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Jan McL

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About Jan McL

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    Sound. Motion. Stillness.
  • Birthday January 1

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  • Location
    NY Metro
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Indie film and television production sound mixer.

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  1. It's been a while since I had to place lav mics in the heinously noisey professional uniform. Last time, it was B6 through the buttonhole with less-than-stellar results. This time, there will be mostly uniforms and I want to use the DPA's I've come to favor. Their "snoot" through the buttonhole seems to be a likely answer, but I'm thinking that it might be better to go through a hole made through a pocket or behind an insignia/medal and leave the mic more exposed than hidden. Let's talk military / police / EMT uniform mic hiding techniques, shall we?
  2. I told the first UPM that inquired within 48 hours of having wrapped a little movie that my kit had gone up 1/1 and that I needed $500/week kit for my team. Crickets. Told the next one a month later 1) I wasn't hungry and 2) about the 1/1 raise thinking she'd also disappear after flying it up the same flagpole. Crap. The answer was, "Yes." I was so surprised and paralyzed I couldn't get to the above contract or anything else after she told me what there wasn't for expendables. Lessons? Keep notes on the next deal you want near for emergency consultation; and It's OK and even a good strategy to buy time. I should have asked to call her back once it became clear that the conversation was going to go my way so I could get centered and collect my thoughts. A FB thread written by José Frias caused me to think seriously about what I should do to grow in 2018 so the numbers were fresh on my mind having also consulted with my regular team about what they thought they'd be happy with kit-wise. I was ready-ready for the first call and not in the right mood for the 2nd. Always be ready.
  3. Advice on music video style upcoming shoot

    Good advice all around. Let us know how it goes for post. I add that I would communicate to the director--often in writing through the 2nd AD for narrative stuff--that should they design the coverage not seeing the band's heads/hands the thump track would be sufficient for background movement if it's just you on the team. Actually, for low-budget world, a thump track may have proved sufficient for most of the scene unless it's actually mostly the physicality of the dancing that tells the story. Always nice to be able to rile 'em up a bit with volume for scene energy though. If the tune's got a regular beat easy to determine the BPM and make a separate thump track. Audacity can generate any BPM thump at 40Hz or 50Hz (it may have a higher-than-standard low freq option threshold: 'cause free?). Could edit in Audacity to drop out L = music track and keep R = thumper because the song's going to always finish before the dialog. Are you OMB'ing this? Curious. This might have been a day when you would benefit from an extra person on the team if only to edit, hit "Play" and cut out the music on cue. P.S. Ask 2nd AD if OK the dummer can fake play well, if not then rubber dampers for the drum heads requested (if you or the Prop Master don't have 'em in your kits). Oh, cc: the Prop Mistress. Don't ask me how I know this.
  4. It's the Little Things...

    @Rachel Cameron: nothing like a little out-of-the-box thinking to make your day a good one!
  5. Is Sounderday still a thing?

    Just googled "sounderday" since this month marks its anniversary and I couldn't recall how many years: five or six. This thread came up first. Last weekend we had a dozen in the "room". Here's how to join: Time: this is a recurring meeting Saturday and Sunday mornings 9A ET. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/817979726 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16468769923,,817979726# or +16699006833,,817979726# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968 Meeting ID: 817 979 726 International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=qFKgnhwbQmkgXmYi_g71y4jsaj1TVS7K
  6. Elon's Falcon Heavy Tesla launch

    Been following this man and his various enterprises since the MS and MX started seeing some press. Eventually bought a modest few shares of TSLA and not long after that, Tesla started their CPO program and I netted a low-mileage practically fully-loaded 2014 MS. Had saved for 10 years to buy a house but that chunk of cash wasn't enough even at 50% of purchase price to allow my little company to mortgage the thing so after a look at what I presumed to be my future and the order v. chaos struggle I bet on chaos and got the S. The Musk fellow is one of the most hysterical fellows ever made a joke on top of the visionary thing. Guy knows how to roll out a product. Best marketing stunt of the century perhaps the millenium. A brilliant player and winner if he doesn't get assassinated first. Guess that makes me a gambler. He's the kind of captain I'd sing going down with the ship for. This fella's got an in-depth take on the man: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/05/elon-musk-the-worlds-raddest-man.html I cried both launch and landings and LOL'd at his press conference quote that included that he was, ".....trippin' balls," about the whole thing. Right up my alley. The Boring Company [NOT] Flame Throwers SΞXY Wonder if anyone would pay a small finders fee to jump to the head of the line for a MΞ in their specifications. My email to configure and pay just arrived.
  7. Burnout, stress, depression: experiences?

    Great discussion everyone. Truly. Philip Perkins, I bow in your general direction, sir. Crew, Eva Rismanforoush's piece is superb. Thanks both. I admit I'm broken and as a result slip right in to this dysfunctional family that is the film business. Am fond of saying, "I'm a recovering sado-masochist and we're the worst." I've been known to publicly call a sadist a sadist. It's gotten me uninvited back more than once but no great loss: to hell with workplace sadists. For me, this industry is the most interesting game: I win when I best myself and get good tracks while not tuning into a monster from stress. Work on it all the time but often fail. I try remember to: breathe consciously horse lips take a brisk walk find something funny about it and only then speak find my heart and only then speak default to hilarious laughter rather than the rage that was my default until after a lot of work forgive myself for slipping (not easy)
  8. The real world includes Director, AD and DP knowing they have X minutes to get the scene and the time it takes expands to fill 'X'. "Check the gate!" comes at 12:59 and at 13:00 the production is looking at meal penalties. Even forewarned that RT is necessary 100 x $7.50 means the AD will say, "Sorry. That's lunch." Happens every time.
  9. Creeky Floor

    Just read the most recent page of this but...guffaws.
  10. REVIEW: Schoeps miniCMIT

    Nice review. Meant a lot at the moment. Plan to test a rental unit toward knowing how it does at 12V with ZMT Phantom and a shout. If it holds, might have to get one for the kit and those low ceilings amd battery life.
  11. The use of compressors in location sound

    Lightbulbs going off in mixers' brains all over the planet. Of course!
  12. Headphone

    My DT48's were first pro purchase along with that Nagra III and a used 416. I bought what my mentor used/wore. It was easy.
  13. ISO's vs. Mix Track

    Don't mind starting fresh on the subject. In the original thread, Mark Hensley strongly presented his case for ISO's > Mix Track; the PSM's in the room went wild. It sure raised my hackles as one who also came from mono tracks --> two track --> 6 ISOS --> 12 ISOS. My hackles have since been tamed by a period project re-mixed by the same Mark Hensley and the estimable Bob Bronow, arguably the best fingers/ears for background noise on the planet. There were many constraints not least of which #1 often not willing/able to be wired. My mix evolved to create a track sufficient for #1 to ADR it. She did. There it is. Some setups, the mix could only be a tool for the picture and dialog editors to survive the edit and know what was missing right away. I had to be of value and losing the mix forced me to find other ways to achieve value. Do not underestimate the value of comms. I often bring full up the off screen / plant mics at the beginning of the first take to confirm that they are there for me, producers and for post, then let 'em roll thereafter in ISO only. Was scared to have Mark use my tracks given that other thread but I had done what I thought was right. Gave 'em in the mix what my ear thought good relative to mixing lavs to boom for what Brendan, Joe and I call "beef": fattening the bottom @-12 for intelligibility, else boom. But I sort of gave up on a useable mix given the wire situation and many 1920's automobiles. You guys did a GREAT job given the raw material you were given; this project caused me to put the mix into a different frame of reference. No less precious mostly. A paradigm shift of some magnitude. Like a director, it's my mission to collect all the elements that can make it work later. I am a collector of options. Just some prep time ruminations about the landscape. Furthermore, it's Sounderday. https://zoom.us/j/817979726 https://www.amazon.com/Pilot/dp/B017APVDEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511004914&sr=8-1&keywords=z+the+beginning+of+everything
  14. 600 MHz gear

    Following along since a bunch of my 600Mhz stuff can't be re-freq'd. Sigh.
  15. Sony MDR 7506 coiled cable

    That video was made at my request by the estimable PSM Paul Pouthier who thanks NYC PSM Tom Varga for the idea. Glad it's getting around.