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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. Netflix teaser "Dark" first German production

    Your work Matthias?
  2. 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.
  3. Production Mix Structure

    What Jim said.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Handle for cart, 12" or so, sources?

    Love this part of the art: cogitating better solutions.
  8. Playback speaker tip

    Delighted to see the MaxiMouse getting its due. I've had mine since well before I ever contemplated doing production sound for film/TV. Got it and an SM58 in the mid-80's when my ex and I were doing street poetry performances on Miami Beach. Served me well since. Great tech, Lectro!
  9. Video Chat with Jan

    Yeah, he was more introverted than you would think. The kind of shared experience you describe is always memorable and moving. Glad you found brotherhood with him. He was an empath for sure. Another memory: soon after the breakup there was a marked increase in press attention / attendance. Michael was still an infant and Jimmy came out into the parking lot where we were setting up, his beautiful boy in his arms. He addressed the paparazzi in calm, measured tones asking them to please be respectful of his son and his family. The love in his voice... They all sort of melted away.
  10. My experience too as Tandem mixer. No mas!
  11. Not that I've done much second unit, but part of the reason I no longer make efforts to set up for such things--having done it for a year or three--is I find the whole mess much like pulling teeth with burger tongs no novocain from both sides of the equation. Here's to doing it better. With a moment to contemplate while prepping, I offer mixer <--> mixer communications up for discussion. Worked mostly with the fabulous Daniel McIntosh on second unit for many years. He was my first call--among other things--because he asks a buttload of questions. Good! It's a comfort knowing he's thinking it all through. Same for the playback mixers with whom I work most. Daniel's once again behind the first unit console these days and for good reason. That's also why I'm spending some time on the subject. Long form work is exhausting and free moments are spent palate-cleansing my brain and ears. During at-cart breaks I think about the future: Next scene; Special /equipment lav prep; Lunch/wrap anomalies; Call the office; Tomorrow's first scene / logistics; Production meeting, playback/special equipment dates; Repairs; Feel moved to streamline the mixer <--> mixer process to free up maximum think time and minimize stress. Crafting sentences helps me think it through with higher logic; that's what I get out of writing here along with a spackling and sanding by colleagues. Based on Daniel's good collected questions I present a first draft of Tandem Unit/Playback tick list: 75% of the technical information a 2nd Unit PSM needs is contained in my Sound Workflow Memo that productions have begun to regularly request. I just edit the most recent one before each new show. The rest is contained in the formal Workflow Memo published by the Post Super following the workflow teleconference. I know how to find those memos later because I always call them the same thing in the subject of the email: Workflow Memo. In the email to the 2nd Unit PSM the utility sound is cc'd with a sentence asking that 2nd Unit PSM order expendables and deal with questions/logistics with the utility. I also include a call sheet and crew list so it's easy to get to the UPM to lock down their deal, including the mention of parking. Ask what they use for sound reports. If they use MovieSlate I share my settings via the cloud. If they use paper realize I should note that fact in that day's sound report email. Mixers get parity. If it looks like there will be an unusual (late) call or location I let them know as soon as I know. Separate email of introduction to production secretary (cc: APOC? POC?) asking for script to be sent. 2nd Unit may need help finding a spot to offload gear. Crew list gives them Teamster contact info. Follow up with Utility on this. I ask my utility to gather sufficient start work to add to the box of expendables to be delivered to their set. So two emails: Mixer cc: 1st unit sound utility: crew list, call sheet, workflow memos, delegates expendables and logistics to utility and a couple paragraphs about any actors' particular preferences. Ask about sound reports. The preference paragraphs are honed in subsequent seasons: one of the best things about TV. Paperwork PA, Mixer, APOC or POC?, Production Secretary: email of introduction asking for script. Have kind of run out of thinking gas, but suppose a lot of this preparation applies to other departmental day players too. Hope to hear more on the subject from y'all. Next project, figure out a logical, smoothe way get all my wireless for working mics out of Block 26 gracefully.
  12. Concur. Began my last project by presenting the craft services king with a small jar of homemade raspberry jam. He happened by just as I was contemplating who'd been especially good to us recently. The rest of the shoot I got a cuppa every morning as soon as power was run to his tent. Huge win.
  13. Wow. DPA: pushing the envelope to fit a very large object.
  14. DPA Slim or 4060/61?

    I find the 4060 slims excel in NYC's high-rumble background BS and are therefore my first thought. Lo-sens 4063's for the biggest/bassiest voices. High-sens 4060's for the whisperers. At least that's what I'm doing now and I think I like it.
  15. Rain and wind protection

    Hope it's not a hijack to brainstorm rain protecting the forthcoming ZMT Phantom from Zaxcom. Fairly new to beta testing, but come to enjoy the process a lot. It's a, "Lest I become too comfy," thing and an exciting process that brings me into thinking company with the people who make the stuff that allows us to do our jobs. Anyway, after not-that-gently begging Glenn, Colleen and Eric for years to get me a new 992, they have some up with this ZMT Phantom I've had my hands on since 4/24 or so. It's now May 11. Holy shit; but that's for another thread. Gotta protect it in the water. This collected from a FB thread on the same subject [big thanks to whomever made the link]. I'm gonna try one soonest. http://ambient.de/en/product/qwb-re/ This is v2 of Gene Martin's excellent pole mount that's working a charm. V3 will support the little Lemo <--> cropped XLR cable. Maybe it's the fabric from the linked pouch but configured the better to go around this device? My boom op loves it so much.