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Netflix’s Godless offers
big skies and big sounds

By Jennifer Walden

One of the great storytelling advantages of non-commercial television is that content creators are not restricted by program lengths or episode numbers. The total number of episodes in a show’s season can be 13 or 10 or less. An episode can run 75 minutes or 33 minutes.

Traditional rules don’t apply, and the story is allowed to dictate the length. This certainly was the case for writer/director/producer Scott Frank when creating his series Godless for Netflix.

Award-winning sound designer Wylie Stateman, of Twenty Four Seven Sound, explains how this worked to their advantage. “Godless, at its core, is a story-driven ‘big-sky’ Western. The American Western is often as environmentally beautiful as it is emotionally brutal. Scott Frank’s goal for Godless was to create a conflict between good and evil set around a town of mostly female disaster survivors and their complex and intertwined pasts. The Godless series is built like a seven-and-a-half-hour feature film.”

Without the constraints of having to squeeze everything into a two-hour film, Frank could make the most of his ensemble of characters and still include the ride-up/ride-away beauty shots that show off the landscape. “That’s where Carlos Rafael Rivera’s terrific orchestral music and elements of atmospheric sound design really came together,” explains Stateman.

Throughout his prodigious career, Stateman has created sound for several Westerns. His first was The Long Riders back in 1980. Most recently, he designed and supervised the sound on writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.

For Godless, Stateman, co-supervisor/re-recording mixer Eric Hoehn and their sound team have already won a 2018 MPSE Award for Sound Editing for their effects and Foley work, as well as a nomination for editing the dialogue and ADR. And don’t be surprised if you see them acknowledged with an Emmy nom this fall.

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Carla Gutierrez on editing the
Ruth Bader Ginsburg doc, RBG

By Amy Leland

This doc, from an all-female team, is entertaining, funny and unexpectedly emotional and touching.

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AlphaDogs’ Terence Curren is on
a quest: To prove why pros matter

By Randi Altman

He's creating educational videos that hammer home the importance of using post professionals.

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HPA Awards call for entries,
add two new TV categories

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