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In the last couple weeks there was a mixer thread somewhere Facebook wherein a work-for-us-free producer was trounced in the best tradition of web trouncing. Pitchforks were employed with impunity. Digital blood was shed. I was appalled and embarrassed for us. My sense is that--beyond the natural scrum-i-ness of the internetz--"professional" mixers who search for and find work on Mandy's and Craig's List dig their own professional graves and oil the no-budget machine they profess to abhor. Even so, this is exactly the right place for student mixers to get work. Once you find these places raise your blood pressure this means only one thing: it's time to take the next step up the ladder. Huzzah! Congratulations! There are always colleagues who need help staffing and they turn to me to staff sound. As a professional, it's my responsibility to keep the synergy flowing. This is a business of relationships and helping each other out. If I'm moved to respond to a low-budget stupid staffing post, I first plug into the above-mentioned synergy intention. Otherwise, I try to keep my mouth shut. Dealing with idiots well is a skill set I actively look for in my team, i.e. if a sound colleague can't deal with idiots gracefully in a field regularly scattered with idiots, I don't want 'em associated with me professionally. More later.
We work in an industry of large ego's and personalities, usually in high pressure environments. Inevitably, arguments and tirades make their way onto set. What have you seen? How have you diffused the situation? How would you deal with an actor throwing a transmitter across set or a stressed out AD that insists on rolling without sound, etc. Would love to hear the horror stories and the creative solutions you've used on problematic sets.
http://losangeles.cr...3452849709.html "Sound mixers get a bum deal. We have to invest over $10k to get decent gear and enough of it to be able to handle the demands of what production wants. We provide a valuable service that is even more important than your picture. Your film has dialogue, people want to hear it and hear it clearly. We try to do that for you despite poor locations, poor wardrobe choices, and sometimes, ridiculous shot composition. A camera crew is exactly that, a crew. Operator, 1st AC, 2nd AC. If there's no 2nd AC then there's damn sure a 1st. Sound mixers are apparently expected to do the job of two people and get paid peanuts for it. In the LA area, the absolute minimum for our services should be $350 per 12 hour day with $100 for a kit fee. Base minimum. Any asshole with a DSLR can call themselves a DP and show up on set and get paid decently because they have a camera. A 744t recorder is nearly twice the cost of a 5d markIII and a 788 is more so. On top of that, producers want at least 2 wireless, a shotgun mic with great rejection, and comteks so they can hear and complain. We help people want to watch your movie. A film with terrible sound and a gorgeous picture is still unwatchable, a film with mediocre picture and excellent sound will be watched in its entirety (provided the story is worth it). Don't insult production sound mixers or boom operators (two separate jobs, by the way) by wanting to pay $150 for a 12 hour day, subway for lunch, and no equipment fee. $350 +$100 kit fee is minimum. If we really really like you, we might do it for less if we're bored. But don't insult us by calling it a job."
I seem to have an increase in calls from producers calling me for half day of work- The call usually goes something like this- 'It's only a couple of sit down interviews shouldn't take more than 4 hours what's your rate for just half a day? What do you guys think of this- I often feel that if I book a half day then it's not as though I can take another gig to fill the other half of the day and so I should be paid a full day. These gigs have pretty much taken me out of the loop for the day anyway.