Jan McL

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About Jan McL

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    Sound. Motion. Stillness.
  • Birthday January 1

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    NY Metro
  • About
    Indie film and television production sound mixer.

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  1. Visors. Yup.
  2. How are you placing the 4098's in the car? As you note, it's very directional. I'll add that too close provides a lamentable proximity effect. But the side lobe! Don't forget the side. In the placement pictured found that when the driver unexpectedly delivered a portion of his speech to the driver's side window, the passenger-side mic caught it from the window reflection. Admit this rig sounds like a car but they're in a car so...
  3. Spent a little time at DPA site having a gander inspired by your post Pindrop and your thoughts about the suspension and foam since I've had to make a DIY suspension from time to time when 4098 is used as a plant and lamented foam loss. RIP foam. Wish I felt like spending some money! While there noted they have a short gooseneck extension accessory (microdot --> microdot) that might be handy in a pinch. Wait for the right podium / courtroom scene to pull the trigger on a longer version of the 4098 --> XLR and desk stand. Just had both my 4098's to Denmark to repair the tube attachment @ $105 each. Was surprised that the replacement tubes were grey (read not black) as Matthias shows above but there it is. Guess that's why the lord made black sharpies.
  4. I would do what others suggest or something, but given a budget, I'd really like to try setting one (1) suspended 4098 / 3 people. I'll have to draw a picture. This would benefit from a carpeted room. + additional boom operator. One stick / camera operator.
  5. Thanks for chiming in PJ. Sounds like the Irish Sound Contingent needs a Mixer Mixer to talk things through. A lot of regions have started to get together regularly in bars to share information: Atlanta, NYC, LA for sure. I'm in IATSE Local 52 (our NYC union) and primarily do narrative work. Our rates are higher than the union contract hourly rates in Atlanta, but lower (I think) but close to LA's rates. Cost of living undoubtedly figured in during negotiations. Does that €350 cover both labor and gear? If you've read this thread you know that SOP in the US and elsewhere is to separate those line items. Sounds like you might benefit from a drink with the camera people with whom you work toward strategizing. "Let's figure out how can we together make more money?" would be a likely opening gambit. Is there someone else he'd use were you to suddenly go 'Diva' on him? Talk to those people. My equipment rate is tightly tied to my market. At one point--after some awards--I asked for and got above-market rate for both labor and gear. So far--a few years--those higher rates have stuck. Having difficulty raising them from that but figured out some other cash flows into the department. I'll keep looking for more ways.
  6. We had big overlap on a cable show and after I said to the established director, "I know you know how this overlap will limit your options in editorial. Just a reminder," he said "Yeah, I know but performance." Happens a lot. I don't take it personally and make a note on the sound report that this is what the director wanted. The followup to the post super i usually a, "Sorry. How did it go?"
  7. Welcome to the sound business! Based on your first questions I humbly prescribe a few doses of shadowing time on some other productions and with as experienced a crew as you can manage. Bring a notebook to write down your questions so you can chat at lunch. I have a draft email with all the questions I need to ask and stuff I do as I prep for a job. Relative to your questions: Ask the production secretary for a crew list and that you be on all the pre-production distro lists, including pre-production schedule Crew list will yield the 2nd AC's contact A week or two out, text or email the 2nd AC and ask for the make/model of camera(s) and how many bodies. Now you can make sure you have and have studied the relevant parts of the manual (menus/time code/audio inputs/levels, etc.). For longer-form narrative projects, this is when I ask if they're ordering face plates and if so, provide make/model of my slates. Note the camera checkout date on the pre-pro schedule and contact 2nd AC during that day and ask for the software version that's on the cameras. Re-read camera manual. Send the production secretary your crew contact info and your equipment inventory asking that a Certificate of Insurance be issued As the UPM when there will be a workflow teleconference and when (if) a sync test. Things like scratch audio to camera(s) and track assignments may be addressed during a workflow conference. The DP should be in attendance so once these things are established there can be no pushback from DP or his camera department on the job for anything you need to do at camera or with slates. I have a workflow memo email that I constantly refine that is tweaked and forwarded to the post super a few days before the workflow conference. There's a lot more, but...well hell I'm going to paste my most recent workflow memo: Historically, sound mixer is responsible for sync. I proudly carry on that tradition. As Whit Norris once said, "We are the Master Clock! How cool is that?" Others have addressed intersecting with the camera department. It's a diplomatic dance we do with all the departments, especially delicate with camera probably because they are in the center of the frying pan. Timing. Respect. Never touch anybody's stuff without asking. Ever. Choose your moment carefully with the 2nd AC relative to touching the camera. Each one will prefer you engage with them and their camera a different way. Their sandbox; their choice. That's all the time/energy I have this evening. Wishing you the best of luck.
  8. Hi OyinSound. Good question. Here are some ideas; forgive me if I underestimate your experience since you don't give us much information: Learn the name and contact information of every sound person within driving distance of you and meet them over coffee/lunch/beer. What gear do they own? What kinds of jobs do they work on? Who do they work with? What is their particular expertise? Share war stories. Take notes and make a database of all this information. Do the same research for your region (more than driving distance). Whenever you have time, go through the data base and get in touch with your now-living community of colleagues and make updates including birthdays, wife/husband and kids' names. Do the same research relative to all the production companies. If there is a film commission, find out what information they have and how to get that information. During down time, check with them. Start figuring out an exit strategy. Do the numbers. Make sure you've got an increasingly-large financial buffer so that when the slow times come you're not freaking out about money. Take note of when the slow times come each year and use that information to schedule some kind of learning or fun. Keep up to date on the industry. There is more stuff, but you get the gist. Good luck!
  9. You're getting there! Excellent! You passed an important 'test' by not getting defensive. That's gold. Your overtime should be @ $75 (1.5 x regular hourly rate) to be in line with every other production on the planet. On NYC narrative projects my union "day" is 8 hours minimum with OT after that and double time after 12 or 14 (depending on the contract) which would make your 1.5 OT rate $112.50. I think a lot of PSM's doing bag work base their days on 10 hours. Different world so check. I'll let others speak to your kit since I'm cart-based, but based on what I've read around the interwebs, you're charging 75-300% less than others doing the same thing. Also keep in mind that a lot of stuff in your world is charged à la carte e.g. more than 2 wireless mics @$75/day, TC slates @$50/day and more than 'X' Comteks @ $30, etc. Look forward to hearing from you in a year or two that you've been able to quit your day job and are sipping craft beer somewhere nice.
  10. +11 XOXOX Mr. Blankenship.
  11. Oooo, nice! Thank you!
  12. NYC house rules assign bell/light privileges to a PA and they typically do a great job of it. Grateful for that.
  13. You can barely see the actor standing on the ledge near the crow's nest 100 yards away, but had me some range that day from the dock. From the same spot was able to get a few feet down into the hold through massive amounts of steel. This was a few years ago using old silver TRX900's and RX4900's + sharkfins. Got similarly great range into the 2nd floor sanctuary of the church, covering the entirety of the space with basically the same setup except more recent TRX's. I've never moved higher or lower than 50mw. It always works great for me. Maximizing range requires some knowledge of how RF works of course and getting the proper cables, antenna, and cart placement. In the two pictured examples, you'll note I chose to be farther away but with best line of sight. Chose Zax wires because of the internal recorders that give me peace of mind and how excellent they sound. For IFB's: Comtek = Video Village, R1a's for private comms. Use TC-endabled ERX's to jam slates and lockit boxes and as emergency IFB's for last-minute cousin visitors.
  14. Thanks, astro. Where do you place the pedal? One of the biggest things that caused me to abandon this project was pedal on the snow-covered / rain-washed ground. Learned from a FB post that a colleague of ours installed a temp-push button on his mixer near the faders integrated into a page turning device that made a lot of sense to me and could bring me back to this pursuit.
  15. Has anyone found digital sides nirvana yet?