October 13, 2017

Technicolor Sound Honors a Legacy in Marshall Biopic

The Technicolor team was fully engaged in telling the remarkable story of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall through the high-stakes courtroom drama of his early career.

  • Sound was instrumental in creating an authentic 1940s setting and balancing both sides of the case in the true-life trial.

“If comic-book superheroes get origin stories, why shouldn’t Supreme Court justices?” asks Variety. The film Marshall does just that, depicting an early groundbreaking trial of the young attorney Thurgood Marshall – one that would propel him on his journey to becoming the first African-American to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. The star-studded cast features Chadwick Boseman as Marshall, Josh Gad as his co-counsel, and Sterling K. Brown and Kate Hudson as courtroom defendant and accuser.

Sound post-production for Marshall was completed at the Technicolor at Paramount sound facility, where industry veteran Paula Wagner, producer for the film, has an established working relationship with Technicolor Re-Recording Mixer Anna Behlmer, a ten-time Oscar nominee. In addition to Behlmer, the Technicolor team included Oscar winner Re-Recording Mixer, Craig Mann, who co-supervised the film with Emmy Award-winning Sound Effects Editor Bruce Tanis and Dialogue Editor Chase Keehn.

Telling the authentic story of Marshall meant that the sounds had to be authentic too, from the background city traffic and other everyday sounds of the 1940s time period, to the specific details of the tension-packed courtroom where much of the drama unfolds. In these scenes, the director Reginald Hudlin wanted the audience to see and feel both sides of the argument, the sound team collaborated closely with him to ensure their sound and dialogue work accomplished his clear vision for the story being told.

“We wanted everything to sound as authentic as possible – from the vehicles, to the jazz music, right down to the sound of the courtroom stenographer’s typewriter,” said Mann.

See where the historic rise of Thurgood Marshall began in the official trailer for the film.

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