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  1. Having agreed on the money etc., tabled negotiating prep days. Tech scout (there will be five days) and a day to confab with production designer / prop master / costume designer since period piece with possibility of period mics. I want to be well armed when the discussion resumes. The scout is sound's introduction to all the people able to make the difference between 'OK' and 'great' sound. If sound’s not on the scout the message is clear: our work doesn’t matter. Sound matters. Sound is subtle (unconscious) but here's a fact: 100% close ‘artificial’ sound breaks suspension of belief. Significant percentages of stories are told with words re-told by professional liars. It production’s duty to capture your expensive artists’ best performances for the project to achieve deep believability. $: knowing in advance where the carts may live saves production money in time and chaos reduction. Relative to cart placement, much depends on architecture. This is something no one but an RF SME (subject matter expert) can do. That teeny, tiny apartment may require the teeny tiny recording kit that wants attention the day before. Another SME situation. I begin real estate negotiations with locations and set dressers. There are questions to be answered: It's helpful to plan where actors may be privately / comfortably wired on set. Clap my hands and plan for the reverberant space. Ingress/egress addressed. Helpful to observe the relationship between director and DP, how they communicate. Essential to see the sketching out of coverage. What will not be seen. Knowing the equipment grips and electrics plan to bring tells me a lot about our work and how sound may need to adapt and/or form an alliance. I remain hopeful, especially with this estimable crowd to fill in the blanks. What else say you?
  2. In the last couple weeks there was a mixer thread somewhere Facebook wherein a work-for-us-free producer was trounced in the best tradition of web trouncing. Pitchforks were employed with impunity. Digital blood was shed. I was appalled and embarrassed for us. My sense is that--beyond the natural scrum-i-ness of the internetz--"professional" mixers who search for and find work on Mandy's and Craig's List dig their own professional graves and oil the no-budget machine they profess to abhor. Even so, this is exactly the right place for student mixers to get work. Once you find these places raise your blood pressure this means only one thing: it's time to take the next step up the ladder. Huzzah! Congratulations! There are always colleagues who need help staffing and they turn to me to staff sound. As a professional, it's my responsibility to keep the synergy flowing. This is a business of relationships and helping each other out. If I'm moved to respond to a low-budget stupid staffing post, I first plug into the above-mentioned synergy intention. Otherwise, I try to keep my mouth shut. Dealing with idiots well is a skill set I actively look for in my team, i.e. if a sound colleague can't deal with idiots gracefully in a field regularly scattered with idiots, I don't want 'em associated with me professionally. More later.
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