reflection: production mixer – an audio activity

Today’s class particulars were around production mixing and the use of audio equipment. Does my musical brother’s background and my talent for being incredibly rudimentary with unnamed musical instruments give me a slight edge in this area of expertise?

Absolutely not. But the main thing is the fact that I took something out of it and will therefore not look as “uncool” as I was in my previous disarray.

Sound’s prevalence in film is to the utmost, whether it comes from a musical score, a soundtrack, dialogue or diagetic energies in each scene. Noting that in every feature film, sound plays an incredibly important part in the orchestration of each scene by scene, one after another. Even if it’s a silent film, silence itself is integral to the message the filmmaker is conveying to their audience. As a filmmaker, to know the basics is to know how to breathe.

I wished someone had given me “Top Ten Tips on Sound Recording” by David Carlin, a SCENARIO:

Team (un)cool cats decides to film a short film on location at a fellow filmmaker’s friend’s restaurant. Two main characters, boy and girl are on a date. Outcome is a dialogue-heavy short. 

  • Light set up looks good, very au naturale
  • Actors look spiffy though a little nervous and tense (it’s 8.30 in the morning) but that’s easily fixed, thanks director.
  • A.D. with the shot list – CHECK
  • Camera Operator ready to go – CHECK
  • Headphones plugged in on camera jack – CHECK
  • Audio guy with headphones on and boom pole as close as appropriate – CHECK
  • Refrigerator background noise in the background – CHECK
  • 8 hours of filming – DONE AND DUSTED

Enter post-production stage and the background noise from the refrigerator has completely destroyed our audio. There is nothing we can salvage from it, especially with using different types of footages with different distorted sounds thanks to said refrigerator. We even recorded atmos/room on location but the voices are underscored by the buzzing fridge so it was of no use anyway.

No, we didn’t follow rule number one which is to 1. reduce background noise nor rule number 6. never allow sound to distort or 7. monitor dialogue to understand every word.

It’s a shame since the visuals look top. *whispers to self* learning curve, learning curve, learning curve…