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Don Coufal

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About Don Coufal

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday 09/24/1949

Profile Information

  • Location
    Agoura Hills
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    I'm a dad with three girls. My oldest daughter,Emma, just graduated UCSD and is going into the Teach for America program for two years. My youngest daughter, Libby just finished her sophomore year at Oak Park High School. My middle daughter Leah died from complications (medical malpractice) after pectus carinatum surgery performed at Cedars Sinai. She would be 19 and a junior in college.

    My IMDB-http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0183304/

Recent Profile Visitors

806 profile views
  1. Would love to find a project starting after March 30th. I have not done much networking over the years as I have stayed pretty busy. So, i hear " I always think you are busy" from a lot of people. I'm taking this opportunity to maybe meet some new people or re connect with some old friends. This is my IMDB --http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0183304/reference for reference. I live and work in LA but of course have worked through out the US and many other countries and am free and love to travel. Looking forward to any responses.
  2. Off-Camera Dialogue Poll

    I personally do not like the idea of putting off camera dialogue on he production track. It seems to be justified only in that people watching dailies need to have the real experience. As far as micing off camera and putting it on a seperate track so it is available for the editor, I have no problem with that. Of course there are many reasons why that track will be useless anyway. I tend to think in terms of feature work so I realize it may be different in TV or other media. My choice is always make the on camera the best possible. Overall that will be the most useful for the editor. As an aside though. I do find that if there is a microphone available, most mixers seem to want to open it up. Just saying.
  3. Seams a little bit dangerous

    Richard, I worked on the film and must correct your statment "and never a tripod." The whole film was done on tripods or dollies. It is the long lens that Tony uses that gives it that look.
  4. Threads in pages?

    In your individual profile the max is 50 topics and 50 messages.
  5. What makes us be creative?

    Thank you for that post Laurence.
  6. This person is some artist. Beautiful work. Maybe this is the answer to "New Media".
  7. Mobile setup on location in Istanbul

    Can you explain the cage around the mic on the stand next to your gear. I assume this is the framework for wind screen wind protection. Who makes that rig?
  8. Micing a school play

    When my girls were younger I too was ask to do something at their school to help with plays, musicals etc. At this particular school which was Calmont in Topanga Canyon, the stage was an out door stage so the little voices were lost very quickly. I considered several of the solutions that have been mentioned here but chose this one for this particular situation. I went to the hardware store and purchased three 18'' plexiglass squares. I mounted PZM microphones to the squares and then mounted the squares on mic stands with tilting heads so I could adjust the angle. These were placed left, right and center of stage just above the lip and tilted at about a 60 degree angle I would guess. There was also a stage mic on a stand when needed. This system worked beautifully as the little voices were crystal clear and sounded very natural. It worked to enhance the voices with out the need for a lot of PA level. It was also very smooth across the stage. And of course letting the Teacher know that a little projection from the kids always helps. I haven't tried this in an indoor auditorium or environment so I can not speak to its effectiveness there. As you know there are many variables to deal with in these kinds of situations. Good luck.
  9. unplugging p48 Boom mic.

    I've really never heard of this being a problem and I think all of us have done this for years. I have heard however that you should not remove the capsule on a microphone like the schoeps with the microphone plugged in and receiving voltage. This can damage the mic. However before we were informed of this we had done that very thing many times. Now I always unplug the mic before changing a capsule. Better safe then sorry.
  10. GM, Anheuser Bush to pay in 120 days

    There are many things to comment on with an article such as this but the first thing that came to mind as I was reading it was the immediate effect on all those here that do commercials. Beside the fact that it could seriously effect the amount of work available it seems the greatest effect may be everyone waiting longer and longer to get a paycheck from any commercial. Production companies will take any advantage available to them and when no time frame is set for commercials to pay, 60 to 90 days could become standard. It already takes at least two weeks apposed to the one week in TV and Film (mandated by the contract) but I believe that the commercial contract does not even mandate that. Someone in commercials correct me if I am wrong. I'm not sure when the new commercial contract is due to be renewed but that is an issue that certainly needs to be changed before it is too late.
  11. Do we need a three person crew?

    Robert, I believe that several people here have very intelligently spoken on the issue. It is always good to dissect both sides of an argument so it is always good to have "the devil's advocate". I would point out, however, that when the opportunity arises, we would all do well by offering to someone the trainee position. This is not taking work from "one of our brothers or sisters" but rather helping to create a stronger more viable brotherhood or sisterhood. (It is so hard to be politically correct these days). One thing I have learned after all my time in this business is the more you help and give to others, the more you will get in return. Just my opinion. Don
  12. Do we need a three person crew?

    Jeff actually stated my position very well. I was suggesting to look at a trainee position for those people who are, for what ever reason, working on long form projects with a two person crew. We all know that a three person crew helps us to do better, more efficient work and it also let's the production know that even on lower budget projects a third person is needed. The trainee position is in the spirit of compromise without compromising our desire to do the best job possible. Instead of a PA you might actually have someone working with you who loves sound, wants to learn, and is committed to the job. Don
  13. Do we need a three person crew?

    Hey Richard, I got them straight from the recent rate card as listed under "contract" on the 695 website. I think this will take you to it. http://www.695.com/mbr/rate-07-09-s-d.html You may have to sign in yourself. I know this is available because I used it a few years ago to get MiKe Herron into the business. He was a PA on Fight Club and wanted to get into sound. We talked to Jim Osbourne first and then to the Production Manager. It was agreed that if they listed him as a Sound Trainee on the call sheet for thirty days he could get on the roster and thus in the union. They did, he did and now he is doing very well in the business. My point is that this is available and could be used as a way to avoid having to cave in to some of the demands that are made. It would mainly apply to those lower budget jobs that think they just can't afford a third. If no one is listed then I assume you would need to clear it with the union and just find one of the many young people who would be dying to work with you. Just my opinion. Don
  14. Do we need a three person crew?

    Eric, Your right about "it's all about the money. That is why I suggested in my post to look at the Trainee Position available through the local. That would be more like $5000 for a film like you suggested. I'm just suggesting that we all take a look at all the options before agreeing with production that is is not necessary. They will always push to get something for nothing. But like a good friend, script supervisor Marion Tumen, always says "If you don't ask you'll never get it". Don
  15. I would like to start this thread to help answer some of the questions that I have read on several other threads on this group. I want to choose my words carefully as not to offend anyone who might be working in a manner inconsistent with my beliefs. As far a the crew goes, I believe that it is important on any long form project to work as a three person crew. The budget certainly should not be a determining factor on the need to have a third person. As we all know, lower budget projects, more likely then not, will require the need for a third person more so then bigger budget projects. Let’s look at why we as a sound department need a third person. 1.To deal with cable. Like many on this group have commented, a hard line cable is, at this point, still the best solution to receiving the best signal from the mic and returning the best signal to the boom operator. Since we all know about problems associated with RF transmission, it is also the most reliable means of recording the audio. Having said that, wrangling cable should not be the first argument used to justify the position. If a wireless product can produce audio equal to a hard line and produce an IFB return that meets the same standards as a hard line (i.e. (?) Zaxcom) then by all means if you can afford that solution then use it. This would be a revolutionary product for the film industry. 2.Battery management. We have already entered a world where we use more batteries in a day then we used to use in a month. Comtecs, IFBs, Slates, Wireless Mics, Qaids, Power Supplies for wireless mics, and various other items that may need to be pulled out at any time. Not to mention the variety of rechargeable products that are in the kits and need to be ready at any time. 3.Sound Abatement and Control. This is probably what I consider the biggest argument for the third person on a sound department. That’s because it is an ever present problem that needs to be dealt with on almost every take and certainly on every location. It can be the determining factor in the quality of sound you are able to produce. I won’t go into it now because it would take too long to look at all the issues involved. Suffice it to say we have all encountered them at one time or another and how we were able to deal with them determined the results we were able to achieve or the method in which we were forced to record the sound. 4.Liaison with the crew. To achieve our best work as a sound department, we all need the help and support of other crew members like grip, electric, wardrobe, hair, props, first and second ad’s, pa’s, effects and locations. The third person on a sound crew is essential in developing and maintaining these relationships. A two man crew does not have the time to effectively work with each of these departments. 5.Be a second boom operator when needed. With todays style of film making, it is necessary to have a second boom available at all times. Even if it is only to pick up a line or two of dialogue from scene to scene, this can save production time, money, quality on their projects. There are also times where the first boom operator will need help with wiring talent and making sure that mic is performing to the best of its ability on the talent. 6.Put out fires. Being responsible for the entire production sound track is a lot to shoulder for just two people. Look how many people help with the picture portion of a film. I don’t think this needs any further explanation. Any one of these can take up most of the third’s time on certain shows. It points out why we need to work as a three person team. So as not to bore, I have left out many other needs and duties that can be performed by a third and would love to hear others input on this subject. I do want to address quickly the issue of fighting to keep a three man crew. As we are all aware, the industry is changing and constricting more so now then ever. The producing entity is always looking to cut cost, cut jobs, and allow lower cost workers (I.E. PAs) to do more and more of the work. This is evident in all areas of the business whither it be commercials, tv, reality, or movies. It will be up to us to determine if we are going to go along with it or fight it. Do we really want to continue to to do the”best job” that we know we can do or will we choose to give them the “best sound they deserve”? These are two totally different decisions. If we choose the first answer then we will all have to be very diligent and work with our local union to help preserve the third person position. We will also have to be constantly aware of not doing things in such a way as to say to the producer that a third really isn’t necessary. For those who are working on long form projects that will not hire a third, then look into the unions trainee position and have the company hire a trainee. (8192 Y-16A Pro. Sound Trainee hourly-$16.58 ) You will not only be doing yourself a favor and the company a favor, but you will also give someone an opportunity and the training needed to help build a stronger sound community in film. Now if you choose the second answer then you have no one but yourself to blame. I believe this concept could also be applied to the “reality world”. Isn’t it possible in that world to convince production that a second person is necessary when you are carrying seventy pounds around your neck? Just a question. Would love to get others take on it. Don Coufal
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