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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
  • About
    Indie film and television production sound mixer.

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  1. The use of compressors in location sound

    Lightbulbs going off in mixers' brains all over the planet. Of course!
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 600 MHz gear

    Following along since a bunch of my 600Mhz stuff can't be re-freq'd. Sigh.
  5. 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.
  6. #metoo and sexism in general

    Yes, weirdness happens from all directions. My first time wiring #2 in her green room, arrived with costumer who knocked and we entered whereupon #2 ceremoniously turned to us and dropped the sleeveless dress to the floor revealing that the dress was all she had on. I think I just went on as normal, not remarking upon her condition. IIRC we went with a waist belt. I'm certain my hands were shaking as I did the work. As I type this, my face is flushed. Wow. I didn't stay more than three weeks on that long-form job. Told no one until now. Have not really had any issues with male actors but rather with (male) crew who pass by and make some remark about my kneeling to attach an ankle strap on a fellow or with my hand in a woman's costume somewhere. I'm quick to respond with a verbal bitch slap with enough force that commenters think thrice about ever coming near the sound cart again. Last show, I had my hand under a knee-length dress up to the bra. We'd done the move before and I was confident the skirt was draped to modestly cover her but she remarked "Hey!" in such a way that I became aware someone was looking at her backside. Without turning, I said, "Get outta here, you!" with just enough bite and humor. Shit. It was #2. Didn't matter. He walked away. I assured the lady that she'd been covered and all was well. I have no trouble pushing back / setting boundaries in a professional setting. The boundaries seem always pretty clear. Thing is, I set the boundaries very early since one of the first bits of advice about the biz' came from Dennis Maitland (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0537946/) who told me (among other things): "Never sleep around." That's a different subject but worthy of mention since there's a different energy I put out if I'm not open to a romantic relationship with anyone. Kind of like saying, "Don't wear low-cut blouses and short skirts," but that was part of my solution dating from the 70's when I started college and soon thereafter was date-raped. For a long time in the face of someone aggressive I would be like a deer in the headlights: frozen. Having been raped as a little girl, I carried signs of victimhood around like flashing neon that predators could read from miles away. I was as a result preyed upon a lot the first 45 years of my life and as a result have become a reluctant expert. Ha. Did a lot of work and found a warrior self inside that tolerates none of that bullshit: a much better place. Here's to warriors.
  7. Boom Stand

    Best, most fun part of our job: making it work. You sure have made it work!
  8. How often do you get clean lines on lavs?

    Huge dilemma for me: how often to "go in" to make adjustments. There are a hundred considerations in that decision not least of which the ruination of my day as Chris mentions, but if it's for that one line passing through the door or for overlap protection or the actor's having their own thoroughbred-worthy skittish day...for good or ill I'm likely to let it go, especially if we'll be going in for coverage. Sometimes you've got to know when to fold and get that critical line wild or trust that post will be able to make lemonade. I've literally gotten on my knees and cried joyous tears before a costume designer in gratitude for their excellent sound-friendly choices lest they think we not notice. Sigh.
  9. Netflix teaser "Dark" first German production

    Your work Matthias?
  10. Dont let this happen on your set

    I walked off a shoot after the 1st AD said he was going to light his arm on fire for camera and his unskilled fired-up arm would be between the camera and the only means of egress. Low budget but very experienced and famed director and cast were armed with a bunch of short ends from a just-finished feature and they decided to make a feature film in 5 days. Turns out they finished in 4.5 days. I've not watched any of their films or TV shows since.
  11. Production Mix Structure

    What Jim said.
  12. Running the Set

    A little note on running the set. Set belongs to the boom operator. It's their domain. When I place a mic they notify operators, set dressing and/or props at the right times. Boom operators of note keep the boom mic away from the mouths. They protect everyone, including me by being conscious of where the mic is pointed 100% of the time. They know who to ask for what and where these people are all the time: operators, set dressers, on-set props, AD, the sound-friendly electric / grip. What else?
  13. Maybe because at least in NY each of the things requires a text and response. What about loading in the gear? Here's the teamster co-captain. Who's your team? What's the next tandem unit sound roll to be called? What's the kit rate? They need expendables. Getting start work is sometimes like pulling teeth. Following up with accounting when the check doesn't arrive. Who's the music super? On a fast-paced job having to text messages with critical information from the field that would be bad if there was a typo puts my intestines in a bunch. Getting all the info into two emails from me frees me up. I don't consider that overthinking, I consider that doing my job better and helping the day player in the same way.
  14. Excellent point. I've called this document "Sound Workflow Memo". I edit/improve it with each project so I know all the elements are there to be shared and I don't have to rethink everything. Technical writing is hard, well...it requires effort. I'm not good at it. Totally on the list! Yup. Anybody up for sharing their WorkFlow Memos? Could prove enlightening.
  15. Handle for cart, 12" or so, sources?

    Love this part of the art: cogitating better solutions.