DPA lands supporting role in new Kevin James comedy

DPA’s d:screet SC4098 microphones were used to capture audio for several helicopter and car chase scenes during the filming of Kevin James’ latest comedy True Memoirs of an International Assassin.

The DPA mics were selected by the movie’s production sound mixer, Michael “Koffy” Koff, CAS, who purchased a pair after using them for the first time on the set of TV show Finding Carter. “I’d been using competitor brand boundary mics for plants and car rigs for years, but when I placed the d:screet SC4098 next to its competitor in the same scene, the results blew me away,” he said. “The warmth and presence of dialogue through the DPAs far exceeded my expectations; it sounded more like a shotgun than a plant mic.”

Koff found many benefits of using the d:screet 4098 supercardioid microphones in comparison to his former solutions. “My other two plant microphones are bright and tinny, and it can be a struggle to hide the excess cable, but the d:screet SC4098 allows me to put it almost anywhere, while giving me the warmth I want,” he added. “They’re so easy to hide because you don’t have 12 feet of cable, so you can just put a piece of tape over the transmitter and it’s blacked out. The rejection of the mic also allowed me to get clean, crisp dialogue even in scenes in which traffic was passing by or windows were open. I’m still surprised it doesn’t clip. I always gain my SM transmitters to 30 [dB] for normal level and it gave me plenty of room to play.”

After the initial six weeks of filming in Atlanta, production for True Memoirs headed to the Dominican Republic for an additional six weeks. “The environment there isn’t nearly as controllable as Atlanta, it was very nasty and humid,” said Koff. “The d:screet SC4098 mics were left out in the elements, but I didn’t have any issues. Usually once mics get wet, the humidity creates a sizzle. I don’t know how wet the mic actually got, but we had them set up with all of our windscreens – the Rycotes and the custom ones from wardrobe – and, while the windscreens were soaked, I couldn’t hear any displacement in the mics.”

Though Koff considers the rejection of the d:screet SC4098 to be somewhat of a ‘double-edged sword,’ he recognises that this feature is among the microphone’s most notable attributes. “In the past, I would play off one mic to pick up two people, but now I’m using a separate mic on each person because the d:screet mics sound more like a shotgun mic plugged directly into my transmitter,” he explained. “So, at the end of the day, it sounds good – it just requires more gear. I’m not easy to impress, and I certainly don’t just go out and buy gear for the heck of it. I did my homework before purchasing the d:screet SC4098 mics and I’m impressed with how they sound and what they are capable of doing. I’ll continue to use them and I’ll probably end up buying a couple more. In fact, I’ll absolutely use them on my next project in Boston.””

True Memoirs is a satirical action movie in which Kevin James – an accountant and would-be author – writes a book about a fictional killer-for-hire, which his publisher mistakenly prints and sells as a true story, thrusting him into a life of danger and hiding as a pseudo hit man. The film premiers at the Cannes Film Festival next month.