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David Waelder

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About David Waelder

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    Hero Member
  • Birthday January 1

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  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Production Mixer

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  1. David Waelder

    Zoom F8

    Like others, I've connected and disconnected phantom microphones many times without any harm or concern. But there is an issue I think worth mentioning. With XLR connectors, there is no reason to be concerned. And, ordinarily there is no reason that a phantom microphone would be connected with anything else. However, when I was having a patch panel fabricated for my cart, I was advised to use XLR connections in that panel instead of the more usual phone connections. With the phone connections, it is possible to have a momentary short on the phantom power lines when inserting or removing the connector. That doesn't happen with XLR connectors with pins that keep the connections discrete. David
  2. If there is to be a fire, either in a fireplace or a campfire, request that the pyro technician (or efx technician) include a silencer to minimize gas hiss in the kit. Since the silencer is really just a length of pipe stuffed with steel wool, one would think that any efx technician would pack it whenever they went out on a job but that isn't always the case. I've many times been told, "Oh, I have one of those; it's sitting on my workbench but no one asked for it." David
  3. David Waelder

    How can boom ops be more diplomatic?

    There is a technique for getting a frameline from camera without being obnoxious. This is well known by experienced boom operators so i hesitate a bit to offer it here but i’ll pass it on anyway. When the operator is looking through the lens, drop the microphone we’ll into the shot and jiggle it around a bit. The shaking clues the operator that you are not so dumb as to expect to live in that position. Try to make eye contact and look for hand signals, a finger pointing up. Move the mike until the operator gives you an OK. This procedure is best undertaken with someone other than the DP at the viewfinder. An operator or assistant is best; DP’s are often annoyed at any distraction even when they understand what you’re after. David
  4. David Waelder

    Boom operators - Cool photos

    I think it’s an ElectroVoice 642, a dynamic shotgun. The foam windscreen is an EV accessory. David
  5. Just to give credit where due, and hopefully not hijack the thread, the forum that David Yaffe initiated on USENET was an outgrowth of a bulletin board that had been running for a few years on Courtney Goodin's server. In the early 1990's many sound technicians in the Los Angeles area experienced difficulty booking sufficient work to keep their health plan eligibility. If memory serves, this coincided with more restrictive qualifying requirements. Some of the affected technicians came together as a political force to press for better circumstances both by seeking accommodation from the IATSE and by trying to improve the general circumstances of work in the discipline. The group pressing for change called itself "Sound United." It was a loose collection of individuals; there was never a membership list or anything of that sort. Members contributed in various ways; David Yaffe arranged for a meeting hall on one occasion, others worked on a newsletter. Courtney Goodin contributed a server and hosted a computer forum for networking. With the development of USENET, David Yaffe, with Courtney's blessing, migrated the group to the larger forum. David
  6. David Waelder

    techniques for quieting internally cabled boompoles

    A boom operator with finely honed skills can make an old broomstick work. But, having optimal tools does make the job easier. Internally cabled poles typically have rubber doughnuts on the section of cable running through the last (thinnest) section of pole. These rubber or foam doughnuts are spaced about six inches apart and do a good job of keeping the cable from rattling against the inner walls of that last tube. Obviously, one can't use that sort of cable management on the other sections since the cable needs to compact as the pole is collapsed. If keeping the coiled part of the cable quiet is still a problem, it's possible to replace the internal coiled cable with a cloth-wrapped coil. That would be a bit more forgiving than the rubber/plastic material that is typical for mike cable. David
  7. David Waelder

    L.A. Soundies: Mileage "zone" question

    I'm confused as to how a zone might be "L.A. rules." (I expect I have company in this.) The studio zone in Los Angeles has a precise definition; it is a thirty mile radius from the southeast corner of the intersection of Beverly and LaCienega Boulevards. There are also a couple of agreed upon "bulges" to accommodate Vasquez Rocks Park and one or two other commonly used locations. This is by agreement between the AMPTP producers and the various guilds and unions (IATSE, DGA, etc.). It's applicable in the context of that negotiated agreement. It wouldn't ordinarily be transferable to another location. Of course, many things occur in the world of bootstrap film making. David
  8. David Waelder

    Boom rigged to fisher dolly

    "curious if you do a lot of work in hospitals whether you run into any issues with using wireless?" I believe that hospitals are often built with chicken-wire, or something similar, in the walls. The intent is to minimize any stray radiation from portable x-ray machines. Limiting the range and performance of radio systems is an unintended consequence of shielding patients from spurious radiation. Not that any of this knowledge helps but sometimes knowing the cause helps keep the crazy to a minimum. David
  9. David Waelder


    Happy Birthday Jeff!
  10. David Waelder

    microphones near gunshot

    I have blown capsules on two separate occasions, once with an MKH 416 and once with a KMR-81, so it does happen. But, for ordinary gunfire, it is unusual; most of the time the microphones are quite robust. There are two circumstances to be cautious of: 1. Working inside where reflective surfaces tend to amplify the sound. I’ve not ever had difficulty when working outside but I did instruct my boom operator to give a little “air” during the gunfire. 2. With fully automatic fire. On both of the occasions when I had blown capsules the weapons were firing on full automatic, once with a Mach-10 and once with an AR-16. David
  11. David Waelder

    Smart slate question

    Not quite. Music videos were a primary use for these slates when they were first available. That’s a playback situation so the slate would never be able to operate independently with a sync box. The Comtek radio link allowed working without a nuisance cable from the recorder’s sync output. And, of course, all of this is functional only with a time code Nagra (or other TC machines); a sync pulse Nagra (e.g. 4.2) wouldn’t output any timecode. David
  12. David Waelder

    Smart slate question

    The TS-1 is entirely functional and still a valid choice. I assume that your school’s example is fitted with a sync box to make it operate independently. Without that box, one would need to feed timecode from your master clock -presumably the camera - via cable. But the sync box is a nearly ubiquitous addition to a TS-1. The TS-1 does have an anomaly that was corrected in subsequent models. The code as displayed on its screen lags actual recorded timecode by one frame. This occurs because, when jamming, the device must “listen” to all eighty bits of data stream to identify the signal. Consequently, as it displays that number, it lags actual code by that one frame. In practice, this is not a real obstacle; one just applies a one frame offset when syncing. But it is an operational note you would want to be aware of, especially if, at anytime, you intermixed the TS-1 with a later model. Starting with the TS-3, Charlie Parra implemented software to correct for the reading error. David
  13. David Waelder

    Withholding Audio Files

    There are occasions when even the most drastic avenues of redress are appropriate but I don't think that failure to pay for a day not-worked because of a late cancellation justifies such a drastic response. Withholding production elements is a "nuclear option" that I think should be reserved only for failure to pay for work actually performed and, even then, only when there is evidence of bad faith. Withholding files has teeth because the material is fundamentally important to the producer but it can also be an action that prods the producer to respond vigorously. The legal right of a technician to withhold is not at all clear in many situations. While union contracts typically have a provision of pay for late notice cancellations, they do not extend ownership of the work product to members; rather the dispute is subject to a grievance procedure. If you have a contract with the producer, you may have rights giving you a mechanics lien but, in my experience, that sort of contract is unusual. Rather, most deal memos I've seen refer to the agreement as "work for hire" and the resulting files as "work product." However the dispute might play out, the money involved isn't worth the blood pressure elevating stress. You may argue your claim with the producer and regard the company's failure to offer a reasonable compromise as a breach of good faith. You may also share your disappointment with others (although I wouldn't post that disappointment on a public site) but I wouldn't recommend getting in a serious fight over it. David
  14. Bob, that is rather a lot of contractual obligation to review for a one-day assignment. Regarding insurance, a policy that would meet the needs of the situation can be easily arranged even at the last moment if one has a relationship with an insurance broker. One of the more popular (at least locally in Los Angeles area) sources for equipment insurance is "Insure My Equipment." https://www.insuremyequipment.com This is a company specializing in equipment insurance for freelance camera people, photographers, sound professionals, etc. It is affiliated with Heffernan Insurance. If one has an equipment policy with them, one can just click on a few links from their site to activate their "Camera Operator General Liability Program." While pitched to camera, the policy also serves others. They say: "The policy is specifically designed to cover vendors or subcontractors involved in the production, film or entertainment industry including but not limited to: Cameramen, Photographers, Set Designers, Sound Engineers & Coordinators, Sound Mixers, Video Editors, Lighting Specialists, Gaffers/ Grips, Character/ photo exhibits, Seasonal displays, Celebrity appearances, Tradeshow," etc., etc. About the policy: "InsureMyEquipment.com offers you Camera Operator General Liability protection from third party claims for property damage and/or bodily injury. The policy serves to protect the insured from lawsuits where the insured has been deemed liable for damages to a 3rd party." But check their website for details and particular exclusions (stunts, water work, etc.) and limitations. With a U.S. address and a credit card to pay for the policy, coverage can be arranged in a few minutes. Even without an existing equipment policy, I think one could arrange for a liability policy expeditiously. I think wisdom lies in not working for people with unrealistic expectations and a practice of evading their legitimate liabilities by pushing them off onto employees who typically have little or no control over the work environment. But there may be times when having liability insurance may be suitable and I pass on the information in that context. David
  15. We’ll, as a practical matter, film technicians serve at the pleasure of the director and producer and can be dismissed at any time for any reason or no reason at all. (Sometimes unions offer some protection.) I’ve been on projects where I would check the call sheet for the next day’s work to confirm that I was still listed. But sometimes contracts are a window into the thinking and attitudes of the people behind the show. No good can follow the example you’ve shared. There are worse things than not working. And, it’s useful, especially at the beginning of a career, to develop a side gig that makes it easier to decline poor offers. David