Jump to content

Steve Nelson, CAS

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Steve Nelson, CAS

  1. I'll look for Jailbreak. Surprisingly, even though this is an Amazon show, they want it to be FaceTime which means iOS. And the talent doesn't own an iPhone which has to be activated and shipped to him!
  2. Does anyone know a way to record the audio of a FaceTime call on the iPhone itself? One actor will be far away (in another state). The suggested methods - Screen Record and Voice Memo - will disable audio recording when the device is used as a phone. Is there a hack? And Happy Birthday, Jeff!
  3. Wow, it only took one posting to go almost completely off topic onto a Zaxcom rant. I will reiterate: If there are any other 970 users who think that the dialog box that follows the scene increment short cut should be eliminated I invite you to make your feelings known to Sound Devices. Since this is not a bug or a problem per se but a "feature request" the process for getting it changed is opaque, but if users chime in it might hurry things along. This "feature" makes me crazy because it prevents going into Record without first hitting the OK button. Not OK!
  4. Am I the only 970 user to be dismayed that the latest firmware update did not eliminate the stupid dialog box that appears when the increment scene number shortcut is used? You know, the one that prevents going into Record until you push "OK"? You know, the dialog box that prevents you from doing your job when you've used the short cut because you're in a hurry and you think you're rolling until you notice that you're not because you didn't push OK on the stupid dialog box? Unlike every other nonlinear recorder that when you push Record will go into Record regardless of anything else? Am I the only one who is put out by this? If not, please let them know how you feel about it and we can get it changed so that this otherwise fine recorder will be able to go into Record when necessary. On the other hand, Sound Devices did address and hopefully fix another problem with this update: If you use PixNet to edit scene/take metadata when you are recording there is a good chance that particular audio file will disappear, or stop recording midway through or some other bad outcome. Best is to edit metadata when not rolling. I haven't yet tried out the update but I will install it soon!
  5. Sorry to bother about a discontinued legacy product, but the Deva 5.8 is arguably the best thing Zaxcom has given us. Having said that, I'm using it right now to re-mirror some material for Post. I'd been rewriting to CF and dumping those onto the HD but this time I thought I'd try something else and write directly to an external HD. Rebooted and redirected it to write via Firewire (another legacy!), I thought I heard a little "click" and the now screen is nothing but white. After several restarts white it remains. Black screens I've had, this is different. Any ideas on what is the problem or a remedy? Thanks!
  6. I've got a TNT pilot taking me to San Diego for about two weeks on a Navy destroyer (at anchor), starting October 19. I'm being asked to hire a local (405) utility person. Any recommendations? Please p/m me. Thanks! ----steve nelson That's Local 495.
  7. An excellent filmmaker and good friend of mine is putting together a documentary project about the Occupy The Farm action that is currently and controversially happening right now in Albany. I will be joining him for a few days, but what he needs are motivated sound people closer to the action than SoCal. The money will of course be minimal, but it should be an exciting project as history unfolds - without pepper spray, I hope! If you or anyone you know might be interested please contact me ASAP. Thanks!
  8. Hey Mick, I tried responding to you off-group but it bounced back. Is the email you have on your profile still good? Anyway, the digital snake is by Aviom and it is the shit. Talk to you soon, ---steve
  9. OK, in response to Brian’s and Michael’s questions about FCC licensing and what’s happening on Blocks 21/22 – anybody else that was there and/or has a better understanding of these issues, please chime in: Included in Tim Holly’s presentation on Saturday was a handout that was the distillation of much research on FCC, frequency allocation, and basic RF practice. This is a terrific resource; look for it to be posted @695.com. Tim has created a spreadsheet that graphically illustrates how the RF spectrum in the Los Angeles area has been reallocated since the DTV transition. Although there might be technically more open air space for us (“white space”), it might not be exactly where you’d like it. Also, it is a bit spotty, as always geographically dependent. Important to know there are several former TV channels that have been given over to public safety and other uses; we are strongly advised to Keep Out. TV Channels 14, 16, 20: LAPD/FD: Forbidden zones. TV Channel 37: SCIENCE! Don’t even think about it. Lectro Block 20: Looks pretty open. Lectro Block 21: Ch. 26 - DTV in San Bernardino, Ch. 27 - low power NTSC in LA, Ch. 28 – DTV KCET, Ch. 29 DTV in Ontario . Lectro Block 22: Overlaps Ch. 29 in Ontario, Ch. 30 – Clear (yay!), Ch. 31 – KTLA DTV, Ch. 32 Anaheim DTV, Ch. 33 – Low power LA NTSC, don’t know where. Lectro Blocks 23 – 26 are a similar mix of DTV in LA and further away, low powered NTSC (why are they still there?) and some open space. Lectro Blocks 27, 28, 29: Almost completely devoured by something called LMRSS Radio (Land Mobile Radio something something). There might not be anything on any particular frequency at any time, but there could be, and probably there will be more as time passes. For those of you using 72 MHz Comteks, there is something called “Nightlight” there. I think that is a an intermittent NTSC broadcast left on to help slowpokes do the transition to DTV. I’m not sure if they are regional or what. Crystal Channels L & M I believe are safe. By all means, get this spreadsheet! Tim recommends acquiring a spectrum analyzer to efficiently and accurately assessing the conditions. This is about a $1500 - $2000 investment that sounds like a good idea; maybe easier and more versatile than the scan function in the Lectros. Also stressed is the importance of frequency coordination. As we are crowded into these RF ghettos intermodulation issues will really be more of a problem. (We got a pretty good graphical demonstration of this.) Glenn Saunders says Zaxcom RF is immune to IM problems. Any corroboration of this? One more lurking danger is something called the “White Space Initiative”. This is technology being developed by some pretty major players (Microsoft and others) to exploit the available white space that has the potential to really hurt us. So far they have not had a successful test of their stuff, but it may just be a matter of time. This is crazy stuff, and if you haven’t yet been affected by it it’s just a matter of time. And this is just the LA area; every region has gone through this. What to do then? Refreq? Lectro offers a pretty good deal but it is still pricey if you have multiple channels. And then what happens when you go onto a lot somewhere crowded with RF? Invest in pricey new technology that looks like it might solve some of the problems at a time when our rental income seems to be bottoming out? Maybe just renting RF on an as-needed basis is a way to go. I'll try to answer the FCC question in a subsequent post.
  10. I learned something just now. I had almost finished a fairly detailed response to Mike and Brian's questions when somehow I changed URLs and lost it. So, after I compose myself, I'll redo it off line and paste in in appropriately. Damn. -----steve
  11. And really, how important is STN? That's what time code is for. And if they can't see the numbers then they can't see the STN numbers either. Anyway, it's a nice feature if you want it. And Zaxcom and Denecke are talking about integrating the IFB into the slate to minimize potential damage. ----steve
  12. I think I forgot to acknowledge Coffey Sound for promoting Saturday's event. Yes, those features are cool, but 1) In my world, at least, I've never had a script supervisor inquire about time code. 2) How many times do I get the current STN from reading it off the slate when they hold it in front of the lens? With this system, suddenly I'm responsible, and unlike STN on the Deva this can't be changed on the fly or after the fact. So cooler for some perhaps than others. But sync multi-track playback w/code, w/out RF problems for rerecording on set? Now that's cool. ----steve
  13. This last Saturday, the Education Committee of Local 695 hosted RF Day, which consisted of a presentation by Glenn Saunders of Zaxcom featuring the public unveiling of his new Zax-Net technology, some new devices, and a review of other more familiar Zaxcom equipment. The second part of the day was a presentation by Tim Holly mostly about the effects of the DTV switchover on our work, including a history of the FCC and kind of a Radio Mic primer. The event was well attended for a Saturday morning in the summertime (nicely air-conditioned - an essential for the Valley, thank you, Bexel). Attendance was by reservation only so I don't know how many were turned away. It was a pretty lively crowd, especially for a Saturday morning - except for poor Jeff W. who I believe came straight from work. (Luckily he doesn't snore.) It was great to see so many sound people there and many friends, all to learn about some pretty exciting - and some not so exciting - new developments. There was, of course, some grousing about the current work situation, or lack thereof, but it was confined to the breaks. Zaxcom was first, and although Glenn writes some pretty excellent software, he needs some new joke writers. Fortunately his jokes weren't bad enough to spoil the impact of this new Zax-net technology, which, if it works, may well be the most significant new development in our RF world since, what, uhf? diversity? Aviom digital snake? And this from a guy with 14 channels of Lectrosonics. Simply put, as I understand it, Zax-Net is a free piece of software to connect and integrate all the Zaxcom equipment (but not always exclusively Zaxcom), recorder, mixer, radios, IFB, time code, remote SD recorders in the transmitters. This not only gives one the power to remotely control the gain of the transmitters, and the power consumption (sleep mode), but most game changing, to do remote sync playback w/timecode from the on board SD recorders in the transmitters, thus allowing unlimited mixer do-overs without any RF interference, or missed cues, or bad transitions or even if you did not roll! There's a lot more to it, but that, for me, is the gist of it and it is, if it works - and it did in the demo - and if we can afford it, pretty effing amazing. There was more about the different wireless options, IFB and all the Zaxcom gear. Glenn made a big deal about the digital encryption, and referenced the recent infamous Christian Bale incident, but funnily, since the ultimate source of that notorious rant was not someone stealing it from the airwaves with a scanner or somesuch, this is the least of my concerns. A nice bonus, I suppose, but not the bees knees. The biggest of my concerns, and I don't think I'm alone here, is having this techno candy dangled in front of a room full of sound people many or most of whom don't know when or what their next job will be. (My endless summer starts on Friday.) The next presentation was by Tim Holly, currently the RF coordinator at CBS Radford Studios. (Unfortunately, it should be said that sound people apparently should stay away from comedy.) Tim wanted us to have an overview of the history and impact of the FCC, and specifically for us to know the ways in which we will be affected by the DTV conversion. This, for many of us, I think, was a classic good news/bad news situation. The good news is that the migration of broadcast television to the new exclusively DTV channels will actually open up more clear frequencies, or white space to us. The other shoe dropping is that this white space may well be in freqs where we do not already own equipment, and other new developments are seriously limiting if not eliminating RF real estate where we might have bought lots of property (parts of Blocks 21, 22, and essentially all of 27, 28, 29 and others). Tim stressed that continuing to operate in these newly interdicted frequencies might not result only in a bad day at the mixing board but possibly fines and/or other legal troubles. Tim brought up many interesting points, one of which was his suggestion that we should all get FCC licenses to operate our RF gear. These are low cost and pretty easy to obtain, and although I'm not 100% clear on why we need them, he was pretty convinced that holding the proper license is a good way for us to maintain control over our work and not ceding to the producers. Tim provided a photocopied handout that was obviously the distillation of much research on his part and full of very useful information. There was more discussion about intermodulation issues, frequency coordination, spectrum analyzers, antennas, and was a very exciting, thought provoking, worrisome and educational day. A great job by Laurence Abrams and the educational committee and the presenters. This event will soon be available on streaming video at 695.com Sorry for the long winded post, but there it is and I'd love to hear other impressions, comments, questions, opinions. -----------------steve nelson still working but not for long
  14. Keenan Wyatt has been working for several years as Johnny Depp's "Personal Sound Technician". As I understand it his duties have nothing to do with production sound recording. He is there to provide discreet in-ear cuing for Mr. Depp, including dialog and music. In other words, he feeds him his lines and is his personal DJ. It is a union gig, although I'm not sure what classification; he is there by request of the actor. He interfaces transparently with the Sound Department, but works parallel to them. He is an outstanding boom operator, although it is hard to book him these days. Nice gig. Regarding the "muddy" or "unintelligible" dialog: Ed Novick, a two-time AMPAS nominee currently in England on the new Chris Nolan movie (I got to cover Ed for a week in Tokyo), had this to say: "Michael spent months in the dub stage, only to declare one day (not far from the end) that all the pre-dubs (nicely cleaned-up at that) should be thrown out and that mixing should be done from the original elements. [Expletive deleted]" Whatever else you can say about Michael Mann he is an accomplished and interesting filmmaker. And all the other things are certainly true as well. If you see the movie - which I liked pretty well - you'll certainly hear some unusual sound choices that make for something less - or maybe more - than the usual seamless soundtracks that our top production and post-production people are able to deliver. In a way, it's a little like Clint Eastwood's first take or shoot-the-rehearsal spontaneity and use it even if it's less than perfect. Definitely some lines that should have been replaced with ADR or another take, weren't; even off camera lines were left alone. Weird, but it didn't really interfere with my enjoyment of the movie; I don't recall any "What'd he say?"s. If you see & hear "Public Enemies", knowing what you now know about the process, and when you see the locations and the time of year in Chicago and Wisconsin, and the way it was shot, you'll know that Ed and his crew did a great job for a very difficult director under very difficult circumstances.
  15. I know I'm a little behind on this, but does anyone have any feelings about the Disability Insurance offered by EP (Payroll)? We're automatically enrolled in it unless we opt out. On paper it looks pretty good - maybe marginally better - but what is really going on here? Thanks! ---steve nelson
  16. Oh, I see you've met my new boom operator - or at least his cousin. I picked one up at Coffey today for twice your mentioned price. This one is a little different however. It does not have a threaded spud, which will seat a little nicer in a gobo head, and I am assured by Robert Kennedy that unlike the other versions, the boom will not slip out of this one. If that's the case then $15 is cheap insurance. I'm not kidding about my new boom op. 2nd Unit Iron Man 2/Rasputin - it's just me and my new best friend! And glad to have the gig. ---steve nelson
  17. Well, now we'll find out how much of the current production logjam has been due to this lingering unsettled labor situation, how much is due to the lingering unsettled economic situation, and how much is due to the lingering unsettled mental condition of our employers. I'm looking for a glimmer of hope wherever I can - which means I'm trying not to look at the new you tube deal and how that'll fit so very nicely, as if on cue, with our new contract. A good weekend to you all, ---steve nelson
  18. I would TOTALLY have congratulated you on your HUGE opening of FF4, but I thought it was a different Steve Nelson! Robert Don't get me started..... ---steve
  19. He's in South Africa with Clint Eastwood. ----steve nelson
  20. How fickle a thing is fame. It was only the week before that "Fast and Furious" opened #1 with the largest April weekend ever. If you like it LOUD it has a great soundtrack, thanks to the terrific work of Chris Jenkins and Frank Montaño and everybody at the Hitchcock Theater, and Peter Brown, sound designer and Anna McKenzie, dialog editor. I had a part in it, but frankly it's better when the actors aren't actually speaking. As for still working - just barely! ----steve nelson, cas
  21. Is anybody really surprised that this passed? Even though my unofficial tally was probably running about 8 to 1 against. I'm sure you all had a similar experience, and yet... Who are these people? I guess they are us, after all. I know for example that after a intense sales job by Mike Miller the Script/Production staff local overwhelmingly voted to endorse ratification. Our board made no recommendation but the ballots were accompanied by a strong letter from our BA, as I'm sure was the case at every Local. (Does anyone know of a Local that didn't officially endorse this thing?) There was a lot of pressure from above to get this over, and deep in my cynical heart I knew it would go, no matter what. Good luck to us all. ---steve nelson (yeah, that one)
  22. See what I mean? I could go on - it's not easy being me! Whoever I is. -xxxxx
  23. It is sad, if not pathetic, to consider what the leadership of this union has wrought upon this business. It is hard to say whether this knucklehead is any worse than his successors in their collective inability to achieve ANYTHING. After almost nine months we are at the point where the "last, best and final offer" might become ratified by inaction. So be it. When the dust finally settles we'll miss SAG if only for their contractual umbrella which also served to keep us out of the rain - think turnarounds, "weekends", and other considerations which we are no longer strong enough to muster for ourselves. And lest we start feeling too smug, let's wait and see how our vote tallies up. We might well have our own bitter pill to choke down. Aren't I a cheery fellow? ---steve nelson (steve nelson the mixer, not the other production sound guy steve nelson, nor the sound editor steve nelson, nor nelson stoll who's also a mixer in SF, nor any of the other 26 guys on imdb called "steve nelson" I'm tired of getting your email, bills, invitations, etc etc) (you know what? I feel a little better after that. thanks for listening!)
  24. Dear Friends, Colleagues, Brothers and Sisters, By now you have received the latest big envelope from the Local, the one containing a scary letter from your Business Agent, another scary letter from the president of our International, the dreaded Memorandum of Agreement and the actual ballot. If you haven’t yet mailed in your ballot I hope you’ll take a moment to read this before you do. I think most of you know me. I’m writing without any official capacity or secret agenda; I’m a sound mixer with a family and a mortgage living and trying to work in California and more than a little worried about the state of things. Unless you are living in a cave (without internet) I’m sure you’ve been bombarded by lots of material about this proposed deal that we are being urged to ratify – or not. I am writing to people I know to urge you to vote against ratification of this contract, quite possibly the most concessionary we have ever seen. And now that we have finally actually seen it, if you can work your way through the obfuscatory language you’ll find a few truly dreadful nuggets. Do you find it interesting that the MoA was not even available until we received it with our ballots, leaving no time to call a meeting to discuss it. Do you get the feeling that this very bad deal is being shoved down our throats as the best we can hope for at this troubled time, practically as a fait accompli? Do you wonder why, when we have just elected the most pro-labor administration in Washington in many years, we are being bullied into accepting this most concessionary contract? If you think that the best way to make up the shortfall in our health plan is to force enough people off the plan and out of coverage to make up the difference then this is the contract for you. (Was there ever even consideration of any alternatives to this cold-hearted and catastrophic solution?) If, when you get called for a “New Media” job (and the definition of “New Media” is frighteningly broad), you like the idea of terms and conditions being “freely negotiable” (read: there are no terms and conditions, no minimums, no guarantees, nothing but P&W), no staffing requirements and job interchangeability, then you’ll love this contract. Of course it's good to establish jurisdiction over New Media, but we need more. Minus the fringes this sounds a lot like the bad old non-union days and I for one have no desire to go back there! A vote against ratification is not, as they claim, a vote to strike, but a vote to send them back to the table to do better. I have only sympathy for anyone who has to sit across the table from Nick Counter and the AMPTP shock troops, but they’re supposed to be tough guys, too, and it is their job to represent our best interests. This contract signifies an abject failure to do right by us. (News Flash: Counter is retiring March 31 – not soon enough!) We’re all suffering from fatigue and fear. Strike fatigue, election fatigue, SAG fatigue, contract fatigue, looking for work fatigue. It’s worn us out. We’re stressed and anxious, many of us, even fearful, about the state of the world, the state of our industry and where we’re headed. As much as we’d like to avoid confrontation and have things return to normalcy, this is not the time to lay down. This is the time to draw the line and make sure that our best interests, our jobs and our future are protected by a contract we can believe in. Please join me and VOTE AGAINST RATIFICATION! WE CAN DO BETTER!
  25. Richard - here we are having a merry old time on JW's two sites. Anyway, if I can be of any help to you or anyone else here about the virtues of Aviom and some little tricks, I've found true religion and I love preachin' it! ----steve nelson
  • Create New...