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Ray Collins

Michael Moore 13 tips on Docs, I like number 13.

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I like this a lot:

 

13. Finally... Sound is more important than picture.

Pay your sound woman or sound man the same as you pay the DP, especially now with documentaries. Sound carries the story. It's true in a fiction film, too. You've been in a movie theater where it's been out of focus just a little bit or maybe the frame is spilling over onto the curtain. Nobody gets up, nobody says anything, nobody goes and tells the projectionist. But if the sound goes out, there is a riot in the theater, right? But if the picture sucks, or if you had to run because the police are after you, and the camera is jiggling all over the place, the audience is not going, “Hey, why is that camera jiggling? Hey, stop the camera jiggling!" Let's say you didn't shoot something entirely in focus, you had to shoot it really quickly. The audience doesn't care -- IF the story is strong, AND they can hear it. That's what they're paying attention to. Don't cheat on the sound. Don't be cheap with the sound. It's so important, the sound, when making a documentary.

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I said this on Facebook already, but there is a generation of kids in film school that grew up on Michael Moore documentaries. Whatever you think about him, his projects get around. Even if a kid disagrees with his stances, they may be inspired to make their own docs. I'm sure a lot of them study up on what he does the way narrative fiction fans listened to the director's commentary of Clerks hoping to pick up a few tips. If nothing else it plants a seed that this is not something to skimp on. He probably learned it the hard way at some point in his life, or came across something like that. Maybe a great interview with somebody that could never be recreated, but the audio was a mess. 

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Moore: " 13. Finally... Sound is more important than picture. "

I think I just read this somewhere...

 

actually, I firmly believe sound is: a partner in telling the story

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I'm new here. Hello everyone. Thanks for this post! Interesting read. It still amazes me what an afterthought the audio for picture can be sometimes. Well stated Mr. Moore. 

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I was recording an interview with Mr. Moore for a documentary after he did "Roger and Me" in the Brill Blg in NYC when a loud siren went by. He asked me if he could back up to get his response clean, I said "Of course, yes please".  He said "Im actually one of the few directors that really care about good sound." I said "Thats what they all say.." He said " shut the f--- up!" I guess he has limits..

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