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Marc Wielage

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Everything posted by Marc Wielage

  1. I think it's bullshit, because (as we all know) it's the director who decides ultimately how the film should look and sound. Scorsese specifically did not want to over-process the faces and smooth them out completely, because he felt that would rob the actors of their emotional facial gestures. Any $99 editing tool these days has the means to dive in and soften an isolated part of the picture; hell, there's a free version of Resolve that will do it. But it takes skill to know when to stop adjusting, and it's also the director's decision as to how far (or how little) to go. I have had situations where we had "actors of a certain age" and had to give them a little "beauty pass" to help them out a bit. Often, it was with actresses who were already beautiful, but just needed some help to maybe knock 10 years off. I would demonstrate for the director that the problem is, you crank the knob a little too high, they start looking like plastic Barbie dolls. It takes a lot of time and effort to make it look 100% natural, to the point where you'd say, "wow, I know that actress is close to 60, but she looks like she's 45!" No way can we make her look 30, not convincingly. If they wanted that, they'd have to do a Gemini Man VFX thing where they reconstruct a 30- or 40-year younger person. I have done two "beauty" scenes in the last year or two, and in the most recent one, when we finished the director looked at the results and said, "I should call the actress, tell her what you did for her, and that she should **** you." I got a kick out of that. Again, it always starts with great lighting, great effects, and great lenses -- we can't do much with crappy material.
  2. Hey, two mics on Artie! That's strange -- what is that, a U87 and an EV something-or-other?
  3. Always great when you're on the last take of the day, and in the middle of a great scene, the battery warning indicator starts flashing. A great sound person will be able to pull a solution out of their ass and keep going. (As in this film.)
  4. Really sorry to hear this. Don was a real gentleman and also had a great sense of humor. I always enjoyed what he had to say about the business, as well as life in general.
  5. Beautiful work, one of the best shows of the year. I agree, it's better in German with English subtitles so you can actually hear the actors. Terrific final mix, too.
  6. Cardioid lavs are kind of a specialty device and not used that often for dialogue. They're more susceptible to wind noise, and there's also the problem of the talent moving their heads during normal conversation. I haven't found they necessarily keep out more noise than other mics in noisy environments. I did find that they're sometimes better for resisting feedback in live stage situations, but only "somewhat," depending on actor's position. Audio-Technica, Countryman, DPA, Sennheiser, and Shure all make cardioid (and even super-cardioid) lavalier mics, but my advice would be to test them before committing to a purchase. You may find that noise-reduction in post or ADR are more practical solutions for noisy locations.
  7. BTW, as an update, I delivered the "Get Well" card that dozens of attendees signed at the RAMPS/JWSound dinner at NAB a few weeks ago. (And thanks again to Michael Carmona for arranging that.) The Senator was very pleased and touched by the sentiments. He's still going through some health challenges but is getting regular care and is getting around on his own to a degree. I've encouraged him to consider commenting on JWSound directly and will continue to do so.
  8. I will relay the messages! He is fairly chipper and I hope will be back to his irascible self soon.
  9. I've been reading more and more about people using MIDI keyboards to "play" foley footsteps and other sounds for basically low-budget (or short-turnaround) projects. Obviously, nothing can beat actual foley performed and recorded by humans, but a keyboard-triggered sample is an interesting idea. Here's one company doing that: https://www.uvi.net/en/soundfx/walker.html
  10. I can now report that Senator Michaels is fine. He had some health issues over the last few weeks (nothing major) and is now being checked out by physicians. The Senator should be back home early next week and will be able to respond to emails and phone calls.
  11. More details on Deadline.com: Crew Member James Emswiller Dies After Fall On Set Of Tom Hanks’ Mister Rogers Film; Sony Laments “Devastating Tragedy” https://deadline.com/2018/10/you-are-my-friend-sound-technician-critical-on-set-fall-mister-rogers-1202481413/
  12. Astounding sound -- very clean singing (for the live stuff) and every line perfectly audible. I think there were some issues with story, edit pacing, and timing, but acting and sound were nearly flawless. Beautiful color, too.
  13. Good general book on the entire post process: picture, sound, VFX, color, final delivery... https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Post-Workflows-Techniques-Filmmakers/dp/0415747023/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538191784&sr=1-1 I've been doing this stuff for decades, and I discovered there were still a few things to learn in this book.
  14. I think multiple microphones might be a better way to go. Maybe a U89 close-up, and then a wider omni a few feet away in case it gets really loud.
  15. I just did a spit-take all over my computer display. 😂
  16. Thought @Jeff Wexler would appreciate this: They've having screenings of HAROLD & MAUDE at the Nuart Theater in Santa Monica all weekend, including the Jaguar hearse parked in front of the theater: This is a nutty, weird, wild, wacky film.
  17. Kodak 7219 is pretty standard for Super 16mm shooting (at least, I know of a couple of TV series shooting on that stock), and I would put that right in the middle of that list. As Mr. Perkins says above, the automatic timecode syncing systems are not that reliable. Was the o.p. ever able to find out from the post people how syncing was going to be handled? When we were using Aaton (and the competing Evertz) system in the 1990s for telecine, it could work in real-time in telecine, but the problem is that most film dailies systems these days are all done with non-real-time scanning and data files. In other words, the whole "timecode-on-film" thing is like a 1993 idea, not one that is necessarily practical for 2018. I think this is a solution in search of a problem. Just tail slate it and don't worry about the film timecode. That would be the easiest solution. (But I also think a lot of producers and directors overreact to the idea of a slate at the head -- good actors disregard it and don't necessarily get upset or let the slate throw off their performance.)
  18. Note that the Aaton timecode system is not necessary -- there is also a competing system from Evertz (from Canada) that works very well. However, quite a few companies doing telecine dailies these days convert all the film to data, then they sync the sound to the data files as a second step. Tail sticks are no problem in cases like this. I would use caution and do tests to make sure this works. I have seen film timecode systems fail in post about as often as they work (maybe 50% of the time), due to alignment problems, developing problems, and mainly because the camera crew is not paying attention to the timecode cable. When it works, it's flawless and perfect and pretty amazing.
  19. Here's a link to an instruction manual to the Nagra III: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/mbrs/recording_preservation/manuals/Nagra III Instructions Manual.pdf I agree with the others who point out that finding parts for these machines to keep them running today is a challenge.
  20. I believe the patent details are at this link: https://patents.google.com/patent/US9336307B2/en
  21. These words should be engraved on a brass plate and mounted above the doors to every "film school" and college in America.
  22. That DemerBox is a very clever idea.
  23. Yes, I agree with what Jay Rose says above. I recently took a class by a post manufacturer designed to "train the trainer," informing us how to teach. Some of the people with me in the class were pretty lackluster as to how much they knew about the software, but when it came time to do a "teaching demonstration"... wow, they really knew how to teach. It's sort of like the difference between a guitar technician and a rock star: both can play the guitar, but only the latter can put on a performance. I had much more respect for the people who could teach after that experience.
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