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Cory Kaseman

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Everything posted by Cory Kaseman

  1. I am a victim of my circumstances, and my circumstances find me as a newbie sound mixer in a town populated by film makers who aren't exactly known for paying fair wages (or paying at all, in most cases) or giving a goddamn about sound. My rate for most projects is $300/day, which doesn't quite have me rolling in dough, but if I quote any higher than that I definitely wouldn't get much work here. Even as it is, 90% of job offers I get start with the other guy trying to talk me down to about $60/day
  2. Yes, no, and yes. What?? Yes; this incredibly microbudget film is actually paying me, the sound mixer, my asking rate. I nearly passed out when the producer agreed to it without ANY argument or haggling. He said, and I quote: "I know how important production sound is, especially on these indie shoots where we don't have the budget for post." I feel like I just hand-fed a unicorn. Thanks for the advice, everyone. I think I settled on a combination of the camera's stereo mic, and one of my shotguns mounted on camera with a wireless to me, and maybe handgrip a shotgun where I can, to cut down on some of the handling noise for the more intense scenes.
  3. Hi all. I'm hoping some folks here might have a few tips for me. There's a good chance that I'll be working on an upcoming film which is shot entirely in the POV style of such films as Blair Witch, Cloverfield, etc., and honestly I'm a little intimidated. Almost the entire film will take place inside one house, and according to the script, many of the scenes will have nearly 360 degree coverage of the rooms. It's also an action-heavy script, with a lot of fighting and wrestling between characters. And of course due to the "reality POV" style, every single scene in the film is a one-shot. Because of the location and the large amount of camera movement I think that boom may be out of the question, but because of how much action there is in the script, I'm worried that any lavs I use will just be chock full o' clothing noise and impact sounds. Plant mics may or may not be feasible due to the location/set dressing. I haven't had a chance to scout it yet so I'm not sure. Is it even possible to do fight scenes and such with lavs on, without just being inundated by clothing noise? Maybe I have no choice to but use plant mics for the whole shoot? Like I said, most of the film takes place in one house, and mostly within 2 or 3 rooms of that house, with lots of movement around the rooms and between them. For the majority of the film there will be 4-5 actors in each scene. I haven't seen blair witch but from what I know it was extremely low-budget and probably shot exclusively with the camera mic. Something bigger-budget like cloverfield, I assume would have had the time and money to build plants in to their sets, extensively choreograph the movements of a boom op, and possibly even do a lot of sound in post. I got severely motion-sick in the first ten minutes so I wasn't exactly paying attention to how the sound might have been done. Gear-wise, this show probably doesn't have the budget to rent any more gear. They're barely able to cover my own kit fee, so additional equipment is probably out of the question. I have 4 radios, 2 boom mics, a couple 57s and an NT4. Obviously I'll be running separate sound, and tracking in to my 788t. So I guess covering the room wouldn't be a huge problem, but I'm almost never happy with the dialogue quality in plant mic situations. If anyone has any advice or ideas, I'd really appreciate your help. I'd especially love to hear from any of the sound dept in Cloverfield or a similar POV-style, action-heavy show.
  4. My favorite bit was "Did I mention it's a nude scene?" I heard that exact line once, in almost the same context. But it wasn't 11 actors... it was 9.
  5. When you're on a short-notice shoot and production neglects to mention a GIANT, GLARINGLY OBVIOUS sound problem at the location. I got called today to a couple "celebrity" interviews in a bar. I figure, ok, there will be a house radio, which sucks for me, but I'll try and find a quiet corner and make do any way I can. I get to the bar, and there's a damn rock band up on stage, kicking ass with some Hendrix tunes. I asked the producer if she knew about this band in advance and she said "Of course I did! Didn't I tell you?" There was literally no place inside or even immediately outside of the venue that was anything other than inundated with bass and drums and really loud guitars. I tried some sound checks with the camera op and even with the mic 2 inches from a subject's mouth and the subject screaming, I couldn't hear a thing over the band. I went home. Edit: I guess this was partially my fault for not asking, although I definitely did ask about the house radio. Still though, you'd think something so obvious would get a mention... It boggles my mind sometimes how absolutely clueless some people are to the way sound and microphones work. "Can't you just fix it in post?"
  6. There's a good chance that I'll be heading off to Greece for a few weeks this fall for a reality shoot. I was told we'll be shooting in and around the Ionian islands and wondering if anyone could suggest a place to rent sound gear. Mixer, boom with mic, 2-3 radios. Preferably some place that has waterproof transmitters available as we'll be on the water nearly the whole shoot. I don't think anyone will be IN the water, but I'd rather be safe about it.
  7. Actors who never wear neckties in real life but are required to for a role. They're always so damn uncomfortable with them because they're not used to the way they feel and so fidget with them constantly. As if neck ties weren't terrible enough for sound, now you have to constantly remind actors to quit fidgeting with them during takes, and put up with the horrible sound of it whenever tape isn't rolling. Also people who feel the need to tell "pretend secrets" or make jokes or lewd comments about the sound guy when they're wired, as though they've forgotten that they're wired, just to try and get a rise out of sound or something, and people who always ask "do you ever hear anything juicy on the wireless between takes?" I know these people are just trying to be friendly or make conversation or keep themselves from getting bored or whatever, but after about the 500th time it happens I have a hard time keeping myself from groaning at it. It's a classic "Gee, never heard that one before" sort of moment for me.
  8. I use these: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EX29/ Because they isolate so well, you can turn the HP volume down to a comfortable level without getting too much bleed-in from sound in the room. When I was using Sony cans I always had to keep them turned up pretty loud, which would kill my ears by the end of a long day. I rarely have listening fatigue with these, because I rarely have to turn the volume up. Only problem is they can make on-set communication pretty difficult, unless whoever is talking to you happens to be standing in front of the boom. I've gotten in the habit of taking one side off between every take, whereas I used to just leave the cans on and turn down my HP level when someone tried to talk to me. I don't think I'd be comfortable using a limiter on the HP output, because that would affect the way the audio sounds. If you introduce a change in the quality or dynamics of the sound between the mixer/recorder's output and your monitor, then how will you know that you're accurately monitoring anything?
  9. I have some Sony lavs of the type that terminate in 3.5mm, with the screw-on lock to secure them to a transmitter's input, and I was wondering if anybody might know of some sort of adapter I could use to convert them in to XLR. I was originally planning to build my own adapters but I couldn't seem to find any threaded 3.5mm inline jacks, only panel-mount. If it's not locked down, I'm sure it would come unplugged every time an actor shifted or fidgeted or anything, which is obviously no good. Any ideas?
  10. I love mine and use them every gig I work. I've never had a problem with wearing them all day and find them to be extremely comfortable. FYI, I wrote that Sweetwater review that mentions using them for production sound, and every word of it is true. Even the bit about slamming them in a car door. Also I should mention that the pad on the headband eventually developed a tear along a seam. I guess this is a common problem with early models, which has now been fixed. I sent them an email and they shipped me a replacement headband within a couple days, free of charge and no questions asked. Great customer service.
  11. Great quote! Now someone just needs to explain to the producers that, in addition to hiring a good sound mixer, you also have be willing to make concessions for sound on set. I've worked quite a few gigs where I'm pretty much the only person on set who's being paid, but still find myself working in locations that are terrible for sound, or having to work around noisy lighting gear or squeaky dollies or other ridiculous things that ruin sound, but could be fixed with a bit of time and effort. I figure, if I'm the only person on set with a paycheck, it SHOULD mean that the production cares about sound, yet they refuse to take ten minutes to figure out which circuit breaker will kill the obnoxious rattling and clanking of the house AC and go on to claim they'll "fix it in post." Then I feel kind of like a jackass for taking their money and then delivering a sub-par product, even though it's usually outside of my control.
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