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Treatment in production

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Just wanted to ask what you guys feel like, in regards to how you're treated in production? Coming from the visual side, I get recognized. I so far feel like sound is seen more as a tool than a part of the process. Would love to know your perspective to expect how things are going to be like and to improve future relationships with sound.

Would love to get an idea on the varying levels of productions and how that affects the experience.

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For anyone wanting gushing accolades and glory, this isn't the right profession.  And, there is nothing wrong with accolades and glory...but we are the bass players of film production.  In the end, usually, the right people know who does a good job.  My perspective is limited to indie films and commercial work.

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There was a time when production sound people were semi-stars on the set due to the limitations of recording technology available then, that time is now long past.   Currently-working production sound people have to be just as humble and willing to compromise as any other crew member south of the DP,  and understand, as was said, that the right people will appreciate their work eventually (most of these people will not be on the set) and probably no one else will, really. 

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On set everyone gets to see the picture on the monitors and pat the DoP on the back for a job well done. 

 

In sound no one hears what you're doing, or even cares! (Until their film gets to post... then they care again! Ha) The exception being is if you've given out Comteks to people, then they "hear" what you're doing...  but are they even listening? And you will rarely ever get praise for great sound, only feedback for when it goes wrong. ("Why can't I hear anything... because you unplugged your headphones sir")

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The best jobs are also the ones where the director, editor, producers ... thank you and shake your hand for your work and are generally happy and friendly. The worst jobs are those where the director /  producer treat you like a piece of shit. The former have always been the well paid ones, the latter poorly paid ones. Although I've done some very rewarding and friendly low budget projects my observation stands.

 

Jez

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With many productions these days, sound is viewed as a necessary inconvenience, and will usually try whatever they can to undermine the department. 

 

When you’re lucky, you get to work with better people who appreciate sound, and will treat sound as part of the process. I try to develop a relationship with film makers that usually end up calling me for their next projects before anyone else, and some times ask my recommendations for a DP. When I get this opportunity, I get to work with a camera department that is respectful and without ego. 

 

My favorite DPs will say to me that if their shot bones me, let them know, and they’ll figure something else out. Usually they’ll get a better shot and our teamwork will have made a better product for everyone. 

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On 7/13/2018 at 7:06 PM, thenannymoh said:

For anyone wanting gushing accolades and glory, this isn't the right profession.  And, there is nothing wrong with accolades and glory...but we are the bass players of film production.  In the end, usually, the right people know who does a good job.  My perspective is limited to indie films and commercial work.

 

Then I shall bust my ass to be the Zev Katz of sound recording 😉 sb

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27 minutes ago, Bash said:

 

Then I shall bust my ass to be the Zev Katz of sound recording 😉 sb

 

international low tone provider .....:)

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17 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

The best jobs are also the ones where the director, editor, producers ... thank you and shake your hand for your work and are generally happy and friendly. The worst jobs are those where the director /  producer treat you like a piece of shit. The former have always been the well paid ones, the latter poorly paid ones. Although I've done some very rewarding and friendly low budget projects my observation stands.

 

Jez

Plus 100. Low wage = low respect.

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34 minutes ago, syncsound said:

Plus 100. Low wage = low respect.

 

I fully agree with that!

This is another reason to only accept fully paid work.

Jule

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I think (hope) most of the time we feel we are creating a piece of work and contributing whatever our talent or expertise or good taste allows us towards that. Obviously it's a job and sometimes things go well and sometimes not. I would be surprised really if things were worse in sound than picture (editing or vfx?). I'm sure it wasn't meant as such but it seems too much a loaded question. We're all (proud) technicians but also, foremost and essentially, filmmakers. If you've never had a bad gig Noel it may simply be a case of experience! I certainly wouldn't advocate going looking ...

 

Jon's comment was important: we are an essential part of a process which in decent circumstances is recognised and understood. I've been lucky enough to have worked with people who think the same, but as I said it's nice to get the handshake, the thank you, the pat on the back, the invitation to the party and the appreciation!

 

Cheers, Jez

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The production sound crew is a team few people wish wasnt on set, that could be Dop, 1st AD, UPM and someone else, as mentioned by a few friends,saying that  this isnt a profession where you could be treated at par with the Dop, Cast or whosoever and mind you dont cross swords with the high and mighty Camera Crew and Direction team, do at you won peril.Its a lonely place to be, stay in control, talk when needed and smile often even if you dont feel like

If you love your job and is liked by the crew n cast and dont have go hassles or attitude problems , you will have it easy, other wise someone who has there qualities will get it, as is the rule world wide

I feel one should just do a good job in given circumstances to the best of ability and just get going while Dop,s ,Production Designers,Cast,Grips, UPM s wil get the pat on the back and Good Job done words

All said and done it isnt as bad but very enjoyable,keep eyes and ears open always and dont make it a ego/attitude battlefield

Just reminding myself to be more often in team photographs,lol

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I find this thread to be interesting but contrary to almost everything i have experienced in my 46 years of working in sound on Motion pictures, commercials and lately some TV. I feel that i am highly respected by most Directors of Photophry, Assistant Directors, Camera Operators, Camera Assistance, Gaffers, Grips and most other departments as well. It's true that because we are for the most part a stand alone department, many crew members don't understand what value we bring to a production. This is where we as professionals have to show them, through our actions, knowledge, social skills, and willingness to help and support the other crafts while performing our own duties of recording the best sound, that we are just as much a part of the filmmaking process as everyone subservient to the picture. i agree it doesnt always come with accolades from producers and some directors because for the most part they are focused on picture during the production process and only hear the sound we record over comtecs or the like. But lets be honest, do you really expect to get accolades from what you hear over comtecs. Much of the appreciation for sound will come during the post production process, or not, depending on the job done.

 

 

If you have performed the job well on set and turn in sound that is right for the project your true accolades come with the call for the next project. Then you can solidify your respect by working with many of the same people over and over and i bet some accolades will start coming. Its a process but one that is very rewarding, 

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"If you have performed the job well on set and turn in sound that is right for the project your true accolades come with the call for the next project. Then you can solidify your respect by working with many of the same people over and over and i bet some accolades will start coming. Its a process but one that is very rewarding,"      Don Coufal 

 

Indeed, the truth imo.

 

Another thought to consider, let's say you get 15-20 years into a career, likely you've logged way more hours, films, and experience than most directors ever will. Take pride in what you've learned and use it to your advantage. 

CrewC

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12 hours ago, Don Coufal said:

I find this thread to be interesting but contrary to almost everything i have experienced in my 46 years of working in sound on Motion pictures, commercials and lately some TV. I feel that i am highly respected by most Directors of Photophry, Assistant Directors, Camera Operators, Camera Assistance, Gaffers, Grips and most other departments as well. It's true that because we are for the most part a stand alone department, many crew members don't understand what value we bring to a production. This is where we as professionals have to show them, through our actions, knowledge, social skills, and willingness to help and support the other crafts while performing our own duties of recording the best sound, that we are just as much a part of the filmmaking process as everyone subservient to the picture. i agree it doesnt always come with accolades from producers and some directors because for the most part they are focused on picture during the production process and only hear the sound we record over comtecs or the like. But lets be honest, do you really expect to get accolades from what you hear over comtecs. Much of the appreciation for sound will come during the post production process, or not, depending on the job done.

 

 

If you have performed the job well on set and turn in sound that is right for the project your true accolades come with the call for the next project. Then you can solidify your respect by working with many of the same people over and over and i bet some accolades will start coming. Its a process but one that is very rewarding, 

+111

 

22 hours ago, soundwiz said:

I feel one should just do a good job in given circumstances to the best of ability and just get going while Dop,s ,Production Designers,Cast,Grips, UPM s wil get the pat on the back and Good Job done words

All said and done it isnt as bad but very enjoyable,keep eyes and ears open always and dont make it a ego/attitude battlefield

Just reminding myself to be more often in team photographs,lol

 

sorry, diplomacy is good but not at the cost of my work... I would rather fight my fights when needed than end up in the "good books" of the very people who do not understand the value of my work and therefore belittle it. 

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Thank you, Don, for expressing my feelings on this subject, so eloquently....  I have been trying to figure out how to respond in this topic and here you have done it for me, for everyone. Reflecting on my career and how I seem to have managed to have earned a pretty high degree of respect and some accolades, it is obvious to me that both Don and I learned so much from eachother over the almost 40 years of working together ----  so many of these things are the most difficult to learn and have little to do with any microphone, piece of sound gear or production process. 

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