Jump to content

Paul Graff

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Paul Graff

  1. That's great. Thank for the inspiration. Wish I could've made NAB (and this side trip) this year. Good times.
  2. Does anyone here know a top shelf documentary mixer in Vancouver, BC? If they have some music experience, that would be helpful. Please text 323-842-7255 or email me PaulGraffSound@gmail.com. Hopefully I can bring some good people together. Thanks!
  3. Another thing I just thought of. The link I/O on the 664 allows me to send the mix tracks from my Sonosax, so I don't have to give up any isolation tracks. This will not be possible with the 688, like it isn't possible with the 788T (unless you use the CL-9, of course).
  4. This is digital, like the 633. 664 is analog. Some people like that. So (unlike the 664), this can do input and output delays. It also has pop up faders for imputs 7-12. They've also added mix assist, which 633, of course, does not have. For me, with 633 as my over the shoulder, docu. rig, and 664 on the cart, I'll stick with what I have. I do wish I had the integrated output delay, but, of course, that wasn't possible with the 664, since it's analog. PG
  5. Great post, Alan. We worked together a couple of years ago at the Skirball and I really admired your minimalist (pre 633) set up then. And your resume, of course. I also mix a lot of documentaries and completely agree with your comments about protecting the privacy of the subjects/talent. With the "Gotcha" mentality of (some) reality shows pervasive in our culture, it's important to establish and maintain the fundamentally different code of ethics that distinguish a documentary from that. I provide a mix to camera (and Comteks) with the intention that the my mix will usually be what is used. And certainly what the film is cut to. I respect the intention behind your use of post fader isos, but it seems to me that it eliminates one of the primary functions of having isos in the first place, which, in a documentary, is when somebody enters the scene unexpectedly or talks to the people on Camera from off-camera to get their attention. When someone is out of the scene or on a private conversation, I find that I can maintain their privacy by turning off their wireless receiver. I use all 411a's, but introduced a SRB into my package last year for a documentary which had a lot of isos and, like others, seeking to lighten my rig. I found myself in a situation where one channel of the SR was in the scene and the other was not, but I couldn't kill their iso other than to turn the turn down the trim as much as possible. That's one reason I'm sticking with individual receivers. Anyway, thanks so much for posting, I really enjoyed reading it. Paul
  6. Ah yes… The mix. That was the question, wasn't it? Thanks for getting us back on track. A wealth of great answers, as always.
  7. I appreciate what so many of you have said; RP, JW, Crew, mirror, Jack, JB... all of you. I posted hundreds of times on RAMPS and the early days of JW, but not so much lately. Perhaps it is because I check in less frequently and by the time I do, the well spoken members of this forum have pretty much expressed my sentiments exactly. I don't want to be redundant or merely say "hear ye, hear ye… Amen". To the new mixers out there I say the following... If you are in a market where you can do Utility for an experience Mixer, that is without a doubt the best place to start. Otherwise, please cut your teeth on student projects or legitimately low-budget, self-funded passion projects. The Internet is a great resource, but as others have said, you learn by doing. That being said, use the immense resources you have at your disposal and respect the time of professionals. Read every manual for every piece of gear from cover to cover. Go to the rental houses and spend hours playing with each piece of equipment. Meet mixers and try to create opportunities to quietly watch them work. Difficult to do, I know. If you don't have a degree from a recording school (I don't) at least take some electronics courses (I did), learn the basics. In short; show some gumption, show some hustle. Get out there and learn, learn, learn, then do, do, do. When you genuinely feel like you're worth a lot of money you will find that your negotiation skills improve. In the nonunion world where I do a fair share of my work, I find that I am able to keep my labor rate where I want it. Where the difficulty comes in (and this is also true on some union jobs) is in the "package" mentality for gear. A set amount is budgeted for gear before the needs and complexities of the job are discussed. For interviews and simple gigs, this is fine, but for more complex jobs it has frequently become a great challenge to get the à la carte charges that are appropriate. This has veered far from the OP, I know, so I will stop now. Peace and love, Paul
  8. I believe, for once, this is the appropriate reply. Or... sigh...
  9. LA's loss is NYC's gain. Ken is a fantastic boom operator and a beautiful human being. Positive energy, creative solutions, tireless work ethic. Congrats on following your heart, Ken. (That's how I landed in LA.) Best of luck on your grand adventure.
  10. I loved that film so much. Very influential in my youth, as was Cat Stevens' music. I think it's long overdue for a revisit. A cult favorite when I showed films in college on 16mm back in the eighties. It's impressive that you started out on such a high... and then kept it up! Thanks for the share. (months ago, I know, but I missed the post then).
  11. I should give the B3 another try. Maybe the one I got was NG.
  12. That is so crazy, Robert. I just saw you here three days ago...and now you live there. I guess it's real now. It's been thirty years since I was in Cambridge, but it made quite an impression on me. The adventure has begun. And hopefully the gear has an equally safe and sound arrival. Enjoy! PG
  13. Since this thread got resurrected and I didn't see it the first time around, I'll chime in. I use Sankens and B6s and have come to really like the B6 a lot. I use them with MM400(ABC) transmitters and, IMO, red band is REQUIRED. Even wired TA5 for SM, I would still strongly recommend red band. I even sent the gray band ones I had back to Countryman years ago and they desensitized them somehow to turn them into red band for me. My experience is different than Jan's in that I find the Sanken picks up the room much more than the B6. Countryman calls them "Isomax" and think the moniker fits. Great choice when there are a lot of lavs out, especially in an unscripted situation where multiple lavs must be open at once. While the sound is admittedly not as lush and full as a Sanken or DPA, I find the sound of B6 highly intelligible, which makes them a great documentary lav. Mount with a crisp cap and an overcover and wind or plosives will not be an issue. I'll prefer a Sanken or DPA in a quiet environment on a scripted show, but in the doc world the B6 is a great choice, even when it's small size is not required. When I tried a B3 I thought it sounded MUCH worse than a B6. I was very surprised by this, but I returned it straight away. It sounded very dead. So that is my experience. Last comment is that you must master mounting them to minimize cable rub near the head. Paul
  14. I agree with all of this, but they lost me at single media. MARF and WAV on one card? What were they thinking?
  15. I wrote this a few weeks ago, but never posted it, so I'm doing so now. I've had some thoughts since I wrote it, but I'll paste this first and then write a little more below. At long last the 2014 Transit Connect has finally arrived in the dealerships. I've checked them out side by side with the previous generation and thought I'd share a few thoughts. I'll keep it brief, since most of what you need to know can be gleaned elsewhere online. I've done so much research on all the options out there, I could write pages about it. The redesigned van is much more appealing as a daily driver, with better engine options and more car-like amenities available. To my eye, it is much nicer looking, too. The one thing I want to share that might not be obvious just reading about it is that the interior height is significantly reduced from the old model. The rear door height is now 44" and it used to be 52". The interior height once inside is now 49.7" vs. 59", so over 10" shorter inside. The side door on the current model is listed as being 48", but there is a step up right inside, so it is effectively no higher than the rear door. However, with the new long wheelbase option ($1000 more than the short wheelbase), it is a LOT longer inside now; over 9 1/2 feet and the old one only 6 feet 9 inches. You can also get a lift gate for the rear door (like a SUV) instead of swing-out doors. I like this option. Nice for loading or unloading in the rain, for one thing. Basically, if you can live with it being shorter, it is a great vehicle. My biggest issue with the old one was that it was severely underpowered. This is better now. No diesel, but the well-proven 2.5 liter Duratec is standard. There is the option of the 1.6-liter EcoBoost for $795 which gains you a little more horsepower and torque and 1-2 more MPG. The reliability is questionable, in my opinion. Certainly not as proven as the Duratec. So, that's what I wrote. Since the height was one of the main advantages of the old Transit Connect (us sound mixers like to roll our carts in without dismantling them), I'm not sure this is an improvement for many of us. Only 4 inches higher door than a Dodge C/V, which is the cargo version of the Caravan. I'm also not sure this new TC will hold its value, because I expect them to improve the engine options next year. There will also be more competition with new Chevy coming soon. Okay, all for now. Buying a used van in the next week or two. Will minimize depreciation and upgrade in a year or two when I like the options more. Paul
  16. Wow. 3:46 AM post gets pretty sentimental and wordy upon review. Ahh... I'll leave it anyway. Suffice to say 2013 was a good one. Hope yours was too. Here's to the higjlights of 2014. PG
  17. I'm so glad I've taken some time to catch up with my JW Sound community. This is such beautiful place and I can relate to so many of the sentiments expressed in folks' posts. It really is about the people - both at work and at home. Relationships and contribution is where I find meaning and satisfaction in life. I'm quite a homebody when not working or traveling (bought a house in 2012, but that's another story). I was blessed to have a very busy year work wise in 2013. Three big documentaries intermixed with commercials, days on other documentaries, some 2nd Units, promos, corporate jobs, a smattering of reality and stage show days. Harber's post inspired me to count 'em up; 192. That does include some travel days in addition to shooting days, but those are paid too… and some great camaraderie with all of that traveling. Some personal highlights are my step kids both really enjoying their college experiences (at SLO and CSULB). Both having a blast, learning a lot, and I am just so impressed with the kind, conscientious, and motivated young adults they are becoming. We really enjoy visiting them. Another highlight was making it out to see my parents and brothers out east for three nice visits (aiming for four in 2014!). Okay, moving onto work before this gets too mushy... If I had to pick one highlight it would be the farming documentary we shot in the spring and summer. Director, DP, and I have worked together a lot over the years (AC and B-Cam too) and I just think they are the greatest, both at their jobs and and as co-workers. Our farmers (six of them) were amazing, too. Great people, really good on camera, compelling, contrasting stories. Not only a lot of fun, hard work to make, but I'm just really excited to see it, too. It's called Farmland (http://www.farmlandfilm.com/) and premieres in March. Paul
  18. I'm a mountain biker and off next week. I'm just west of the sound houses and usually bike in the Santa Monica mountains. Hit me up! My website is listed in my profile here and has my phone number on it. It hasn't been updated in about five years, but at least the contact info is correct! Paul
  19. Hi Phil, Thanks for the reply. My original post was rushed and a bit confusing, which is why I wanted to delete it. Yes, I have also done many Section 179 deductions; my gear of course, and even my current vehicle. I hadn't looked back at my old taxes when I posted and was panicking a bit realizing how light on deductions I was going to be this year. It's all good. And I completely agree that there is no point in buying gear you don't need. That said, I did pick up some useful items from Location Sound and Trew--but no new vehicle. I don't mind paying my taxes; I appreciate the civilized society made possible by them. But I also want to be smart about timing my purchases. I suppose a resolution for 2014 will be to get on that... errr... a bit earlier in the year. ;-) PG
  20. Hmmm....well I tried to just delete the whole topic, but I don't see how I can. Anyway, vehicles like the TC will still qualify for Section 179 deduction because they are unquestionably for business use (i.e. no rear seats, cargo divider, etc). Limit is on vehicles that are also for personal use, which is why it is controversial when someone gets a higher deduction for a Hummer or Escalade just because they weigh more and are thus not subject to limits on luxury vehicles. None of which is relevant for me at least. Okay....moving on...
  21. I know, I know, VERY end of the year. But I have a new tax person and I didn't have my usual December planning session. The new guy's also nowhere near as aggressive as the previous one, who I had to let go for an unrelated reason (He insulted my wife... Idiot!!). Too aggressive in some ways, I suppose... Anyway, I would appreciate it if a few of you (at least vaguely) could share some of your most successful strategies. This applies mostly to those of you who are incorporated. I have a S-type corporation for many years now, and the profit flows through to the AGI of my wife's and my W-2 income. So if you're all W-2, then you are in a very different situation than me. I was fortunate enough to have a very good year (my best yet) and hardly bought any equipment. I am very grateful. I am going to buy some gear today (a 633 or a Nomad), but I don't want to buy more than that, because I don't really need it right now. Most of all, I'm curious how many of you business owners have taken advantage of Section 179 and the hugely advantageous tax write off of a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 6000 pounds. My plan was to wait for the release of the 2014 Transit Connect, but neither that vehicle nor the Nissan NV 200 weigh enough to qualify for the "Hummer loophole". Scaled back from the height of its fame in the 90s, but still significant. I'm also torn, because I find it politically repugnant to financially reward the purchase of inefficient vehicles, yet I am actually tempted to go buy a GMC Savana today. I would just not make it my daily driver. This is one of those posts which, like so many others, I should wait an hour, reread, and then decided against posting it. I usually end up keeping my cards (arguably a little too) close to my chest. But what the heck… I'm just going to run it up the flagpole before I go spend a bunch of money. There's also charitable giving, of course, but that is a private matter for each of us and it quickly gets ostentatious to discuss it publicly. Also feel free to call or write me privately if you have something you want to share, but not in the thread. Thanks, Paul
  22. Nice job, Jace5. That Ram VO guy always cracks me up, tho'. I loved the comments about lowering the grage floor, but that would be verrry expensive in my case. My neighbor told me the guy who had the house before me repoured the driveway twice because it was too steep for his sports cars. But then again, he lost the house and went to prison for embezzlement. No Ferrarris here now!! I'm going to start a new thread about tax strategies that addresses the "Hummer loophole", so maybe you guys have something to say about that too. Kind of relates to this thread, of course. Paul
  23. Even a bit shorter, Jan. Interior height is is 49.6", but rear door opening height is 44". Side door is 48.3", so that's a bit better. It has a choice of two wheelbase lengths now. Must be a little less boxy or have a slightly longer hood, because the longer version has essentially same cargo capacity as previous model even though the exterior is 9" longer. Paul
  24. Thanks for all the info, Crew. The more I read about and researched the ProMaster, the more I liked it. In fact, I was about 100% sold until I realized that it is a few inches too tall for my garage. Unfortunately, that is a deal breaker, but what an awesome, flexible vehicle. Seems like a big leap forward for that segment. More good news is that the redesigned 2014 Transit Connect is out soon and addresses the main concern that prevented me from buying one a couple of years ago: underpowered, IMO. Still no diesel, but both engine options are a big improvement. Nowhere near the capacity of the ProMaster, of course, but will work great for me. There are a bunch of improvements for the TC for 2014 that will make it a much more pleasurable daily driver. The Nissan NV200 is a worthy competitor (And I know how much we all love competition between manufacturers...), but I think I'll go for the Ford. Sadly, raising the roof height of the garage is not an option. -Paul
  25. Just saw this thread. Always nice when a drug turns out to be a twofer. Thankfully, I do not suffer from tinnitus. My heart goes out to those who do; I have had friends who have dealt with it and it can be beyond miserable. I take a total of 1.25 grams Slo-niacin brand per day to raise HDL. 750 mg with breakfast and 500mg. Niacin is nicotinic acid and is different from niacinamide as well as other "flush free" formulations. They are not proven effective whereas true niacin is. Ramp up to avoid the flush reaction and take with food and no alcohol (breakfast is good). Spicy foods with it might exacerbate the flush reaction as well. First I've heard of liver toxicity and I researched it quite a bit before taking it. Also, my doctor approved/prescribed it. Looks like hepatoxicity is associated with REALLY high doses, but I'm glad for the info and will write to my doctor about it. It's been really effective for raising my HDL. Might be time to revisit the research, tho'. It's been awhile... Paul
  • Create New...