NEAR WEST SIDE — It took exactly five takes to get filmmaker Deborah Stratman’s short documentary "Hacked Circuit" filmed in just one shot.
“Towards the end, it was hard for the steady–cam guy to move as ‘creepingly along’ as I wanted him to. By the last take he was getting a little wobbly,” said Stratman, who teaches moving film and sound design at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"Hacked Circuit" — a 15-minute documentary about the sound-making process that happens in a film — will show at Utah’s Sundance Film Festival, starting Saturday.
It’s the third film at Sundance for Stratman, who's been making films for almost 30 years. Her films “In Order Not to Be Here” and “O’er the Land” were shown in 2003 and 2009, respectively.
In "Hacked Circuit," the camera begins outside a sound studio, then slowly transitions inside to watch a Foley artist — the creator of sound effects for film — bang objects around to create sound effects for Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Conversation,” while another man records the sound.
With "Hacked Circuit," Stratman — who does the sound for her own films — said she’s using sound to mirror the paranoia actor Gene Hackman feels in "The Conversation."
“You get caught up in the suspense. It’s almost like, we can’t prevent being affected by sound … You still get manipulated anyway,” she said.
In paying homage to "The Conversation," Stratman said she’s interested to see what kind of reception her film receives Saturday.
“It’s, like, a huge thing to quote this film. It’s kind of a classic example of sound design. Hopefully it won’t ruffle too many feathers,” she said.
Stratman said she eventually plans to screen the film in Chicago.