Jump to content

Last Rites Films

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Last Rites Films

  1. I would contact Forrest at Trew Audio in Burbank. He repaired my IV-STC, and I'm sure he referenced the manual to do so. Another good guy to try is Fred Ginsburg at www.filmtvsound.com (he may also be a member here on JWSound, but can't remember). He wrote the book on the Nagra... literally.
  2. Hey folks, I finally got my first sound cart going. There were a few things I knew it had to do: 1. It had to be affordable. Very affordable. 2. It needed to be arranged in a way where I could go from a cart-based setup to a run-and-gun setup very quickly. Ideally in less than a minute. 3. It needed to collapse small enough to fit in the back of my Ford Focus. It took me a while to figure this out, but here it is. I already had the SKB case from an old cart I purchased from LSC, but never used. I think it was originally owned by Scott Farr. Luckily, it even had the keyboard and mixing shelf already installed, plus a hook for the headphones. The rest of the shelves I bought from a provider on Amazon. They're made by Penn Elcom, but I noticed that the larger shelves lacked rear support. Again, I built this cart with budget in mind, so that was one concession I had to make. I also knew I needed a design where all the transmitters and such would fit in moldings. That way I could very quickly see that I had all the little pieces of my kit at wrap time. There's been way too much L&D over the years. I just used Pelican foam for that. The only drawback to this design is that the case is now VERY heavy. I have found a way to lift it by myself somewhat safely, but I always look for a hand on set first. The milk crate holds a couple of bags filled with some of the more awkward shaped gear in my kit like chargers and the label maker. The big black bag holds my cables, and I highly recommend it. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJ8Q49S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Right now, the Octopack uses two small antennas, but I would like to get proper shark fins soon. I also definitely need to get something to hold scripts. On a related note, I went into quite the hole buying all this gear, so if anyone needs a mixer, PLEASE keep me in mind. Thanks for looking!
  3. Thank you for the quick responses. As mentioned in OP, I have previous deal memos and invoices confirming that OT starts at 12 hours, so I'm good for this gig. But a friendly dialogue with this client is definitely in order, it seems. fieldmixer, when I said "flat," I meant to imply that my day rate was good up to 12 hours. Not "flat" meaning an unlimited shooting day. Senator, I'm not on payroll for this job, but that's good advice for other gigs I work. Eric, interestingly enough, production mentioned that my day rate be calculated in a way that it assumes a base rate for 8, 1.5x for the 9th and 10th hour, and 2x for the 11th and 12th. I may have to retool my rate accordingly. RVD, I pray and hope there are rules for non-union shows. I trust you mean the rules are difficult to enforce. Just because you are NU doesn't mean you can freely practice sexual discrimination, for example. Or that you can claim no responsibility if someone is hurt and killed on a production. But I get your point. Standing up for myself, when I was clearly in the right legally, has absolutely cost me my job more than once. And as many fellow mixers have told me, it seems like the job vanishes as soon as you try to spell these things out. The producers have a very "take it or leave it approach," and I struggle to find the right words and tone in the negotiating process. Solid, as much as I would like to say **** the 12 hour day, I would never work if I did. That being said, if anyone wants to help me get into the union and can get me a union job, I would love to put this ridiculousness behind me forever. Hopefully, these sneaky tactics will decline, if for no other reason than I'm seeing so many good mixers throwing in the towel, and it's getting harder for productions to get good mixers. At least, that's what I'm noticing in my tiny world. Thanks again, folks.
  4. Hey folks, I'm on a production right now (non-union reality show) that is arguing that OT doesn't start until after 12.5 hours after call time. Their reasoning behind this is because :30 is set aside for lunch. I countered that I have never heard of this, and that my previous invoices and deal memos with the company dictate that OT starts after 12 hours from call time, flat. They asked, "Why would we pay you to eat?," to which I replied, "I suppose because you aren't paying me overtime for the other 3.5 hours of work that would be overtime under law." It started a big back-and-forth, but what really bugs me is when they said, "What we are doing (the 12.5) is the way it's done. The standard." Well, it isn't from my experience, and I've been on some pretty long-running reality shows. Can anyone here attest to this, one way or another? Any links to legal documentation would be especially appreciated.
  5. You handled it as well as could be imagined. Certainly better than I would. The actor's outburst "F***ing sound!"really does say it all about how we are treated these days. I find that attitude constantly in production lately, especially in narrative films (often on shorts, for some reason). It may not be with so much anger, but there's this attitude that we are this inconvenience that makes the day so difficult. It's never the 45 min it takes the camera dept. to light. No, it's that 30 seconds we need to make an adjustment that somehow can't be tolerated. Or in this case, a piece of equipment came lose. It would have taken one minute to fix and start shooting. But the fact that he thought this was the best way to react makes me wonder what kind of "director" he really is. Rakesh, your ability to keep cool when you could have exploded will hopefully make an impression on the crew, where you next job usually comes from. Get reimbursed, get paid, and then start looking for another gig pronto!
  6. Thanks all. I convinced them to do a workflow test next week.
  7. Hey all, I am dealing with an almost identical situation on a reality show, except the camera is set to 1080i, 59.94i (I apologize if I got that label wrong, but that's what the camera guys are telling me). Oh, and they are doing DROP FRAME. Under the TC menu for the HDX900, there is an option that says, "TC Display Options (with 24F and 30F as the only choices)." According to the manual, this just means that the display will count to the 24th frame or the 30th frame. This doesn't sound like it actually changes the frame rate. I'm trying to cross jam my 788T and Denecke sync boxes. My audio recorder (the master clock) is set to 29.97DF, and the SB-3 is set to 29.97DF (for the record, that's option 9 on the Denecke rotary dial). Am I doing this wrong? Post is complaining of major TC drift, and I am really getting confused by the camera. There is also another menu that says "TC VIDEO SYNCRO." Apparently this will delay or forward the TC signal according to the selected video settings. Do I need to make adjustments here, or is this nothing to worry about? I really don't understand how this part works, so any advice is helpful. Thanks, all. Also, in case anyone else has to use this Godforsaken model, here's the link for the user's manual (TC menu is discussed on page 130): ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/panasonic/drivers/PBTS/manuals/OM_AJ-HDX900.pdf
  8. Mattin, I am on a reality show right now using a very similar setup: SD 552, with OLD Lectros as camera hops to Panasonic HD Cams. In this situation, all channels are panned right down the middle. The L output goes to Transmitter A, and the R goes to Transmitter B. Even though they are usually sending the same mix, I have the option to pan certain sources L or R if the cameras start shooting all over the place. This way, each camera only gets the audio from the talent they're shooting (at least, that's the idea). Keep the mounted boom on Channel 1, so at least they have something to fall back on. I use the built in recorder as a back-up. Too many things can go wrong not to have your audio recorded on something within your control. Obviously the 744 doesn't have a built-in recorder, but even if you have an old Fostex, use something. It's very frustrating to do sound the wrong way, but that's all there seems to be these days. If the rate is good, just keep cashing the checks. Hopefully post will complain enough for the folks at top to open the purse. Hang in there.
  9. Many thanks Eric and Rick! Got the cable through, but I just couldn't assemble it correctly. I'm using a Switchcraft plug and it is absolutely maddening! Definitely going to try a thinner cable and a Rean plug next time. Someday I'm going to get this...
  10. Hey folks, I am attempting to wire my own TA3F to XLRM cable and I am having problems with the TA3 end. I am using Audio-Technica cable, and it is too just thick to fit through the boot (even with the rubber part removed). I used plenty of elbow grease, but I could not get it through. When I compared the AT cable to the ones manufactured by Sound Devices, I definitely saw a noticeable difference in thickness. Apparently, SD uses a cable called Gepco International. I've never heard of it. I was wondering if I could trouble y'all for your recommendations for a thinner cable that works well with TA3 connectors. Specifically, I'm looking for model numbers. I know Canare and such are excellent quality cables, I just don't know what gauge I need. Thanks!
  11. Okay folks, This is one of those simple problems that creates very bad headaches. A show I'm on wants to record audio from a cell phone. The person making the call must be able to hear the conversation as well, and at the very least, the audio from the person on the other end of the phone needs to be fed into my mixer. The sound shop recommended the JK Audio Celltap. I'm pretty sure this product doesn't work, as me and another experienced mixer pulled out some hair over this. I can get the audio into the mixer, but the person making the call on set can't hear the conversation and actually use their headset. The culprit seems to be the jack where you plug the headset into. It can only accept 2.5mm plugs. These are now way obsolete, and every adaptor I see converts a 3.5mm TRRS jack into a 2.5mm TRS jack. I either need to find a headset that uses a 2.5mm TRRS connector natively, or an adaptor that turns 3.5mm TRRS to 2.5mm TRRS. I can not find either on the internet, and that's a rarity. Or do I just need to find an old fashioned 2.5mm TRS? No one on set had this, either. Finally, the cord that comes w/ the unit that connects the phone to the Celltap is a 3.5mm TRS to 1/4" unbalanced connector. That seems very strange to me, as every cellphone that accepts 3.5mm must be TRRS, or it doesn't work. Am I the only person who has had this happen? Is this product indeed a piece of crap and should I use something else? Help, please!! (And if you are planning on replying, "Call the manufacturer," I already have. They didn't seem to understand the problem).
  12. Regardless if film is dead or not at this particular moment, the writing is on the wall. I strongly prefer film. I think motion looks more organic, the forgiveness latitude is exceptional, and the archiving qualities are far superior to digital. But without a good support infrastructure, film will go away. Labs are becoming rare, and continued film manufacturing is far from certain. I think it has lasted as long as it has because it is a legacy format, and with a century of movies already shot on film, some infrastructure will have to remain to restore existing pictures that were made with traditional negatives. That, combined with the increasing popularity of IMAX, may keep film alive as a niche format, but the hey-day of celluloid is long gone. We must adapt, because the trend will not reverse. Digital is in it's infancy, and already the results are very intimidating. Does anyone think we won't have a superior product in just 10 years?
  13. Cream may rise to the top, but this is not "a city where there is endless work." I would like to refer you to the runaway production thread in this forum if you think otherwise. Southern California has lost a significant amount of production to right-to-work states and internationally. I have seen many friends and colleagues throw in the towel and leave, and these were folks with nearly a decade of work experience in LA. However, I am not one to discourage people's dreams or ambitions. If your heart is telling you to come here, by all means give yourself the satisfaction of knowing you tried. You can always return to your home base if things don't work out. If you are serious about keeping expenses down, I would consider a roommate in the Valley. You could easily get a room for $600/month. Don't be homeless in this city unless you are planning on ending up on the evening news. Unions have no obligation to find you work. The jobs are had based on what you know and who you know, and usually not in that order.
  14. I'm actually glad that a sound company has the naming rights. Perhaps now the idea of sound will be a little more present at the Academy Awards. Then again... probably not.
  15. There are significant problems you can expect from running a signal over 100 feet, especially if it's a mic signal. Do a search right here on JWsound for a detailed explanation from some folks with more expertise than me. You need to be near the set, that should be non-negotiable. Otherwise, you will have to go up and down stairs every time there's a problem. BTW, if the kids aren't supposed to know they are being filmed, won't they notice all the cable you're running? Might need to be wireless. You know what? Nevermind. Just quit. This is for the birds!
  16. I definitely have to charge different rates for labor. When someone asks what my rate is, I usually ask them what they are offering first. Sometimes it will be much higher than you can usually command, and the conversation will wrap up nicely there. If it's lower, you might have to settle for less, barter for more, or walk away entirely. I make the decision based on how much competition is knocking at the door and what they are offering.
  17. AMC is now charging a premium to see films in ETX (Enhanced Theatre eXperience). I think this is the next big rip-off for the movie going public, and I am interested in your opinion (especially with regard to their claims about ETX's sound). I saw THE GREY (good movie, by the way) at a matinee, and the ticket price was $14.50. It was $10.50 for the matinee (which is already high) and $4.00 for the ETX surcharge. When I asked what ETX was and why I was shelling out more dough for it, the kind teenager said, "The screen is really big, the picture is clear and sharp, and the sound is really loud and crisp." I replied, "Big picture and good sound? Funny. I remember when that was called just, 'going to the movies.'" She didn't look amused, but then again, she's making minimum wage. Granted, the screen was big, and the sound was loud. Still, they weren't offering anything special to justify a $14.50 matinee! The picture wasn't anything to write home about, it was actually rather grainy. I suspect that they enlarged the screen and brought it closer, but they are still using the same resolution projector as a regular auditorium and blowing the picture up. At least with an IMAX theatre, a larger film gauge is used to compensate for the larger screen. As for the sound, this is from their official press release: This drives me nuts. What does 12 channels mean? I know for a fact that THE GREY wasn't specially mixed with 12 separate, discrete channels? Are they just pumping it through more amplifiers? And why is louder necessarily better? A loud theatre in an empty auditorium is not a good thing, folks. I believe this is a rip-off that the public should not tolerate. I used to work in a small movie theatre; the Classic Cinemas York Theatre in Elmhurst, IL. The theatre is still in business today. Maybe it's because they only charge $6.00 for a matinee and they understand that clean picture and good sound is a given when going to the movies. I urge you to take your business elsewhere, people. AMC needs to change this practice, or go out of business. Your thoughts?
  18. Varuna Entertainment is looking for a sound mixer on a reality show taping in the Houston area (the production office is in Richmond). The rate is $375/day. The end date is expected to be mid-November, but production may end a little sooner or later than that date. The production company will be providing all of the gear; which is a 788T w/ CL-8 control surface, Lectrosonics 211s, and equally fun toys. The show is shooting on Canon XL-H1 cameras (I think). A mixer is needed by Monday morning. If you are interested and can work as a local hire, please contact Crystal (production coordinator) directly at 281.995.9668. I will not be able to check this post again, so I will not be able to reply to questions. Sorry! - Happy Hunting
  19. Indeed. In a recent interview, when asked about his addictions, he replied, "I'm on a drug... and it's called Charlie Sheen." I guess "Charlie Sheen" is a fancy word for cocaine now. Really, it's very upsetting. Successful scripted TV shows seem so rare these days. What a waste that this guy had to sabotage it.
  20. I always end up staying at the Saraha. Rooms are $50 a night. The monorail terminus is located at the hotel, so there is almost always a train waiting. Amenities are good for the price: pool, hot tub, weight room, and FREE PARKING in their garage for the length of your stay.
  21. I honestly don't know whether I should be happy or angry about the Canon craze. Unless we start shooting films on phones (don't laugh, you know anything is possible), I can't think of a worse camera to make a movie on. They simply aren't very tough; it overheated repeatedly while on location in Temecula. I've also heard many complaints from the post department as well. Granted, they are very affordable, but they're cheap for a reason. On the other hand, the 7D has finally made a lot of people realize the importance of sync sound, and made my gear and my services more in demand. I used to get so angry when someone would make me run sound right into an HVX, if for no other reason than they didn't want to take the time to sync it! So please, someone tell me if this fad is hurting the sound department or making us more appreciated?
  22. The film school I went to had one of these. It wasn't until some kid finally broke it over his knee in protest before it was done away with.
  23. I have had constant problems with productions requesting free equipment. My solution was simply to increase my day rate by the amount of the rental, then just tell them they're getting free equipment. This is especially nice on longer shoots, since I would normally only charge three rental days for the week. They actually end up paying me more then if they negotiated a separate rate for equipment and labor! I like to respond to this one with "That's nice," "I don't care," or some variation thereof. We really do have more bargaining power than we're given credit for, don't we? We can make it a silent picture pretty fast, especially if we bring our own equipment.
  24. Even worse than being asked to work for free, I find it pretty unfair that Sundance is guaranteeing a slot for a film that isn't even made yet! Weren't film festivals designed to cater to independent filmmakers without the resources of Hollywood? Supposedly, Sundance has made efforts lately to stop the growing perception that it is merely a launching pad for lower budget Hollywood pictures, but I don't think this is a step in the right direction. Shouldn't a picture at a film festival be judged on its own merits, not who's plugging them?
  • Create New...