Getting Close to the finish line

2 mics damaged , But I had extra mics with me , and the show went on . Hopefully they get replaced or re-funded for me to get new one to replace them , The NTG3 was one of my favs , I got it doing a Documentary for NHK Japan.

So that one actually means something to me .

But Tomorrows shoot is all indoors for the most part . And I have some tricks up my sleeve for this set of scenes , There were certain sounds the Director was looking for when I met him , And we discussed these scenes in particular before doing the contract . So I expressed my Ideas about how they should sound for Impact , and he liked what I said . so There it is .

I am Exhausted …… Tired in my bones , but in a good way .

But we are approaching the finish line for this films capture . The Editing and Post will take a while , Always does .But the Capture , the critical part of it , is almost done , And I really feel good about this one . Good story , Pretty Good actors in it to for as young as they are and the lack of experience , they brought some RAW to the table . Some of the Shooting has been in Dubious places shall we say !! ( Or maybe I shouldn’t LOL)  But that was the way the Ideas had to be captured , The right location , might not always be an Agreeable location , You just have to work around it .

The Camera Crew , Basically 4 people , Main Camera , Assistant , Grip and Gaffer work together pretty seamlessly , And the Camera guy just doesn’t give up , He has had solutions for every thing that could possibly go wrong or come up , he just breezed thru it . ( Used MY personal Tripod in a few of those solutions I might add )

about 2 more days of shooting …… It is a strange feeling ….  There is just a sense of something … I like it .

I personally can’t wait , to actually see the finished film …. And Yeah ,….I want to know how it sounds !

Day 5 of the Movie Shoot

Back and Forth from where I live to Tokyo , usually requires careful planning , Just for a Normal day run .

But Add to that a Movie Schedule that has both day and Night shots , and often only a few hours between the schedules , and trying to get all the way back home shower, rest , and reset my gear , batteries etc , I am tired .

I have stayed so far 3 nights there in Tokyo , 2 nights in a Hostel and 1 in a pretty cool Net Cafe . but it wasn’t as comfortable for sleep as the room is quite small for a Tall guy like me . ( Feet sticking out of the cubicle when sleeping )

The Story for this movie is really Good , the Actors are putting a lot of effort in it , Is It Hollywood level ?  Hmm tough question I have seen stuff that came out of Hollywood that should probably never hit the screen !!! LOL

But to start of in the Indie Film that works its way to a Full Feature ?   Oh Yeah , This will go . The Director has Taste and some of just the RAW shots , from the Monitor on set , a few of the shots made me really stop and look , Good stuff .

The Action scenes required running , Lots of it , I am not so young anymore and I haven’t run in a LOONG time , Not weak mind you , Just not Fast , and these guys are fast , Like Rabbit running from a hungry Fox fast . Wow. …..My legs are so sore !

The sound Varies dramatically , as that the Environments are constantly changing ( but this is a Good thing )  I can honest say , it won’t be a Boring film ,  It will hold attention quite nicely I think .  If the editing takes the best parts , yeah , it will.

But Now to get my gear together , I have to be back on set at 1pm today . So Gotta pack my gear , Might be a Late night , in fact I may end up staying again there in Tokyo . Because the next day is early as well.

Gear Packed , Ready to go

Printed off the Shooting Schedule last night about 1 am , Up all night matching my gear choices to the scenes to be shot , making notes about each scene to guide the though process , Movie Shooting is different from Documentary , In Movie Shoots the Sound varies from scene to scene in many situations , and it depends a LOT on the Crew doing it .

IF , IF you have a Major production with several people just for Sound , that means multiple Boom Mics and Wireless systems , In that case Each person can concentrate on just their assigned parts , as it will be Mixed later and everything goes to separate tracks of Audio , Easy to create the Stereo image you want like that , But THAT is what Big Budgets are for .

If , IF your working alone and the Sound is ALL ON YOU , as it is in this case with me . You have to think out of the Box .Big time .

One Mic isn’t going to do the Job , You need an Arsenal of tools , arranged so that you can change them quickly set up and go .

Some sounds NEED to be Stereo , whilst others are Mono and some are a Mixture of Both summed down to one file .

Now , Lets talk about my setup shall we ?

On Camera I brought a Stereo Y type mic , Specifically because it Has a Weak Centre field a Very Wide Y , means the Mics are pointed OUT Left and Right Not like a Rode NT4 which is an X type or the Mic point INWARDS and therefore have a stronger Centre image .

Why Do I want the Y on Camera ?   That Weak Centre field allows me to place the MONO signals in the Centre image without getting Stepped on by other sound getting in that way . Lavaliere Mics , My Boom Mic etc .

That Means , I also Have a Mono Shotgun Boom mic as a Mainstay , and then the Body mics for the Main actor ( the rest of the Actors act singularly and in a Group in different scenes ….more on THAT in a minute .

As that My Main Actor is the Focal point he is Mono and pretty much centred except for Panning in Post production where there is screen movement such as going from one side of the image to the other , Pan the Audio , Actor moves so does sound .

The Other Actors , Group and Singular , For the Individual scenes I stick with my Shotgun Mic . For the Group scenes however

In a Rode Blimp with Dead Cat , ( Just killed it yesterday ….>>>>> ) right ….>>.   No but Good Wind protection I have an M/S  Stereo mic that I can control the Centre image strength , 90º  or 120º spread on the Sides vs Centre .

That allows me to capture the Body or Weight of the Groups scene , but effectively spread it out just a little as if it HAD multiple Booms out there …..

It is a LOT of Work .  But Working with the director so that you can understand each others process , You can accomplish what would otherwise take , a Crew of Sound people and you can get Much more intimate with the project your on .

I Also , have in the Bag , an Audix , M1255B-HC  Micro series mic that I can Hide just about anywhere on a Small stand or Clamp and an extra Mic cable to add length to the one it comes with .

That covers the Main scenes for most of the shoot , But Later on some indoor stuff , there are very very isolated sounds that need a certain Impact , So for that I will bring a set of AKG , Boundary mics that will hide Direct behind the sound source with enough between them to get a Strong Left to Right Movement and be well hidden from the Camera Frame even though they will be almost dead centre of it ( Ninja Mic Technique >>>>> )

9:30 am now .. The Production meeting is at 2 pm , I need to get a pair of sneakers between now and then so I will pack up my gear and be off to find some shoes .

Sandals even the Hiking kind ( what I am wearing) are NOT good for Movie shoots .

Fine for Basic Documentary work in warm weather , Your not rushing thru stuff as much . and you can take breaks in between , a fair amount depending on the Doc .   But a Movie shoot ,  your on your feet until it is done …. and Moving .

Need sneakers with a good grip and easy feel .

Shoes are one of THE most important pieces of Gear you need , as a Location sound guy , Bad Shoes , = Bad sound , Because you cannot concentrate on what your doing if your feet are miserable and hurting . or sweating profusely .

So , That is My rig and setup for this shoot .  Not bad for a ONE MAN Rig is it ?

The recording setup is on ALL stereo Takes , Stereo Mic into Sound Devices USB Pre2 ( lithium Battery pack ) into Tracks 1+2 on the Recorder .

The Wireless and Boom into Tracks 3+4 respectively of the Recorder .

Then I almost forgot a Separate recorder ON the actor , Tascam DR10 C as a Backup .

Production Meeting Tomorrow , then the Action Begins

I have been booked for a Tense almost 2 weeks ,  a 10 Day shoot , and ADR + Foley

Good Story Line , Interesting Characters , And Twists to the Story .

If I have permission from the Director , Maybe I can put something on the Blogosphere about it .

Lets just see what Happens , I will say , I am bringing an Arsenal , of mics , Stereo Mono , Flat , Fat . and really really Tiny as well.

Off to do sound for a Movie Tomorrow

Got the scene list , And will run down to the local convenience store and print it off , make notes , Mic list , what I want to do in each scene sound wise etc ,  then get everything ready . Batteries are charging now .

6:20 pm at the moment , I leave for Tokyo in the Morning and apparently we will have rain off and on , so I need to bring covers for the gear I think . We will see . Looks like I will be sleeping in a Net Cafe as the last scene is scheduled 12:30 am , that means I miss the train home . That is just how it is .

5 Hours is about 2,000 yen in the Net Cafe I have my eye on .

Ice Cream and Whiskey …… and Rain

Yes it is Raining ,…. It brought the Temperature down , , But as I looked in the Fridge , some leftover sausage , no bread , no eggs, no ramen packages , hmmm, some Ritz crackers , so a Sausage link it is , and Crackers , Whoa! some cheese , ok this is getting better ….

There is a bunch of veggies in the Bottom of the fridge but I am too lazy today . Rain . , ……..

So I finished my snack , and look in the Freezer and see some Ice Cream ….. So for desert

Ice Cream … and a Dram or two , of Whiskey