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Marc Wielage

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About Marc Wielage

  • Rank
    Rabble-Rouser
  • Birthday 10/01/1954

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  • Website URL
    http://www.cinesound.tv

Profile Information

  • Location
    Hollywood, USA
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    post supervisor, colorist, raconteur and rabble-rouser
  1. I don't know his name, but I seem to recall the regular mixer on CSI Miami (Donovan Dear) used to crack jokes occasionally on the introductory slate and 1kHz tone for each day's dailies, and I thought it was hilarious. I have heard sound mixers introduce themselves and talk about the weather, what kind of day it was going to be, what they just had for breakfast, and all kinds of stuff. The dailies crew got a kick out of it. Generally for slates, I would recommend routing it to all tracks just in case the ambience or room tone or wild track or whatever is just going to one mic, and that way they'll know where it is no matter what they're listening to. Ideally, a written sound log would have a note designating it as AMB or WLD or whatever, with the scene number. The editor can tell you how they want it labeled -- I think generally they go for SCENE NUMBER+WT, something like 89-WT. There are editors who would rather the letters come first, so it'd be WT89, and that way it sorts in the file folder or edit bin more quickly. Notes are helpful.
  2. Red Weapon 8K Audio Issue

    Well... speaking as a guy who color-corrects more than he does sound (I just completed my 12th feature this year for home video, plus two theatrical releases), the reality is that nobody in town finishes features or TV series in Raw. All Red or Arriraw files are converted first to DPX or EXR, and those are what the final color-corrections are done in. This was true even for massive releases like Guardians of the Galaxy 2, shot in 8K Red Raw. I wouldn't say that Red is a "trillion times" better than ProRes, and I would say that I generally see fewer visual problems with Alexa footage than I do with Red. I think given a great DP, they can get great results with both. I don't see the camera as the limiting factor these days. Most of the audio people here have a point that the Red cameras in general have been very audio unfriendly. I think it's low on their list of priorities, even with the new Helium camera. Competing cameras from Arri and Sony and Panasonic just work right out of the box with balanced audio in. Just saying.
  3. Timecode slate

    Slates need to be there for Editorial, and it can be a godsend -- especially if the timecode turns out to be bad. They also need to know the name of the scene and the specific take, and the camera roll (folder) number, sound roll (folder) number, shoot date, and so on. Merely turning on the camera and turning on the sound and rolling doesn't help get the material organized later on, when you're desperately trying to locate a specific shot weeks or months after it was shot. The timecode slate can be very helpful in trying to diagnose whether sound timecode is bad, picture timecode is bad, or both are bad.
  4. DUNKIRK: Too Loud?

    Interesting headline in INDIEWIRE this week... ‘Dunkirk’ Is Too Loud For Some Viewers, 
 But Christopher Nolan Says That’s the Way He Likes It 
 Complaints are starting to mount. Is it bad theaters, Nolan's unorthodox and bold use of sound, or is it just too damn loud? Yesterday during an advance screening of “Atomic Blonde,” the roar of “Dunkirk” from the theater below could be heard — and felt — above and beyond an ass-kicking Charlize Theron. Christopher Nolan’s World War II movie is loud — but when does soundscape become bombast? “It was VERY loud. Too loud in fact,” wrote a Reddit user in a popular post titled “PSA: A warning about Dunkirk.” “It might be the loudest movie I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean like a gun shot here or an explosion there, I mean sustained loud noises for minutes at a time. For large sections of the movie the soundtrack and the effects merge in this cacophony of noise and it becomes difficult to differentiate between any of the sounds. On a number of occasions it actually distracted me from what was taking place on screen. If you have trouble with prolonged loud noises you might consider waiting to see this until you can control the volume.” http://www.indiewire.com/2017/07/dunkirk-too-loud-christopher-nolan-1201860027/#spf=1501820074456 I haven't had time to see the film yet, but by an interesting coincidence I watched Inception a couple of weeks ago on Blu-ray on a new set we just bought for the house... and I thought it was way too loud. The dialogue was buried (I'm guessing) about -2dB low compared to the music. FX were fine, it was the music that was offending. A quick look back to published reviews on that film reveal that several critics also commented that the theatrical version had moments where dialogue was hard to hear. I generally like Nolan's films, but jesus...
  5. RIP LOON

    Wow, thanks for all the added details, Jim. Loon had been discussed several times here over the past 10 years, and now I begin to understand why all these problems happened. Great product, doomed because of a lot of business problems. Sad deal.
  6. RIP David Yewdall

    Very sad to hear of the death of veteran post sound mixer/editor/designer David Yewdall. Here's part of his obituary from Deadline Hollywood: David Yewdall, a sound editor and teacher whose long career included work on such films as Escape From New York, The Thing, Twilight Zone: The Movie and The Fifth Element, has died. He was 66. His family confirmed to Deadline that Yewdall died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Along with amassing more than 100 credits and being a trailblazer in “organic sound,” Yewdall was an educator and author. He wrote Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound, which was published in 1999 and had a fourth edition out in 2012. Examining sound from the point of view of the key figures in the sound department, the book was described in a review by Mix Online as “a must-read for all students of sound, whether in film school, recording school or already working in the craft.” Yewdall was working on the fifth edition at the time of his death. Born on October 30, 1950, in Springfield, Mo., Yewdall moved to California with his musical family as a young boy. His first job was as a still photographer for the Coalinga Police Department’s Homicide unit, and he later moved into making documentaries, including one on the Hopi Indians. Lisa Yewdall, his wife of more than 30 years, told Deadline he went on to do some stunt work in the 1977 Ron Howard cars-ploitation film Grand Theft Auto but rethought that career choice after stunt coordinator Vic Rivers was killed in an accident on set. After that, Yewdall joined the Army, where he was part of the original “coed experiment” in basic training. Having joined up at age 28, he was assigned to the staff and faculty at West Point, where he was put in charge of its motion picture division. There was one problem, his wife said: The unit had been shut down the year before. He was discharged in 1979. His big break in the movie business came courtesy of Roger Corman, who produced Yewdall’s first films, Deathsport and Piranha (both 1978). Yewdall also was the sound man for the final season of Hawaii Five-O in 1979-80. His work caught the attention of filmmaker John Carpenter, who hired Yewdall for three consecutive films he helmed — Escape From New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Christine (1981) — along with the 1981 sequel Halloween II, which Carpenter wrote and produced. “The Thing is arguably his masterpiece,” said Steve Lee, a longtime friend and fellow sound man, told Deadline. “All those frightening creature sounds he created are just fantastic, and just as scary today as they were when the film opened 35 years ago — almost to the week.” Yewdall — whose wife said he always strove for “the authentic, no matter how weird it was” — went on to work on multiple films every year into the new century, with sound credits on such film as Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Moscow on the Hudson (1983), Evil Dead II (1987), Predator 2(1990), Jingle All the Way (1996), Dante’s Peak(1997), Starship Troopers (1997), Jackie Brown (1997) and Reindeer Games (2000). “A handy and effective sound editor for the 30 years following 1978, he also supervised crews and was a gifted designer on some of the best-sounding action and science-fiction movies of the ’80s and ’90s,” his longtime friend David Stone, an Oscar-winning sound editor, teacher and author, told Deadline. “I think his strongest tracks are on the John Carpenter movies, such as Christine and Escape from New York, the masterpiece of their collaboration being The Thing.” Yewdall was working as a sound editor on the 1985 period drama The Aviator, for which star Christopher Reeve insisted on doing his own flying. The story goes that the film’s insurer would go along with that only if the 1920s-era biplane had a second engine installed. The task for finding one fell to Yewdall, who scoured the pre-Internet landscape for a suitable original engine for the plane. He ended up locating — and using — the motor whose serial number was 00001. “His own sound effects library he collected over his career was just amazing,” Lee said. “When you traded sounds with him, you always felt you were getting a better deal. He had one of everything, and it was all brilliantly recorded. That was one of the keys to his great success.” In 1988, Yewdall was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story. Around that time he was the only American to work on Talvisota (The Wionter War), an epic Finnish film that told the story of how that country fought off the Nazis in late 1939. Yewdall and his wife were tasked with doing the Oscar campaign for the film. He also taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem during the 2000s, with more than 30 of his students eventually joining the Motion Picture Sound Editors, including some Oscar nominees. At SXSW in March, he took part in a panel titled “VR Film Production in Extreme Environments.” Yewdall also served on the board of Utah-based sound production company NightPro Technologies; was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — former sound editor Robert Wise signed his AMPAS certificate — and Motion Picture Sound Editors for more than 30 years; and appeared in last year’s documentary short Sounds from the Cold. “Yewdall could be a very serious man,” Stone said. “He had a great interest in making the best recordings of vehicles and of military equipment, and he cataloged these with the precision of a museum curator. But what friends and coworkers saw around his cutting rooms and dub stages was the playful artist. Making new sounds for the imaginary worlds which audiences would inhabit was Yewdall’s profession, but he turned work into recreation, energized by his boyish enthusiasm and humor.” Yewdall is survived by his wife Lisa, whom he married in 1984, and his mother, Mary Frances Lander. Plans for a memorial service are pending. http://deadline.com/2017/07/david-yewdall-dead-vsound-editor-fifth-element-the-thing-escape-from-new-york-1202124153/
  7. I've seen quite a few sound mixers using a Yamaha 01V96 standalone digital mixer, and it's been out for quite a few years. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/01V96i They're also widely available on the used market. One potential issue is that they're deep, heavy, and have to be AC-powered, but they still can work very well on a studio cart setup. It's also quite affordable, with used ones well under $1500.
  8. Farewell innovation?

    I wonder if a reasonable compromise would be to just pay Zaxcom X dollars per unit as compensation, just to kill the lawsuit. If it were a small fee (say, $10 or less), it wouldn't be that big a deal to anybody. I just think sound mixers and other users benefit from competition and from having a choice between manufacturers.
  9. Farewell innovation?

    I agree completely with Whit here. I like Glenn Sanders and have used Zaxcom products in the past, and I also like all the guys at Lectrosonics and think they're a terrific company. The moment I heard about the Zaxcom dispute with Tascam, I thought, "this should not be enforceable: a tiny timecode recorder that could attach to a wireless mic, that does not have a transmitter in it... that shouldn't violate any patent." I feel the same way about the Lectro PDR. (I'm told Lectro was served the legal papers on the NAB Show floor.) I'm not a patent attorney at all (though I "play one" on TV), but I think the Zaxcom patent is too broad and should not be enforced. If Lectrosonics made a transmitter with a recorder in it, then that might be another thing... but a separate box? Naw, that should be allowed. All this does is discourage competition and annoy users.
  10. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

    I've heard from different people that there was a point where there were optical sound recorders on roll-around carts. But I think most studio 1930s-1940s recordings were done in a dedicated building on the lot through high-quality wiring. This guy appears to be on a set, or he could be in a building somewhere on the lot... hard to say. More accurately, there was probably a sound mixer on the set (with the boom op), and then the "recordist" was in another place, just pressing the record button and verifying levels. I'm curious as to whether anybody was recording on 35mm mag prior to Nagra in the 1960s.
  11. Thoughts on Resolve 14 Fairlight audio?

    I use Resolve almost every day in my other life as a colorist and sometimes post supervisor. I think it's great for color (in many ways the standard of the industry), but it's not quite there as editing software just yet. Getting closer all the time. Resolve v14 is very, very "Beta-ish" and not stable enough to use for anything beyond testing at this point. I was surprised that they shoehorned Fairlight into it; even Avid isn't crazy enough to combine Media Composer and Pro Tools into one product, since they serve different markets. I think Blackmagic's philosophy is that if editing, color, and sound editing/mixing all uses the exact same timeline, there will never be a problem with the post handoff between departments. Fairlight is so new for Resolve, most of the user manual pages are still blank. I'm gonna wait for the paint to dry before trying this thing out. Potentially, this could shake a lot of things up: you can literally have an editor working in one room, a colorist working in another room, and a sound editor/mixer in a third room, all accessing the same project and updating on the fly. I think it won't really be stable enough to use until July, but there are parts of it that are formidable. Hell, I'm thrilled that it runs faster and has more color features, which is all I want. I don't think it's a super-serious competitor for Pro Tools just yet, but then, when Resolve was introduced at $995 about 7 years ago, it had a fairly catastrophic effect on the post business: everybody in the color business eventually had to cut their rates and all competing software/hardware prices went way down. Then again, a Deva 2 was $15,000 15 years ago, and a machine that does all of that is roughly 1/3 the price today, so the same thing is happening in many parts of the business.
  12. Active Noise Cancellation

    It's bullshit. There's always a price to pay for noise reduction, and I would much rather leave this decision to the discretion of the post crew.
  13. The first film made with digitally recorded sound

    Jeff, when you used the Sony TCD-D10, I assume you resolved it (or at least played it out) to mag for syncing in dailies. How well did it stay in sync? That would scare the hell outta me. I remember the DAT store, and I had a D-10 myself that I bought once Sony reluctantly brought them in as a consumer product. For the record, there were a few (very few) Mini Disc machines that recorded real uncompressed 48kHz WAV files, but not many. The compression was basically about 384kbs, better than the best available download music today, but still not the equal of a lossless or WAV file.
  14. Didn't quite roll for some of a take.. What happens next?!

    A lot of this crap happens just due to a lot of bad habits seeping in to some crews, and a lack of discipline required to do things in a structured, orderly way on set. Even on a "loose" documentary, they have to call for rolling sound & camera, then slate the scene just so that everybody is on the same page and knows they're in record. I particularly hate directors who don't yell CUT loudly enough that everybody is aware of it. Way, way too often I have called out, "are we still rolling?" or "sound still rolls!" and it takes much longer than necessary to get an answer. Very sloppy on the part of the people involved. One wishes there was a little transmittable red light (like a Wi-Fi tally light) that would light up whenever the camera surreptitiously recorded, and the sound department would know that camera has rolled without anybody knowing about it.
  15. Installing an SSD in Mac Mini.

    Yep to Stacy's advice above. It can be done, but it requires time and patience. It does help to prep the new SSD drive prior to installation, and Apple makes you jump through hoops in order to download the OS but not install it. It's a little kludgy. We did it with two recent Mac Minis and it makes a big difference in boot time.
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