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Michaeldot34

Equipment question for you pros!

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As I continue to build my business I would like to know what kind of equipment you guys would like to see when hired onto a narrative production. From my understanding you all have your sound bags put together, but what are some products that you like to see when you walk on set with your bag to make your job easier? I feel like this will help a production I'm in charge of have continuity and a relaxed environment. I want people I hire on to be happy, thus helping the overall goal of the team. :)

Product example: time code buddy, boom poles, etc. 

Thanks! 

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Mike,

 

 First off if you enter onto a "Narrative" show with a bag rig they will ask what the Behind the Scenes crew is doing here at 6:30 am....

    Spend a few days reading here and then you will answer your own question...

 

  The products I like to see are cans of Nestea Iced tea.... Red Vines  and of course Dunkin Doughnuts....  If they have Yuban Coffee, thats a plus...with of course..Coffemate Hazelnut creamer...

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Mike,

 

 First off if you enter onto a "Narrative" show with a bag rig they will ask what the Behind the Scenes crew is doing here at 6:30 am....

    Spend a few days reading here and then you will answer your own question...

 

  The products I like to see are cans of Nestea Iced tea.... Red Vines  and of course Dunkin Doughnuts....  If they have Yuban Coffee, thats a plus...with of course..Coffemate Hazelnut creamer...

​lol

 

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Worry less about the gear and more about the mixer. Tell them how your are planning to work on the project and any mixer worth their salt will accommodate. Communication is first second and third on the list of priorities. Like many people on here have said before, gear is only 10-20% of the job.

Edited by Will Youngman

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Hi Micheal,

I will be happy on set and overall from a production when:

- 12 on / 12 off
- Call sheet for next day before wrap.
- No loud conversations before and after take.
- Fights and "ego" it's totally unprofessional (include all departments).
- Chairs for assistants. Not all assistants work during a take.
- Clean craft services.

This is a good start; I think. As for equipment (sound equipment?) what is necessary for the project. If you hire a production sound crew last minute is no bueno (for you and production sound department).

Invest in human factor first.

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I'll add to Vas' great list, that using proper cameras for production work makes a world of a difference. Having to figure out solutions for noisy cameras (I'm looking at you RED) or to accommodate requests from production to feed audio or jam timecode to cameras that don't have proper audio or timecode I/O (I'm looking at you DSLRS and BlackMagic Cinema cameras) is usually one of the main technical issues I find.

As a matter of fact, having proper communication with the sound department ahead of time would probably suffice.

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What is your part in this narrative business? Curious.

I have all the gear I need to do the job when I land. If you've done your job, you've answered all the questions long before day one and the gear I've brought is the right stuff 'cause you haven't radically changed or underestimated your plan.

If you're talking about the production, please have a hot breakfast ready well before call, PA's on the clock who know where everything and everyone are, healthy craft services, a good hot lunch, and a post production super (at least) on staff before we start shooting. Please to have hired a director who's done their homework and knows what they're doing, and hired a competent crew. You consistently get competent crews by paying and treating them well.

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Some great suggestions so far. Let me add, in terms what I'd like to see the production/producers provide:

 

1) A quiet location.

2) A quiet and distant generator.

3) A crew and cast all on the same page, literally and figuratively.

4) A reasonable number of pages per day.

5) No sound equipment, unless it's something specific that I asked you to rent.

 

And thanks for asking Michael.

 

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Communication as to what is required for your project audio/time code wise.

Most of us (if not all) own audio gear. No audio gear is required unless the sound person you're working with asks for something specific. 

 

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Thanks for all the info guys! As I go forward I want to accomodate a team the best that I can hence the original question. I shot around the idea of a one man band, but dropped that idea because one person cannot simply do it all. I rather be really good at one thing than mediocre at multiple and have production value suffer.

Thanks all!

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People will know you for one thing, so be good at it. If you are known as the one guy thats taking everyones jobs by doing it all, and on the cheap, you wont have very many friends, and you'll be known by clients as the "cheap guy". Try paying your rent with that title. When people want things done right, they'll get a better crew and pay more for it, and you'll be stuck working on the cheap projects.

As for your initial question, I cant add much to the already great list we have going here. I expect competent communication in advance, so that I know what I am faced with, what to bring on the job, and what to bill you for. I expect to arrive on set with PAs already in place, crafty/breakfast set up, Parking coordinated and taken care of, and I expect you to know that I need to bring my car/truck to set to load/unload gear if you havent sent a box truck to pick my gear up from my house/storage ahead of time.

Healthy food options, remember some people dont eat meat (and please, no tofu!), healthy crafty, we dont all eat junk food. Coffee available at all times! Never run out of water, lots of people dont drink soda.

Plan for 10 hours because loading in and setting up, as well as taking down and loading out takes time. A 10 hour day is realistic, and if you go to 12, people wont be too upset. If you plan for 12 hour days, you will more than likely go over, which means you'll have to push the next days call time, since realistically, 12 hour turnarounds are barely enough time to get 8 hours of sleep when you take into consideration commute, getting ready in the morning, winding down at night, meals, etc.

Competent crews are a must, and if you really want a good crew, let your Sound Dept offer you some referrals. We get to watch/listen to everybody and we know when people are doing it right or not.

Sound needs to be a part of the decision making in pre production. Locations, Wardrobe, etc. There are so many things that we need to OK before we can promise you great results. And our time needs to always be on the clock, no freebies. There is more to a location the noisy or quiet locations. If the radio spectrum is congested, wireless mics are no longer reliable.

Speaking of wireless, try to keep any wireless devices to a minimum, and when working with wireless follow-focus or video feeds, keep them out of 2.4 gHz. Let us coordinate the frequencies and make suggestions before you rent them for a project, that will reduce the amount of headaches on set.

 

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I'm confused as to WHY you are asking your initial question? Are you a sound man? Are you a producer that wants a happy crew so you're asking what can I do to make you happy?  I don't get it - what's your angle?

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