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On 16/10/2017 at 1:35 PM, Mirror said:

 

I agree...calling yourself a soundie is pretty faggy...  Please have some respect for yourself.

 

...and for all you snowflakes, I don't mean faggy in the gay way... it's meant in the douche' way.  You know, like in South Park.

 

Inappropriate. 

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Just remember that when it comes to narrative work you are the DP of sound. Tell production how much you cost, how much you need for your boom operator, and how much you need for your utility. Its not a question of if they have money for a boom operator or utility, because its never a question of if they have money for 1st and 2nd AC's....

Mix well,

Monson.

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8 hours ago, Monson Douglas said:

Just remember that when it comes to narrative work you are the DP of sound. Tell production how much you cost, how much you need for your boom operator, and how much you need for your utility. Its not a question of if they have money for a boom operator or utility, because its never a question of if they have money for 1st and 2nd AC's....

Mix well,

Monson.

Sent from my LG-H871 using Tapatalk
 

True, but on a low budget shoot the DP is like the DP on any other shoot, except they are effectively 'further above the line' (than almost anybody involved). Their 'vision' for the project is 1 thing but their relative status is quite another. They are effectively 'selling' a kit and lighting package (almost scene by scene) to production. Hopefully it meets both parties aspirations but I think more often it will be considered something of compromise. Enter the sound department.

I've done features with only 2 radio mics before because the DP needed to have a dozen or so 'pups' etc sitting around, never to be used. I've watched as a DP screwed 25% of a production schedule while shooting 'B' roll. And I've tried so many angles on this type of production, to the point where my refusal had a producer in tears, I've gone eyeball to eyeball with big man who thought he could intimidate, I've boomed on a shoot where the DP all but punched the PSM, I've PSM'd on a shoot where I invited the DP to exit the crew vehicle with me because his bellicose ranting (at me) were becoming an embarrassment for the rest of the crew - it can be a tough world out here and DPs are further up the food chain (so be under no illusions).  

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True, but on a low budget shoot the DP is like the DP on any other shoot, except they are effectively 'further above the line' (than almost anybody involved). Their 'vision' for the project is 1 thing but their relative status is quite another. They are effectively 'selling' a kit and lighting package (almost scene by scene) to production. Hopefully it meets both parties aspirations but I think more often it will be considered something of compromise. Enter the sound department.
I've done features with only 2 radio mics before because the DP needed to have a dozen or so 'pups' etc sitting around, never to be used. I've watched as a DP screwed 25% of a production schedule while shooting 'B' roll. And I've tried so many angles on this type of production, to the point where my refusal had a producer in tears, I've gone eyeball to eyeball with big man who thought he could intimidate, I've boomed on a shoot where the DP all but punched the PSM, I've PSM'd on a shoot where I invited the DP to exit the crew vehicle with me because his bellicose ranting (at me) were becoming an embarrassment for the rest of the crew - it can be a tough world out here and DPs are further up the food chain (so be under no illusions).  
It is indeed a rough road and those are some pretty nasty things you described. I guess I could sum up by advising mixers to negotiate before production starts with what they need to get the job done. If they don't want to give you the tools and man power necessary, turn the job down. Its better for your physical and mental health.

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On 10/17/2017 at 12:58 PM, ryanpeds said:

Never take less for yourself and your gear in order to get a boom op. It devalues what we do as mixers and makes it hard to make a living.

 

Roger that!

 

On 10/18/2017 at 8:30 PM, tourtelot said:

DO NOT HURT YOURSELF PHYSICALLY for a show that doesn't have, or won't pay, enough to hire the proper crew.

[…]

Hard to say to someone in the "early years" but if they won't protect you from abuse, you need to protect yourself.  It's called self-care and it is important.  Just say "no."  Someone else will give you a job.

 

I’m still trying to find my own boundaries and ways to minimize self-injury, for sure. At least, people need to stop taking my damn apple box when I need to sit!

 

Bag and boom is still okay for me for 1-3 days, but never for anything more for narrative, ever again. Drawing the line there. I’m on the seventh day and it’s absolutely awful, for me and the sound I get. I’m going to be much more of a hard-ass about needing a boom operator for long gigs, or any production, really.

 

I didn’t have the foresight to draw that line before, but at least we’re shooting only on weekends, not straight through.

 

On 10/23/2017 at 12:34 PM, rodpaul said:

If they can afford ADR to fix production recording, then why can't they pay for a boom op? Have they priced ADR?

 

It’s an almost-no-budget shoot, so (according to the director) the ADR “studio” will be a bedroom. Gotta love independent filmmaking.

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If you can, look into a harness or at least a proper waist belt to take the weight of the bag off your shoulders. Having your kit balanced in front of you helps a lot with dealing with weight, a symmetrical strain is better than something asymmetric. Also, if you decide to try to mix while booming, as precarious as it is, it will be easier when your kit is much less likely to swing around.

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On 10/22/2017 at 10:19 PM, Monson Douglas said:

Just remember that when it comes to narrative work you are the DP of sound. Tell production how much you cost, how much you need for your boom operator, and how much you need for your utility. Its not a question of if they have money for a boom operator or utility, because its never a question of if they have money for 1st and 2nd AC's....

Mix well,

Monson.

Sent from my LG-H871 using Tapatalk
 

I would strongly advise against thinking that you are the "DP of sound" on any normal shoot for which you've been hired to record dialog.  You are a dept. head, a "key" in USA parlance, but it's very important to not take that distinction to heart if you want to get along with everyone else on the set.  In today's shooting world a sound mixer cannot make the sort of demands and issue the sorts of orders and diktats that the cinematographer can, you will be either ignored, hassled or finally slapped down.  The kind of behaviour that certain Hollywood mixers got away with in the old days absolutely will not fly any more, trust me, I tried it.  Today the name of the game is diplomacy, gentle persuasion and going along to get along.

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I would strongly advise against thinking that you are the "DP of sound" on any normal shoot for which you've been hired to record dialog.  You are a dept. head, a "key" in USA parlance, but it's very important to not take that distinction to heart if you want to get along with everyone else on the set.  In today's shooting world a sound mixer cannot make the sort of demands and issue the sorts of orders and diktats that the cinematographer can, you will be either ignored, hassled or finally slapped down.  The kind of behaviour that certain Hollywood mixers got away with in the old days absolutely will not fly any more, trust me, I tried it.  Today the name of the game is diplomacy, gentle persuasion and going along to get along.
You're right that was a bad phrase to use. I was trying to use it as a self esteem booster for the OP to turn down narrative productions not willing to pay for their support team. Definitely wasn't trying to give them license to control set.

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The production is the inexperienced kind, but relaxed and not terribly rushed. It’s all shot on gimbal (they’ve decided they don’t have time for tripod setups), but they are completely understanding of the situation whenever camera tags my mic. The DP never gives me attitude and it’s good working with him. The director is laidback and fully prepared for the inevitability of ADR. We keep shooting near roads and under flight paths, and if I ask him to wait and he doesn’t want to, I make it clear they have to resort to ADR.

 

Everyone seems to be respectful of me and my limited capabilities, as the one-man sound department. (Though the director did try to persuade me to do a scene in the rain without any waterproofing gear, which I gave a hard no.)

I think you said everything you needed in this statement.  They have no idea what they are really doing.  Inexperienced camera guys if they say they have no time for a tripod.  Very inexperienced director and or producers. They obviously have never been through a full post process with professional editors.

I typically screen my potenial jobs pretty hard as most of my audio work comes from people from out of town.  I am to the point I don't want to, and won't work with inexperience crews anymore.  They either want it done right or they don't.  I will always try to work with them the best I can but you just have to make them aware of the situation and what it will entail on the post side.  It is silly to not do something right the first time when it costs more to do it a second time, months down the road.

 

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On 10/23/2017 at 1:19 AM, Monson Douglas said:

you are the DP of sound

 

Noted, along with what everyone else said. I get what you mean though.

 

12 hours ago, Ilari Sivil said:

look into a harness

 

Finally got a Versa-Flex harness right before this shoot! Honestly, should have gotten it from the beginning. It transfers the weight wonderfully and helps stave off the fatigue.

 

Still trying to figure out how to comfortably mount my bag onto the chest part of the harness though, to make glancing at levels easier.

 

4 hours ago, backfocus said:

They have no idea what they are really doing.

 

I’m only less than a year into doing production sound professionally, in a very sparse market without my own established network, so it’s the norm for me right now. The most legit production I’ve ever been on, with LA people flew in, was itself a disaster that was eventually cancelled.

 

I wish I was in your position! I mostly have to take whatever offers I get. It’s frustratingly difficult out here, and this early in my career, I’d really much prefer to run boom or utility for a more experienced mixer. That, or get a day job to buy my dream 633 and some Lectrosonics systems to win a bit of the high-level commercial and corporate work around me.

 

We’ve already rolled through many ruined takes with cars and airplanes abound. The director already knows how bad it is, since I give him the Sound Mixer Grimace of Disapproval™ every time, and often ask for retakes. I’ve made sure that he knows every issue I get.

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On 10/24/2017 at 5:34 AM, rodpaul said:

If they can afford ADR to fix production recording, then why can't they pay for a boom op? Have they priced ADR?

 

ADR is going to be done with an H4n in the editor's bedroom, thus ADR is "free".

( I wish I was joking..... but sometimes I'm not)

 

On 10/25/2017 at 4:13 PM, Daniel Ignacio said:

I’m still trying to find my own boundaries and ways to minimize self-injury, for sure. At least, people need to stop taking my damn apple box when I need to sit!

 


That bugs me too!

As damn, if the DoP was shooting everything on a gimbal 100% of the time then you would be absolutely certain he'd also have an assistant to hold his gimbal between shots!

Well my bag is heavier than your gimbal with a DSLR on it, and I have no assistant, so can't I just at least have a g*d damn stool to rest on between set ups??? (as you know the DoP and gaffer will spend half an hour at least fluffing around...) Without people running off and sitting on it themselves. Sigh. 

 

 

On 10/25/2017 at 4:13 PM, Daniel Ignacio said:

It’s an almost-no-budget shoot, so (according to the director) the ADR “studio” will be a bedroom. Gotta love independent filmmaking.


I got ADR pushed onto me (not my choice!!) while overseas doing a feature film (looooong story), I used a hallway and blankets:

 

 

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