BAFTA award-winning production sound mixer Viktor Prášil, who recently worked on All Quiet on the Western Front, explains why he relies on Lectrosonics for all of his jobs.
Director Edgar Berger’s 2022 film All Quiet on the Western Front brought Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel to sensory life in a new, highly realistic way. The story unapologetically portrays young German soldiers’ patriotic fervour blunted by the horrific meat grinder realities of the First World War.
The dialogue, the sound effects and Volker Bertelmann’s dark, ominous score create an enveloping soundscape that perfectly complements the visual depiction of the war’s grim inhumanity.
For his work, production sound mixer Prášil earned a 2023 BAFTA Award for Best Sound, as well as a 2023 Academy Award nomination in the same category. Read an in depth interview with Prasil on his work on the film here.
Prášil counts upon the Lectrosonics Octopack, loaded with four SRc receivers, teamed with SSM, HMa and SMDWB transmitters.
A native of the Czech Republic’s capital city, Prášil works mainly on film projects in his country. He determined his career direction early by shooting documentaries while still in high school.
After specialising in sound at the Miroslav Ondříček Film Academy in Písek, Czech Republic, he was hired by Soundsquare, a sound studio in Prague. There, he worked mainly on post-production sound effects before shifting gradually toward more interesting work in production sound.
As a production audio professional, Prášil has amassed an impressive curriculum vitae, including 2023 feature film release Blood and Gold for Netflix, 2020 TV Series The Letter for the King (also for Netflix), 2020 feature film biopic Havel, and many more.
Many of his works have earned nominations for Best Sound by the Czech Film and Television Academy, while All Quiet on the Western Front also won Best Sound in the 2023 German Film Awards and a Best Sound nomination from the Cinema Audio Society.
From his first contact with Lectrosonics in school, he has built his systems around the brand as his career climbed ever higher and his awards collection grew more numerous.
The dramatic staging of All Quiet on the Western Front ranged from armistice talks around a negotiating table in a railroad car to full out trench warfare and violent, futile infantry charges.
Capturing the disparate dynamics of these scenes, Prášil used both body miking, with lavs and belt pack transmitters, and boom miking with a plug-on transmitter. Post-production thus could make their choice from both close and boom mic sound alike.
The filming was “really challenging for all departments,” he says. “In the intense battlefield scenes as well as the calm table scenes, we could rely on Lectrosonics.” Actors in battlefield scenes had a DPA lav mic in their helmets and another concealed in their costumes. Boom mics used HMa plug-on transmitters because it was simply not feasible to use cables in battlefield scenes.
“All the transmitters, including the belt packs on the battlefields, survived and proved their reputation for outstanding durability. Throughout the entire filming of All Quiet on the Western Front I was convinced that Lectrosonics was the right choice.”