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. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. +11 XOXOX Mr. Blankenship.
  4. Oooo, nice! Thank you!
  5. NYC house rules assign bell/light privileges to a PA and they typically do a great job of it. Grateful for that.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Has anyone found digital sides nirvana yet?
  9. So happy you're doing this!
  10. SD cart slot opening is flush and not much room around the card. For now I'm not going to worry about it and keep my eye on the RX's LREC as usual. At your prompting, I pushed the fleshy part of my thumb then forefinger against the card and couldn't get it to release. I need to push the card in with a fingernail to get it to release. That's good.
  11. Nope. I'm going to add the best advice I ever got: see the big picture.
  12. As others have stated in other ways, even with $40,000 of the best gear their inexperience practically guarantees that the sound will suck very well indeed even with you available by phone for advice. Better to give a motivated not-quite-just-out-of-school student with their own gear the $3K and go forth that way. Well that assumes they want it to sound semi-professionally done. As Johnny noted, wireless should permit mixing from the next room, but not in the hands of someone totally inexperienced.
  13. OXOXO José.
  14. After some consideration, allow me to reframe the question so that I may best answer: every time I place a lavaliere I get better at it. Even when everything has worked in my favor (wardrobe good, actor head placement good, props good) I replay the game tapes to figure how I might do it better next time if only to improve the experience for the individual who's being wired. Two decades into this biz I rarely love how any lav sounds.
  15. ....pardon me...had to clean the coffee I laughingly spit all over the screen before typing. Ha! Good one.