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Jan McL

How to Spot a Rookie at 100 Paces

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After a while, one may spot a rookie at 100 paces. How?

  • Running on set
  • Acute defensiveness
  • Acute anger
  • Wrapping the 7506 coiled cable tightly around the headphones at the end of the day

What else?

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" Wrapping the 7506 coiled cable tightly around the headphones at the end of the day "

Wrapping the 7506 coiled cable tightly around the headphones at the end of the day

>:(

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Not knowing where to put the slate (ie, too close to the camera out of focus, out of frame, etc.). Or, not knowing to open the slate, once the camera is rolling..

And, then.. clapping the slate, right in front of the actors face, WAY TOO LOUD!!

(this is a pet-peve)

-Richard

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rookie soundie? or just rookies in general? they all seem to have that token 'deer in the headlights' countenance about them... but more specific to sound...

for boom ops?...

• they stand right in front of a light to boom a shot...

• they always insist on being married to a ladder -- even when the lens is only 4' off the ground...

• they cable in (if hard-wired) to set 20 minutes before rehearsal, and then complain about their cable getting burried by the juicers.

• they insist on the impossibility of a shot and stammer off like a jilted prom date.

I've been guilty of all of these and more in my 20+ years. I started as a boom op on a Julie Corman film in Idaho, and it was total trial by fire... man, was I green! Fortunately, there were enough crew members with the experience and patience to help me along without too much razzing -- definitely took my share, but so worth it in hindsight : )

~tt

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Not knowing where to put the slate (ie, too close to the camera out of focus, out of frame, etc.). Or, not knowing to open the slate, once the camera is rolling..

And, then.. clapping the slate, right in front of the actors face, WAY TOO LOUD!!

(this is a pet-peve)

-Richard

+11

...and dropping your slate onto a concrete floor from 5'... : (

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Standing in door ways, that are needed to move things, staring at what is going on.

Extras that have never been on set before thinking that miming includes actual whispering.

Mixer that threads the tape over the Nagras mu metal head shield and can't figure out where the sound went.

Mixer that leaves the radio mic bag behind on a set change, and the blow away walls get put back in and the bag is hidden and lost for hours.

Dolly grip with no experience taking a dolly through a doorway and nearly tearing off the camera operators leg.

Grip spotting a boom operator on a ladder, not watching as the boom op falls back onto the dolly and is off work for three months.

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Another great thread, Jan. And an amusing one that I'm sure takes many of us back.

Interrupting the director while he is talking to a producer or actor

Loudly shushing people during a take...SHHHHHH!!!!

Grimacing and looking hopeful when a lav is scratchy. Being tentative instead of decisive.

It's really about getting the rhythm of production and not being seduced by what seems like a lull, but is actually a brief window to get important things done (often relating to managing controllable noise). Basically, when to relax and when to tense up. When to wait and watch and when to act. Then hemming and hawing while that incredibly brief window of opportunity slams on your fingers.

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Director and talent discussing scene. Extra wanders up and says "excuse me do you know how long we are going to be here today I have an audition to go to."

On a 16 hour day, during a shot, I'm booming, the Director is animated looking at me, and mouthing that his Comtek is not working. It's all about his headphone feed, he's paying no attention to the scene. I pull the mic out the scene and tell the mixer the director needs a battery. Egg all over my face.

Working with my son who is booming, on a "Christian" show. Parent/ off spring issues arise, and we have words, the name of Jesus Christ comes loudly out of my mouth, just as the producer walks by.

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The savvy politicians I've worked with have learned the maxim, "Never say anything on set that you don't want the world to hear."

When I was in radio years ago, I used to tell the newcomers, "If, in your entire radio career, you only say one off-color thing while you're in the control room, and, if, in your entire radio career, you only leave your mic on accidently one time, the two events will, inevitably occur simultaneously. So, while you're in this control room, never say anything that you don't want to be remembered by."

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I had one dropped from 40 feet up in the air. I wasn't even mad - I started laughing. New Slate anyone?

...and dropping your slate onto a concrete floor from 5'... : (

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The savvy politicians I've worked with have learned the maxim, "Never say anything on set that you don't want the world to hear."

When I was in radio years ago, I used to tell the newcomers, "If, in your entire radio career, you only say one off-color thing while you're in the control room, and, if, in your entire radio career, you only leave your mic on accidently one time, the two events will, inevitably occur simultaneously. So, while you're in this control room, never say anything that you don't want to be remembered by."

+1

Yeah, it's taking me back, for sure...

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won't stop asking questions.... or continue to act as though you can hear them ask their questions while your cans are on.

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I like when instead of cutting they say" keep rolling we'll do another take " and then do about ten takes on the same slated scene and ask which one was the best ? I still have trouble logging a report on these :)

Tom

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I had one dropped from 40 feet up in the air. I wasn't even mad - I started laughing. New Slate anyone?

What else can you do at that point? Let me guess, they were up in a Condor? The only time I let them take one of my timecode slates up in a Condor is when I want them to drop it and have production buy me a new one.

~tt

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Writing on the slate with a sharpie

slamming the slate like they are Mr. Miyagi trying to kill a fly

Asking non stop questions

The boom op telling other crew what he would have done differently if he were mixing

dropping the boom

taking off the duplex cable from the box by turning the housing rather than the ring effectively breaking every solder joint

and oh so many more.

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Writing on the slate with a sharpie

I don't mind Sharpie on the slate too much -- it comes off pretty easily with dry-erase (just write over the Sharpie with dry-erase, and then erase as usual.)

taking off the duplex cable from the box by turning the housing rather than the ring effectively breaking every solder joint

and oh so many more.

ouch... yeah, that hurts.

~tt

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