Brooklyn Castle is a documentary that tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country.
To ensure every nuance of the dialog was faithfully captured, the production team relied on Digital Hybrid Wireless technology from Lectrosonics.
Brian Schulz served as Director of Photography and Producer for Brooklyn Castle and fully understand the challenges of field production. Because of that he opted to use Lectrosonics’ SM super miniature beltpack transmitter and the UCR411a compact receiver during the filming process.
“Brooklyn Castle follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard,” Schulz explained. “It is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories.
“It was critical that we capture every nuance of the audio, as this was a huge factor in conveying the emotions these kids experience.
“The compact nature of the Lectrosonics SM transmitter made for great ease in ‘wiring’ our subjects. It was small and easy to hide. Typically, we would rotate the transmitter between many subjects and they were all very comfortable wearing it for hours at a time.”
When queried about those aspects of the Lectrosonics equipment that made the SM transmitter and the UCR411a receiver a good choice for the Brooklyn Castle project, Schulz offered the following thoughts.
The fact that the equipment is extremely reliable and dropout free was a big factor is using the gear. Schultz also noted how impressed he was with the system’s RF agility.
“The Lectrosonics spectrum analyzer is one of the more advanced yet easiest methods I have used to detect RF,” he adds. “Working in NYC can pose unique RF issues, but our UCR411a withstood the challenge and always provided us with a threshold for workable frequencies.
“The ease with which the system detects RF cannot be overstated. The three-key interface made for a simple learning curve and could be handled by anyone within our small crew.”
In his line of business, quality customer and technical support services are essential and, on that note, Schulz considers Lectrosonics best-in-class.
“Lectrosonics’ technical support is always stellar, especially when called upon for geographic sensitive block and RF recommendations. With Lectrosonics, I get through to a support representative quickly and they understand what I’m looking to accomplish.”
Since its release, Brooklyn Castle has garnered an impressive list of honors. The film won the Audience Award at SXSW in 2012 and screened at over two dozen film festivals including HotDocs, Silverdocs, and the Brooklyn International Film Festival, where director Katie Dellamaggiore won the award for Best New Director.
Brooklyn Castle will receive a national PBS broadcast on the acclaimed series POV (Point of View) in October 2013 and the remake rights have been acquired by Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures.
“We were elated with Lectrosonics’ SM transmitter and UCR411a receiver,” he said. “As indie filmmakers, we recognize the importance of high quality audio while also having an intuitive user interface.”
“We could not have been happier to have Lectrosonics in our audio corner. We’ll definitely be using Lectrosonics equipment on our future projects.”