Jump to content

Hiding mics in restaurant


tvaudioman
 Share

Recommended Posts

So, I just got a call for this shoot on Monday. Sounds fun.

Basics is hidden cameras shooting unknowing guests at a table. Waiter is our actor.

I've got plenty of ideas going in my head, but wanted ideas on hiding mics in this scenario. Obviously Waiter will be wired. But any other mics would have to be hidden from pretty much every angle. I don't know the position of the table yet, etc.

Some of the tools in my bag:

  • Various lavs, wireless and hardwired, including B6, Tram, ECM-77, 55's, etc.
  • AT-831b lav. (It's cardioid, to maybe mounted under the table next to our table)
  • Audix SCX1-HC (maybe mounted under the table next to our table)
  • shotgun mics
  • ceiling mounts
  • Crown PCC-170's

Any thoughts and ideas are welcome. thanks.

 

Edited by tvaudioman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • If there's a table cloth and a center piece on the table see about putting a small hole in the cloth and getting the B6 through the hole and attach it to the center piece. That type of rig has worked well for me in the past. If there's an overhead hanging light over the table a wireless rig there will help. Any mic under another table will be useless. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think a boundary mic would be a natural choice for this scenario. Perhaps, if you can convince them, you can rout out a space in the middle of the table so the mic can be recessed with a hole drilled so the cable can be run underneath. Will the table have a table cloth?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had thought about flower arrangement, but had the other thoughts of them moving it while sitting at the table. I like your table cloth idea.
I, nor production, has seen the restaurant yet. They are scouting tomorrow.

As for as table next to them: thanks for thoughts on the mic under the table. Am still thinking of ways to utilize a 2nd table to plant mic though, mayb eon top of table some how. Obviously would be a decision made on site.

Keep em coming. thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the boundary mic: A PZM or a PCC. (edit) If there's a  drop ceiling and no low hanging fixture to hang a wire from, perhaps sticking the head of the shotgun through a hole in the ceiling tile. If the place is loud and reflective, or quiet and subdued will matter. Close to a noisy kitchen will be a factor too. If you can, maybe go there with a bag kit and do a few tests. Eric: Of course if the center piece of my table were mic'd, I'd find it when I rearranged the table. I'd be wary of people like me.  : P

Edited by Rachel Cameron
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the PCC mic, not sure how I'd place it discretely.

Eric: Of course if the center piece of my table were mic'd, I'd find it when I rearranged the table. I'd be wary of people like me.  : P

That's me when I sit down. Move all the stuff on the restaurant table to the way I want it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PZM's  on restaurant tables always sound like a good idea until you do them.  Lots of hands and elbows sliding around make for inferior recordings, not to mention the forks/knives on plates and glasses being set down on the table sound like church bells going off in your head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PZM and mics in props work well when the actors know where the mic is and that they should try not to touch it and to time the forks' and dishes' noises between their dialog lines.

But that's exactly what the guests do not (and must not) know in your scenario.

I'd rather mount something above the table. Pattern would depend.

Maybe, if it's not too busy, two 816s from a bit farther away, pointing at the table from opposite sides? Just thinking aloud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would absolutely try hiding lav mics in overhead lighting.  Sanken Cos11, Countryman B6, or AKG 417..

see if you can find an online photo of the restaurant.. absolutely try to get in with the Art Dept people to plan this.

And.. prop vase with an tx and an omnigoose may also work.. but I bet an OST and a TX will be the winner..

consider if you can find some ornamental straw or tubing and some joe's sticky stuff to hide the mic in plain sight..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I was presented with this when I got there. Not the easiest. But client was very understanding and mainly wanted the waiters sound. Which was out actor. The people at the table were the ones that did not know they were being filmed. I mounted two shotguns about 8-12 feet away. not great sound, but ok. Waiters mic was better.

 

IMG_3891.JPG

But I soon realized/ learned we were only doing the prank through getting drinks and ordering, by that time it was over. They'd move them to a real table and we'd wait for next subjects to arrive. So I came up with this.

IMG_3887.JPG

Edited by tvaudioman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only the one side, it was usually 2 people, at 90 degrees. But they did not know they were being filmed. So had to hide transmitter as well, from all angles (plus it had about 5 cameras on it, from all angles). I talked to a waitress, and said I need a washed out bottle, then I went to work. I didn't have much time, or would have made cut cleaner. Just had my Gerber multi-tool and a few minutes to do this between customers. :)

IMG_3888.JPG

Edited by tvaudioman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good quick fix to a less then friendly situation. Was wondering where you hid the TX. Also a good reminder why it is always a very good idea to be polite, friendly and understanding of the people who actually work day to day in the locations we do our stuff. They are more often then not the ones who have the true knowledge to make our lives much more pleasant.

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...