Jump to content

To snake or not to snake?


Recommended Posts

I'd be interested to see how many of you have ceased carrying a lengthy snake attached to your bag, to make your kit a little lighter and more compact. I know I used to have one always attached in the event of a major catastrophe befalling the hops, so I could quickly plug in.

 

Worth doing as a fail-safe, or, lighten your load and trust the technology? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont always keep it attached to my bag, but I think your playing with fire to not have it near by...

 

Our technology AMAZING, but if we are standing/sitting there...I'm plugging in! If we are running I'm wireless and I'm begging some of the DP's I work with the wear ear buds(some refuse and it boggles my mind!) and I always hit record! lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I can, I ditch the snake and record double system. I don't need to give them the files unless they encounter a problem... But, I feel, that not being tied to camera, gives me and the camera person more freedom to do what we do. Occasionally, though, I encounter a producer or a camera person, who prefers a snake. So, it is always in my kit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a side note on the issue of weather to snake or not.  About 13 years ago now when I was first starting out as a game photographer for sporting events (Yes I know totally the dark ages)  I asked the engineer why we don't go wireless instead of running all of this cable for the audio channels in play, as it would have saved us at least half of the cable run we had to run at every location. (considering we were routinely running 3000' or more that was no small thing.)

 

His reply stuck with me till today for many reasons.  He  said simply that you can't trust those things which at the time was more true than today but still applies in the same if not more ways today.

 

Back then you had reliability issues with batteries, range, transient hits etc.. But hard wired was pretty much always rock solid.

 

Today the wireless sets are much better but there are tons more people on the same frequencies,  everybody has a cell phone wireless router etc... and these are starting to creep into our spectrum.  So in a lot of cases the hits situation can be worse now than before where I could walk into say a college venue and the only people running anything in say the 600 or 700 spectrum would be us, maybe the local tv shooter and maybe the university broadcast people.  Hospitals were the same you could go in and maybe one or two people would be using some kind of wireless transmission equipment.  Now I can think of a few that have switched to systems where all of the monitoring equipment and most everything else is wirelessly linked to the nurses station.  

 

Maybe this is why when I walk into any large venue they are still running thousands of feet of cabling for any given event, (Yes I know most are now permanently wired so the truck ties in and you tie into the drop point wherever you are.)  But the effect remains the same  rock solid transmission with no hits dropouts etc.  For those who are just starting out and wonder why I use the TV reference because we do film... it is because when you broadcast live there are no retakes and getting it right the first time is the only way.  

 

Sorry for the mini rant I apparently am channeling my inner engineer over the morning coffee this morning..... In short feel free to take the break away off if you are using hops but keep it close enough in case things go to sh#@.... or better yet if you can save yourself the headache and tether.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always keep a snake close by when i go wireless but i d rather put it in a small backpack or with assistant's camera batteries.

+1 on cabling when things get still.

What i dont like is to increase the weight of my sound bag when run n gunning and snakes are heavy. A double quick release snake will let you have a tail already attached to output 3-4 without the weight of the whole cable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some good points here. 

 

John W, excellent point about being sequestered for a quick pick up interview if there are multiple cameras roaming!

 

I feel like maybe I should get a shorter, less bulky snake as a fail-safe when hopping, and use the big snake for sit down interviews etc.

 

Cut down on a little weight, but have the insurance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Being tethered to a camera during verite shooting is at or near the top of the list of things that make me want to find a new line of work.  I only do it if the hop and the backup hop fail.  BUT, if everyone is sitting down and it's one of those crank-out-the-interviews days then being hooked up makes for 2 less things that can screw up.    

 

philp

Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember the rule of thumb:  If you have it, the probability may be high that you won't need it, but if you don't have it, the probability is extremely high that you will need it!

 

Murphy's Law

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...