on the Steadicam operator, or on the camera itself,” Osmo says. “This gave us prime position when the camera tracked backwards with the cast.”
One unusual aspect of this film was that the crew used sound cues for camera movements, props and SFX. This meant that Osmo had to come up with noises for the aliens – something he has great fun delivering.
“I used some takes of our previous recordings of yells and blood curdling screams and recorded some guide yells from the actor who played the Alien,” he explains. “I also used the d:screet™
4060 mic that I used for my own comms/slate mic to record my own weird voice making some unusual sounds.
“I imported a few takes into Pro Tools and edited a few versions when I had a minute. Some were slowed and pitched down and mixed into two versions (young Neomorph and Alien). These were then played back on set as a guide for the cast to react to, via speakers or into their comms.”
Thanks to the superior sound quality of the DPA microphones and the fact that they could pick up clean dialogue in trying conditions, very little ADR was needed. “As in all films, it's the collaboration of all departments that allows the sound department to achieve a good result,” Osmo says. “That was certainly the case with Alien:Covenant.”
Since completing the movie, Osmo, who is based in Australia, has worked on a live action and CGI feature, which is now in post production, and two 90-minute tele features.