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Jan McL

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About Jan McL

  • Birthday January 1

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  • Location
    NY Metro
  • About
    Indie film and television production sound mixer.
  • Interested in Sound for Picture

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  1. In case you want to try some cat5 options out @thomasvanderbrook, I have a bunch of pairs from Instasnake very reasonable having just retired. They're all cat5 --> 4 x XLR3's. Shoot me a PM. There's also a bunch of great quality cat5/6 cable wanting a new home. https://www.markertek.com/product/ets-sds901/ets-sds901-instasnake-4-mxlr-3-foot-pigtail-to-rj45-jack-all-pins?ne_ppc_id=1806871132&gclid=Cj0KCQiA7aPyBRChARIsAJfWCgKCWLWnQthkfXwsTsDSxPqadLhxlGguvjUYUyry-owXVWRVraNqiCwaAss-EALw_wcB
  2. Thanks, Mattias. Set attitude is close to Everything, right next to Showing Up. ".....smorgasbord of fun and adventure....." OMG, that will be the mantra as I begin to conceive the shape of the future. Thank you once again for your kind wisdom, Crew. XOXOX
  3. Thanks Olle. Means a lot. Writing / drawing helps me think stuff through. Having a close reader or two makes the thinking even more clear. I am eternally grateful to and honored by you. Invaluable part of the process of living to me. I've every confidence that the right opportunities will present themselves. Just as with anything I've done, have consulted with experts in the field, done the research and thanks to the internet and friendships, am able to put the word out. For sure good points, Al. All of your spot-on bullet points have cycled the brain pan. I could probably create a bangin' curriculum for a film school. Just need a few million to get it going. Ha. The town I"m seriously looking at has a university whose student numbers have gone down by 50% to 8K. Fairly certain they don't have a film curriculum but they do have broadcast radio and TV. Anyway, 'nuff for now.
  4. Have not been much here these last couple years. Went slightly into Nest Egg Panic. That combined thankfully with great material offered more back to back than I'm accustomed to executing kept me out of trouble. Delighted that said panic helped me push kit rental, parking perks/reimbursement and above-contract wages to my market's limits. My body on the other hand is less-than-delighted. Two years straight of regularly not drinking enough water have taken an undeniable toll, with repercussions that cannot be accommodated in a production environment. The realization came surprisingly quickly since it turns out the body will not be ignored. There were tens of paper-thin red flags that it might be 'Time'. I kept track. Hyper Vigilance due to: squeezed production / post production schedules, inexperienced leadership, wacky shooting styles, changing RF world. RF Chaos. So much troubleshooting, data point gathering. Acoustically exhausting locations due to high ambient noise. Old School Macho Assholes. I've encountered only a few in my fairly long career, but a bunch came back to back. My capacity to turn around the bad juju of wanting to kick said assholes in the nuts was near nil. The red flag was actually verbalizing that sentiment to the EP. Time to go soon. The last 4-5 years have been monitoring the Nest Egg regularly and spent considerable time researching: Real Estate. Where in the world to land. I cannot afford current region. Have explored all directions but south. I need to go five or six hours distant from NYC to buy within the parameters I've set which are: cash purchase less than $100K, garage, single story, preferably within walking distance of a grocery store. Others as they approach and execute Retirement. Our venerable host Jeff Wexler has been an invaluable source of first hand, real time info on the subject, as have Al McGuire and Eric Toline. We've spent a few of hours together in videoconference every weekend for five or six years, during which time I witnessed all of these fine engineers work, work less, hit hiccoughs, triumph over trepidation, and ultimately seamlessly make the crossfade. Bravo gentlemen. I hope to be able to execute the move with half their courage and precision. What to do. Writing, documentary film, teaching. At this point I'm tired and hate everything. Need to give this some time and put it out there. Am much more at ease having begun to sell the gear and gotten great and generous responses from our NYC community. Kept it rather on the QT local to NY since shipping is such a PITA. Thanks to all who bought / will buy. Also more at ease having confirmed I've enough hours to receive full insurance coverage and learned that I don't have to choose between the monthly pension check and the lump sum: you get BOTH! Yippee. Surprise! There's the house. As usual, this won't be the last entry on the subject and much anticipate your thoughts on the matter.
  5. Jan McL

    Noisy R1a?

    Colleague successfully removed R1a hiss in his IEM's via the installation of a resistor in a M--> F headphone adapter cable. Did not note the value but I'll text him after 9A to find out.
  6. Clearly an exceptional woman, like her father. This is HUGE. Respect all around.
  7. Thanks, Olle. We had a 24/7 therapist available by phone for the duration. Don't know if anyone used the number, but the idea of being able to consult with someone helped considerably.
  8. Got my start making cold calls to sound people in my region. One fellow (a utility sound) invited me to set. Just kept coming back. In the interim, was working as a tech for a big sound rental place where I was taught how to troubleshoot and repair stuff.
  9. Great to add some science to anecdotal experience. The facts left me profoundly...sad.
  10. I've been told many times that when a piece of electronics gets soaked during production (particularly in salt water, but generally speaking) it should be replaced by production because its lifespan has been significantly reduced. Sorry you're in the tangential middle of a crapstorm. Not the optimum place to be for sure. Please let us know how it shakes out for you. Here's how I handled the recent event of boom operator being taken down by an ocean wave. This was a union, narrative project. Everything was photographed then rinsed with production-provided distilled water and placed in rice. I knew none of the items would survive but...due diligence and all... Wrote to the APOC with cc to our Gotham Sound Sales King informing of the incident and asking for a quote for replacement CMIT5U, 7506 and R1a. APOC took care of approvals, issued PO's and arranged with transpo to pick up the pieces. In the interim, I made sure I intersected with UPM with a brief verbal sketch of the event and officially presented her with the dead CMIT5U. This was "on production" in any event but the accident happened because the scene was supposed to be shot in thigh-high water (for which everyone prepared) but kept moving ever-deeper until eventually the wave / human ratio became too steep.
  11. Had to be careful in the application of the glue re: timing (length of time the hot element near the mic). We did a test that ended up being "the thing". The amazing customer was aware that it might not fare well for the shirt; they had multiples. Hot glue gets into the pores of the fabric. It remains fairly flexible. Got a fingernail between the glue and the tee shirt and peeled it off. May have had to use scissors or a blade to get it off the B6 but no damage was sustained.
  12. Mmmmm: radio...nice. Our situation was unique [jeepers I hope this was unique as opposed to ubiquitous] in that the 1st AD was doing something / everything other than 1st AD work and our de facto 1st AD (according to IMDB most relevant /recent job was as a costume PA along with only 3 other costume-related projects) and was drowning/flailing and dragging everyone into the depths with them. Definitely sometimes get the feeling from new AD departments with whom I work that sound / wiring has been responsible for schedule delays and thus they feel a need to ride herd hard on us. That's not how I operate. If they bring the cast to me in a timely manner there's no waiting. Eventually they learn. In this case they never learned. No brain space for learning when you think you're doing to die. It's worth the trouble to tell it if in the telling I learn to better control my 'firmness level' for it eventually got ugly and I'm not proud of that.
  13. Just found this thread (catching up here this morning). Your confidence in our work is deeply appreciated. I was astonished post was able to make the audio work well enough that I didn't achieve the expected Puke State during the first listen. That's saying something. Getting my heart and brain ready for 2nd pass and perhaps this is the place in which to speak to the extraordinary process in finer detail. Extraordinary? Yeah: we survived. I asked myself every day if it might be that I was getting too old for it. The crew kids were also walking wounded throughout. So not this time. We must have prevailed since the sound didn't take me out of the story as it would normally do when I first experience a finished project. Could be that it was a particularly compelling story though... The learning curve for me was pretty much vertical. Don't think I had yet gotten to the point where I could QC all the sources and make an informative / non-annoying mix for the picture editor with ease. Playing the game tapes at night, came to the conclusion I'd have to trust the process and my gut. Having just finished a movie using the same game plan, I've freed more brain space for listening to all the things and mixing since "When They See Us". Suppose it keeps getting easier until the next change in the instrument / process. It was exhausting. Simon Hayes was in my brain every day many times a day: Sound Warrior. Thank you Simon for being on my shoulder throughout. A Warrior-related hurdle I've not yet tackled with grace requires my attention: I eventually got bitch-slappy with the PA's who'd come to me before we'd even landed the carts asking if I was ready to wire. Too soon. Every day. Every setup. Every scene. Every five minutes. I didn't want the pressure or the distraction. Told them nicely it was much too soon to ask and that I needed 15 minutes from the time the antenna masts go up to be ready to wire. That didn't work. I tried to teach them that they could tell when I'm ready by looking at the cart: wireless TRX and lavs laid out on the cart deck? If yes, I'm ready. I require peace during the first 15 minutes of the day to do pre-flight checks and conceive lav / mic logistics for the entire day. I get really pissy if I don't have quiet time to make my peace with the gear and plan. Especially for this gig since I was scared shitless I wouldn't be able to do it justice given what I was learning would be our documentary-ish shooting style. I too-fiercely fought for the place of peace and confidence I require when dealing with the players for outfitting. When actors come to me, they are preparing for their work. I honor that best I can. Waitressing was good practice to quickly Read a Room. I know the PA's had AD's nagging. "Can we bring the cast for wiring?" I know cast's not gonna be ready for at least an hour. Fine. I told them they didn't always have to ask me just because they were asked. Suggested that they could confidently tell the AD, "Not yet," until they heard from me I was ready. That didn't work. Anyway, I need to work on my patience. A lot. What are the pre-flight considerations for microphones? Task I hope to soon outsource to someone on the team: who goes home when for de-wire planning. Sometimes I need THAT transmitter later. Review schedule and sides to ascertain who's talking all day and will there be wardrobe changes between scenes. Get with that character's Costumer if necessary. Filter that information through what post will get / prefer relative to track layout. Assign and name tracks / TRX's for the entire day. Modulation scheme: Is this a reflective prison set? Change algorithm to ZHD96. Check. Scan and assign new frequencies. Wardrobe? That helps me properly prep the lavs and TRX's. Walk test. Rebattery TRX. Tell 'em it's time. 15 minutes. That's all I need. More later as time and brainspace permits. P.S. Thanks to Daniel McIntosh for the more-recent fine cigar and equally-fine live music recording.
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