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Cory Kaseman

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Everything posted by Cory Kaseman

  1. Recording a performance by blues/folk musician Charlie Parr, in Eau Claire, WI for a scene from a film. I also stuck around and recorded his entire 3 hour show later that night. A clip from the show that evening, filmed with my phone but synced to the UNMIXED audio from my 788t: And, a few days later, shooting out in the snow somewhere outside of St Paul, MN.
  2. I am also available to work in Minneapolis Cory Kaseman 480.734.6405 cory@oegmusic.com
  3. I don't know. I've shot with that guy's red many, many times, including in some pretty close locations, and I never had an issue with it making noise. On the other hand, the noise from the camera on last week's short was so horrendously, painfully obvious that even the actress heard it and pointed it out to the camera op, who seemed oblivious.
  4. I just wrapped a Red short a few days ago, and definitely had a problem with the camera making noise, even on silent. It was absolutely fan noise, from the body of the camera, and not drive noise or anything else. I've shot with Red plenty of times in the past, although it was nearly always the same specific one, and I've never had an issue before. I complained to the 1AC and the DP/operator, they double- and triple-checked that it was on "silent" setting. Their ultimate response was, "maybe you need a better microphone." I guess Schoeps mics aren't good enough for those holy Reds. Anyway, I later asked a good friend of mine who's been a Red owner since the beginning, and he told me, some of them make noise on silent, and some don't. As to which are which, I guess the only way to find out is to wait til you start rolling...
  5. I use Directsound EX-29s http://www.extremeheadphones.com/ I have 2 sets, one is the older style and one is the newer style. I only just got the newer ones so I haven't really field-tested them yet, but the older pair I have are plenty comfortable to wear for long days. I did a shoot not too long ago that was 16-18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 3 solid weeks, and although every OTHER part of my body was all but destroyed by the end of it (one man sound crew...), my ears were fine. They are also extremely durable. My own pair has suffered quite a bit of abuse over the time I've owned it and come out with nothing more than a few scuffs and scratches. And if anything does break, they're designed so all the parts are easy to replace. They've also got great customer service. It's the kind of business where if you send them an email, the guy who writes back is the guy who owns the company. The only downside I've found is also is my favorite feature... they have, as the name suggests, quite a bit of isolation. So you will absolutely not be able to hear anything that's not coming through your mixer.
  6. Hi everyone Last week I moved from Phoenix to Milwaukee and I would love to network with other soundies in the WI/MI/IN/IL/MN/IA/ND/SD vicinity. Just want to get to know some guys around locally and maybe sneak my way in to a gig or two with a more established mixer in the area. My main thing is bag work, with 788T, 552, CMIT5u, ME66/67 and Sony UWP wireless. Lots of experience in doc/reality style/industrial/educational with a fair amount of experience in narrative work as well. I'm non-union, available to work as mixer, boom op, or utility, and able to work as a local in Milwaukee area or Eau Claire area in WI, Minneapolis, Sioux City IA, and nearly anywhere in ND. If anyone on group is from the general Upper Midwest area, please leave a reply or get in touch with me directly; I'd love to know you. Thanks for reading Cory Kaseman 480-734-6405 cory@oegmusic.com
  7. I like this idea of "craft" and "craftsman". I'd never considered it before, but I think it strikes a happy balance between the two worlds. I find it interesting that a lot of you guys are looking on the word "technician" as some kind of negative term. As JW said, a technician is "a semi-skilled laborer" who can't get a decent wage or an interesting gig. As Robert Sharman said, "if I considered myself merely a technician, I think I would be very miserable." There are a few more examples in today's replies. I wonder why "technician" is a bad word to you guys? Brain surgeons, structural engineers, master mechanics, astronauts; they're all technicians. So are the guys who design our mics and mixers. So are many other people in this world who constantly accomplish amazing things for a living. Do you think their jobs are miserable and unfulfilling? And I'd wager a bet that the average A-list brain surgeon makes more money than the average A-list Hollywood sound mixer, artist or not. What's wrong with being a technician? Technician does not equal devoid of creativity. Certainly strong problem-solving skills are a form a creativity, and they are a requirement in nearly every technical field. But finding a new and interesting way to hide a plant mic is not a work of art. Riding down when an actor yells and up when he whispers will never be framed above someone's fireplace. I still don't really see what's artistic about production sound. Someone mentioned the mix. How is that art? What is being expressed? To me, the point of a production mix is to capture the clearest, cleanest, most intelligible dialogue possible, using the tools at hand, within the parameters set by my schedule and environment. Clear, clean, and intelligible are fairly objective terms. Time and environmental factors are objective. Art is about emotion, and is subjective. How can your mix evoke or invoke emotion? How do you mix a scene to sound sorrowful or joyful or lustful or angry? Again, I'm speaking of production, not post. Someone else mentioned that simply being there to capture the art created by other people (actors) makes what we do an art. So is an audience member also an artist, for simply observing an actors' performance, for digesting it and contemplating it; capturing it, as it were, in his own mind? If a patron takes a snapshot of a painting in a gallery, is he now an artist, for capturing that art with his cell phone camera? I look at my role on set as that of a documenter. Yes, I'm there to capture art with my microphones, but how does that make me an artist? Is a museum curator an artist because he compiles art for display, cares for it, cleans it and polishes it and makes it look as good as possible for the museum's guests to enjoy? That's what I try to do with my own work. To make it sound as good as possible for the audience to enjoy. It's interesting that some people seem to be offended by the mere suggestion that what they do may not be an art form, that other people who do the same thing may not consider it as such. I guess, if you look at it that way, those guys really are artists, in temperament if nothing else... (joke)
  8. So it seems like the #1 justification I get from people offering no pay or insultingly low pay, is basically along the lines of "don't you do it for the love of your art?" or "don't you know artists are supposed to suffer for their creation?" or somesuch along those same lines. Like I'm some brokeass painter pawning off all his worldly possessions to buy another tube of paint to finish a masterpiece. It got me thinking, and I decided that no, I do not do this for the love of "my art" or "my creation". I don't consider myself to be an artist in any way, and I do not do any creating other than "creating" a .wav file on a drive by pressing record. At least not so far as sound is concerned. Certainly I like to play music and write and be artistic in other ways, but as far as sound is concerned, I consider myself wholly a technician. There's a reason they call us recording engineers, right? Certainly, there is some amount of creativity involved, insofar as dealing with unusual sound issues on set, hiding lavs, etc., but I'd hardly be willing to call what I do an art form. I spend far more time on set contemplating the geometry and physics of what I'm doing than I do any kind of feeling or emotion. Because, frankly, how the hell do you convey feeling and emotion by pointing a microphone at something? It seems like pretty much everyone on set, with the exception maybe of the grips, is absolutely an artist. Even a DP or lighting designer, whose job has quite a bit of technical knowledge to it and involves even more geometry and physics than sound, is still firmly in what I would consider to be artistic territory. Considering even relatively subtle changes in lighting can drastically change the way a scene feels. I think pretty much all we soundies can do to change the feel of a scene is to make it sound closer or further away. Not much. Am I wrong? Do you consider yourself an artist, or a technician? Do other people consider you an artist, or a technician? EDIT: I'm speaking here exclusively of production sound. Post-sound is, in my opinion, very much artistic. Mixing, sound design, foley; nearly all of it has quite a lot of subjectivity to its processes, whereas I think production sound is almost entirely objective.
  9. This is one of the wisest things I've read on this forum.
  10. I've considered a CL2 but that only helps to adjust the boom. If I'm running 4 lavs as well and need to make quick adjustments then I'm out of luck. In the near future I'll be doing a lot of stuff involving conversations happening around loud cars and motorcycles, people constantly shifting between normal speaking and yelling, etc. I'm sure I'll made do with what I'm running currently but it's always nice to think about options. I also do a lot of stuff where I am constantly having to put a hand on the camera op's shoulder to guide him and keep him from running over things and people. I can usually manage to hold the boom in one hand for that but it gets tiring after a while. Would be nice to have it supported and also be able to run the pole longer than would be possible if I needed to one-hand it. This seems like a good solution. Now if only I can find someone who owns one and would let me play with it before I try and buy my own...
  11. That's exactly it; thank you. Does anyone here have experience with them? I'm worried the cradle and rotating mechanism would introduce handling noise when you move it. Also seems like it would be awkward to use with a dual-shoulder bag harness, which I prefer. I can't help but think they have some major drawback to their use, otherwise why wouldn't they proliferate? You'd think every run and gun guy on the planet would be using it, but I've never seen one outside of the internet.
  12. I mostly work from a bag, and I got tired of tripping over my boom cable and constantly having it get tangled in stuff. One day I was browsing B&H and found some coiled XLR cables meant to replace the interior cables in K-tek poles. Now I'm positive I'm not the first person to come up with this, and for all I know it's a well-known trick among run and gun guys... but I don't know any others personally and have learned everything I know as I go. I was damn happy with myself for finding it, and best of all is no more tangles. I bought one that stretches from 1.5' to 9' and it's been perfect. Also I am right handed, and always hold a boom with my right hand at the end and my left supporting the weight. I got tired of having to stretch the cable across the front of the bag, so I got a right-angle xlr plug and built an extension cable. It plugs in to an input on the left-hand side of my 552, runs through the bag right in front of the mixer, and comes out with a jack on the right-hand side. Velcroed in place so it doesn't bounce against the mixer and make noise. Now I don't have to worry about snagging that bit of cable on things or just generally being annoyed by it. Am I alone in wishing that the input and output sides on SD mixers were switched? I've been entertaining the idea of building an attachment for the headband of my cans. A sort of cradle that will go on the top part of it, and be well cushioned and made of a quiet material, so that I can temporarily rest the boom on top of my head in order to adjust faders/knobs/misc settings/scratch my nose with my left hand whilst still booming the action. It will swivel so I can follow. I'm sure it would look silly as hell, but many is the time (especially during LONG-ASS SCENES and shots with unpredictable noise levels), when I have wished I could either temporarily take the strain off my supporting arm or fiddle my faders. Once upon a time I saw a product that was similar, basically a pole with a cradle at the top. It clipped on your belt and allowed you to rest the pole on it, freeing one hand while still being able to swivel and follow. Anybody know what I'm talking about?
  13. Don't get me wrong; I definitely plan to talk to a lawyer at some point. I just want to learn as much as I can on my own and from people with similar experiences before I pay hundreds of dollars to consult a professional. If I can do a bulk of the research myself and just have a pro verify my own findings, I'd probably save a far bit of cash that I can put toward gear for this shoot.
  14. Well shooting homeless people isn't exactly victimless, but I understand your point. The subject I'm making this film about really is a victimless crime, except in an incredibly rare and pretty specific set of circumstances. People talk about drug use being a victimless crime, but then there's always drug mules and plantation slaves and all kinds of other stuff going on behind the scenes, far away from the end user which actually do create victims. That's really not the case with this, and it truly is a victimless crime, which is part of why I want to make a film about it. Anyway, thank you all for the starter advice. I'm literally in the very first stages of planning this and trying to hold off on "official" legal advice as long as I can, since I can't afford to pay a lawyer just yet. Just putting together research material basically. The thing of it is, I've definitely seen documentaries about, say, drug dealers and drug users, where people are very clearly selling and buying and using illegal drugs on camera. Same thing with prostitution and pimping, where people are explicitly admitting to selling sex and freely doing so on camera. I guess theoretically these things could be re-enactments, but somehow I think a film maker would have a hard time convincing a hardcore, violent, gangbanging drug dealer to fake a deal or a hopeless heroin addict to simply pretend to shoot up in a dank, dirty alleyway, just for the sake of the film. I suppose I can hold off any any filming of the actual crime in progress, or fake it. But I'm still a little wary of filming people admitting to breaking laws, and their own legal safety and anonymity after the fact.
  15. People assume that small things have little monetary value. Especially small things which are made of plastic, like lav mics. For a while, I kept losing lav clips on set, because actors would un-wire themselves and either knock the clips off, or set them somewhere and just forget. Now, I try to make it a point to let people know the things cost $10-15 each or more and to please try real hard not to lose them. They're always quite surprised and invariably follow up by asking how much the lav itself costs. They almost never believe me when I tell them. "But... but... I just bought a netbook for less than that! There's no way!" I actually had one actor who was being pretty rough on a transmitter and the lav as well. I told him to take it easy cause they're pricy to replace. He said, "What; this little bitty box with a wire on it? Can't cost more than $40, right?" I told him the actual value and he turned white. Turned out that tx was worth more than his car. He was pretty careful with it after that.
  16. I'm in the planning/research stage of a documentary which would ideally include some interviews with and footage of people who are breaking certain laws. These crimes range from simple misdemeanors to federal felonies. Does anyone have any experience filming this sort of thing? I've seen plenty of "hidden identity" interviews and such where the subject remains anonymous, but if they're on camera admitting to breaking laws or actually being filmed breaking laws, do I have to worry about becoming an accessory to their crimes? What can I do to make sure their identities are legally protected once the film is published? I don't want to promise them that they'll remain anonymous, only to the have the police come to me with a warrant for their personal info once the film comes out. Obviously journalists and even police have their confidential sources which are legally protected. How can I do the same? For the record, no one is going to be raped or murdered on camera. The crime in question is essentially victimless (no, it's not about drugs). Anyone with experience in this sort of thing or who knows of any online resources, I'd love to hear from you.
  17. Where the capsule is connected to the wire is by far the weakest part of any lav, and generally harder to repair than the plug end connection. I definitely would minimize any kind of pulling or tension on the capsule. Even on bigger, beefier lavs like the big fat Sony and Sennheiser ones that come with their transmitters. Just because someone has lots of experience, doesn't necessarily mean he knows what he's doing.
  18. In addition to what's listed above, I also carry gaff tape (but that probably goes without saying), white cloth-type medical tape, and waterproof medical tape, which is pretty much made of the same stuff as bandaids. Some guys carry actual bandaids, but I think they're more expensive. Also makeup sponges for stuffing lavs up in to necktie knots, and alcohol wipes for cleaning skin oil off before applying anything sticky to talent. I also sometimes use 3m carpet tape, which is a durable double-sided cloth tape meant to hold rugs and carpets to slick floors. If you stick it on real well and let it cure for a few minutes, it holds very, very strong to many different types of material.
  19. Good lord. I'm absolutely finding a new accountant. I literally paid triple that for my taxes this past year. I went with this person initially because she is a family friend. Looks like that was a mistake. She charges out the wazoo, apparently, and is rarely available to answer questions. She also filed my mother's personal taxes like 2 months late and gave the wrong address. That particular situation is why I started doubting the accountant in the first place. EDIT: Forgot to ask, to Whitney Do you have to write yourself paychecks and keep a certain amount of the money you make within the business? How's it work for sole proprietorship? I'm currently an S-corp and have a business partner who is co-owner, but she will be backing out and giving over the entire business to me when I move out of state, so unless I decide to just scrap the whole business thing altogether, I will probably change it to a SP
  20. Do you work simply as yourself, or under the name of a business? When I started doing this I started up an LLC because people kept telling me I needed to keep my business and personal assets separate, mainly so if anyone ever tried to sue me for personal reasons, they couldn't take my sound gear, or if someone sued me for professional reasons, they couldn't take my personal assets (although I literally own nothing but my truck and my Playstation and the clothes in my closet). It's kind of a pain in the ass though. When I get paid, I can't just use that money for, say, my rent or my car insurance, because the money technically belongs to the business. So I have to cut myself a check, as though I were working for someone else. I have an accountant who takes care of things at the end of the year because I'm supremely stupid at numbers, but I think this also means that I'm having taxes withheld twice; once from whoever is paying my business, and once when my business pays me. I'm probably wrong about that, but if not then it's just one more reason why I'm annoyed by this. There are also apparently rules preventing me from paying 100% of the money to myself. A certain amount of it has to stay within the business so I can show income and a profit for the business, pay off gear that the business purchased, etc. All in all it's just very annoying and I'm wondering if anyone else goes through these same sorts of hassles. Is it even necessary to operate under a business or do most guys just act as themselves, and take 100% of their paychecks for themselves? I'm kind of miffed about making $500 and only being able to take home $300 of it, when I really need the whole amount to pay for my upcoming transmission rebuild, or whatever other expense happens to be rearing its head at any given time. This whole thing was set up on the advice of an accountant friend of mine, who also did all of the work and charged me kind of a mind-blowing fee to make it all happen. Lately I've had some issues with her and to be honest I'm starting to doubt her professional skill and wondering whether or not she gave me bad advice. So I'm wondering what kind of situation other US mixers are in regarding this. Are you a business? If so, what kind (sole proprietorship, LLC, corp, etc)? How do you deal with paying yourself? Should I even bother with this whole hassle or should I just kill the LLC and start taking all my hard-earned money for myself? Were the risks of personally owning my gear exaggerated? Were the benefits of letting the business own it exaggerated? Does anyone want to buy a truck with a broken transmission?
  21. Thanks for the advice everyone. NM is definitely on my list, although I'd like to get away from the desert if possible. I understand Albuquerque in particular has seen quite a rise in their film community after a few big indie success stories. I was born and raised in the upper midwest so I've been strongly considering moving back to that part of the country. Michigan is a definite possibility as I have a few industry connections up there. As far as where I'd like to live, I think probably the Milwaukee area since I have some good friends in WI. It's only about 6 hours from Detroit and Minneapolis, and about an hour 1/2 from Chicago. I don't mind commuting so it seems like a possibility. Georgia also seems like it could work. I've never been to the south but from what I know of Georgia, it has boatloads of green trees.... I love woodland and trees in general, hunting and fishing and camping etc. For anyone here who lives in or near Atlanta, what kind of vibe does it have? Out west here, big cities feel like big cities... impersonal, claustrophobic, unwelcoming, but up in the midwest, like say Milwaukee or Minneapolis, big cities have more of a small-town feel to them, for the most part, where most folks you meet are actually on the nice side and treat each other with respect, and you don't have to drive too far to be "in the country". I far prefer the latter, being raised in small-town america. Really though, I think Milwaukee is at the top of my list just for personal reasons, and the fact that people have been suggesting Michigan makes me feel even more strongly that moving back to the midwest could be the thing to do. And BobD, I know what you mean about Phoenix... Back when I was in school everyone was saying, "the Phoenix film scene is right on the verge of taking off! Five or ten years from now we'll be the next Hollywood!" and now, about 8 years later, people are still saying the exact same thing. I get the feeling they've been saying it for at least a couple decades at this point. I had high hopes for my future here, even as little as a couple years ago, but lately I've just not seen anything worth staying for. It's sad because there are a lot of really talented and creative people here, both crew/production side and talent, but no one ever seems to get their shit together well enough to put out good product and all the really good guys move one to LA when they realize it. There are a handful of really talented, dedicated people doing their best to make the Phoenix scene better, but they're all doing it "for the love of film" and there really isn't any money involved. That'd be great if I had a day job, but sound is my day job....
  22. I'm very strongly considering relocating, thanks to a pretty marked lack of work, or at least of the paying kind. I know I haven't got nearly as much time, experience, or money invested in my gear as a lot of guys, but I certainly have enough that the amount of work I'm getting and the amount of money I'm making for it are pretty much unacceptable. I absolutely can't afford to pay even my basic monthly expenses and lately have been living almost exclusively off borrowed money. I'm about to get slapped with a four-figure repair bill on my crapola truck and it's really got me steeled to find some better options. Now I know that times are tough everywhere, especially in the entertainment industry, but I'm hoping to find a place that can at least offer me more steady work, even if it doesn't necessarily pay well enough to make me rich. LA and NY are the two obvious choices, but I'm wondering if there are any others that offer a fair amount of work for sound mixers. Now I don't care even a little bit whether these gigs are creative/narrative-based, film, video, industrial, commercial, run-and-gun or any of the various permutations thereof. I don't care if I'm working on movies or instructional DVDs or employee orientation videos, just so long as I'm able to make money through the use of my one and only marketable skill, which is pointing microphones at things. Yeah; I pretty much put all my eggs in one basket and now I'm paying the price for it. So assuming that I can find anyone who might be willing to throw me a bone and risk adding one more potential competitor to their own work environment.... Can anyone give me some suggestions of more cities I could consider? EDIT: I live in Phoenix, by the way.
  23. Holy crap. Remind me never to work in NYC. Talk about a hostile environment. Courage? Justified? In what world is it not only okay, but applauded, for a man to break someone's nose because he was asked to wait three minutes before crossing a street? Yes, it's annoying when things get in the way of your day-to-day routine, but it's no excuse to assault someone. Just ignore the guy and keep walking. Christ. I agree that PAs can be a little power-trippy sometimes and maybe the wife was telling the truth when she said her husband was pushed, in which case the headbutt may well have been justified... but I'm still kind of disgusted at her reaction and that of the author.
  24. There's a trick some photographer friends of mine use to keep their checked gear safe, locked, and much less likely to be lost or stolen. If you have a firearm in your checked baggage and declare it at the counter, a TSA agent will come over, have you open your bag to verify the gun is there, and then let you lock it with your own personal lock, to which only you have the key. Then the agent will personally escort your bag to the plane and they'll make sure it gets special attention and is treated with extra care. Airlines get nervous at the idea of guns being lost in airports. Here's the fun part. As far as TSA is concerned, an athletic starter pistol is the same thing as a firearm. In reality it's basically an extra loud capgun. As far as I know they are perfectly legal in all 50 states and you can buy one from a sporting goods store for probably $30. I've never done this myself but a couple friends have, and its a trick you'll see around the net on photography websites.
  25. Yeah that includes gear. Though I'm sure I have far, far less invested in gear than most of you guys, so it's probably not as bad as it sounds. What's a standard rate for bag work in LA? Like $5-600/day? I've never worked outside of AZ so I honestly don't know. I have 552, 788T-SSD, 5 sets of UWP radios, and pairs of ME66 and ME67, and all the stuff you'd expect to go along with it all. I mostly do industrial/interviews/educational and run-and-gun stuff. What I've decided on for this shoot: the camera has a stereo mic on it, which I'm going to feed wirelessly to my recorder for reference and redundancy. I'll also be placing a shotgun on cam with radio to me. The behind-the-cam person will probably have a headband lav, since he's hardly ever in front of the camera. For some of the more intense action stuff like fight scenes and camera drops I will probably try to come in near cam with my NT4 or a boom, or both, in order to save my gear the abuse, and have post add camera handling sounds.
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