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Christian Spaeth

The "Best client/producer/agency quotes" thread

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On 3/9/2018 at 2:13 PM, JonG said:

I guess there's no point to asking because if the DP was dumb enough to say something like that, then any other question would not be worth getting into, but where does a DP or anyone for that matter feel the need to give sound tips to the sound person? I mean, can I get away with telling the DP which f-stop will be the best to use in a particular situation?

Had this DP tell me over and over that his friend works for Skywalker Sound and says that all smoke machine noises can be taken out. The director (his friend) was really pleased by that and never listened to my 2 cents Haha. Guess it doesnt matter the frequency of the machine, proximity to mics, or proximity to frequency of the actors voice at all. Thanks DP.

 

Recently worked on a movie where every time the aliens would make clicky/chirpy noises the actors would react. We shot about 15 pages near a construction site in a quarry where frogs were mating. Similar to above, I kept getting asked "does the construction kill us?" I'd say "if not the frogs would" and vice versa. 

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My response to the Skywalker comment would be “Oh, cool! So Skywalker is doing the post on this huh?”

 

 

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"What are you doing?" -Editor

"Shooting a plate" -Me

"What's a plate?" -Editor 

 

"Can we turn down the camera fan? Maybe to adaptive mode" -Me

"No I dont want to overheat the camera" -DP (I've had good luck with DPs lately)

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Shooting in the arrivals area at LAX: " How is it for sound?"

-----------------------------------------------

AD : "Roll sound" 

I quickly say speed, anticipating the call to roll. 

AD " WTF! NEVER roll until I tell you to!"

----------------------------------------------

Editor: "What are the digital numbers on your slate?"

----------------------------------------------

Producer: "We have an award winning director"

 

edit- this thread is much needed therapy 😅

 

 

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Email from Producer:
 
This question came from post

 

Will sound be embedded in the files he will receive, or will he need to synch sound (hopefully the former)

 

 

This is YES , right 
 
We would not ask post to SYNC 
 
Just making sure 
 
Also, this email from Discovery Ch "Investigation Discovery"

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 7.36.00 PM.png

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6 hours ago, pverrando said:

Also, this email from Discovery Ch "Investigation Discovery"

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 7.36.00 PM.png

This could actually be helpful, if it went out to others as well. This is really basic stuff, but it indicates that production wants sound to be good and that steps towards it should be taken and that they're thinking about it and at least somewhat informed.

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6 hours ago, pverrando said:

Also, this email from Discovery Ch "Investigation Discovery"

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 7.36.00 PM.png

This could actually be helpful, if it went out to others as well. This is really basic stuff, but it indicates that production wants sound to be good and that steps towards it should be taken and that they're thinking about it and at least somewhat informed.

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After I had an issue with a Lav and stated "It's OK we've got it on the boom." 

 

TVC Director "I f**k'n hate the sound of the boom" 

 

Had been booming all day up to this point and this is what was in his IFB feed. 

 

Same director lost his shit when we slated the first shot. NO SLATES ON HIS SET, IT'S NOT ORGANIC. 

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With younger directors I now ask if they want slates before the first shot, or on the phone when setting up the job, to avoid any unpleasantness over them.  Frequently the productions who don't want slates also don't want any sort of TC or audio gear attached to their cameras either.  OK then.

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On 6/1/2018 at 10:02 PM, Christian Spaeth said:

Maybe the people they usually work with for sound are not pros (hence cheaper) and thus need to be told how to hold a boom?

"please remember to point the mic towards the actors"

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

"please remember to point the mic towards the actors"

 

I've heard the equivalent quote in radio production:

"When you record the jingle, please make sure the announcer is closer to the mic so he can be heard over the music."

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On 6/1/2018 at 8:34 AM, Philip Perkins said:

With younger directors I now ask if they want slates before the first shot, or on the phone when setting up the job, to avoid any unpleasantness over them.  Frequently the productions who don't want slates also don't want any sort of TC or audio gear attached to their cameras either.  OK then.

 

I like this. I may start doing this as well. How involved do you get with the slating process that it would be something you would have to speak to the director about? I usually just jam the thing and pass it off to the 1st or 2nd AC and then go on with my day. What they do with it is up to them.


Last week production requested a timecode slate, they rented it from me, I hand it off the AC, they never actually slate takes. I don't feel responsible for that.

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On 6/3/2018 at 8:36 PM, darrenaug said:

 

I like this. I may start doing this as well. How involved do you get with the slating process that it would be something you would have to speak to the director about? I usually just jam the thing and pass it off to the 1st or 2nd AC and then go on with my day. What they do with it is up to them.


Last week production requested a timecode slate, they rented it from me, I hand it off the AC, they never actually slate takes. I don't feel responsible for that.

How much do you typically charge for a slate rental? Trying to decide if it's worth the buy since a lot of productions I've been working on don't call for one.

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Was shooting in a supermarket the other day. I tried my best to tame the noise from the dozen or so fridges or freezers. Some of them are semi-broken and rattle. I put some blankets, hoping it might reduca the noise at least a bit. I try to get the store guy to help me, but he says an alarm will go of in their headquarters when the temperature rises above a certain threshold. Even though they had initially told me that they could turn everything off on a per take basis. 

But they can’t really. Producer, director, dop, everyone tells me it’s fine they‘ll be able to filter that (they wanted to air this three days later). 

Next day they come back to me, and literally said „We can hear a lot of noise from the freezers. Couldn’t you do anything about that?“ ?!!??? Wtf? It‘s like there were two different sets of people there 

 

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3 hours ago, Constantin said:

It‘s like there were two different sets of people there 

 

There were. Many producers, DOPs, directors etc are visually oriented to the extent that they don't even hear sounds when they're distracted by images. They note the content -- all the words appear to be there -- but aren't listening to the sound. 

Their auditory brains don't turn on until they're listening to the track by itself. 

Then their political brains look for someone to blame.

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My last commercial, busy intersection, "cool" part of town. On scout ask if we will be blocking the street to cut down on the traffic; truck, buses, motorcycles. Stoplight doesn't slow the noise. I tell them I'll do my best after they tell me the city won't let them shut down the street since it would involve two major crossing streets and would need two detours set up, plus they had already promised the businesses they wouldn't hinder foot traffic to said businesses. I told them they just might be looking at ADR and they agreed. Day of the commercial is actress walking along different sections of the sidewalk in a two block area set up from the base camp. Get as far away from base camp as we are going to be all day. I'm hopping my audio back to base camp with just whips and all seems good, even do a test. Third take in the whole base camp is around me saying they had lost audio, I look up and a beer truck has parked between me and the line of site receiver. What was I going to do to fix it? I had nothing, but started to hand out comteks that I had brought with me. Did have the production manager come up to me and ask me how the audio was going. Since we weren't holding for traffic, I told her it would have to be decided in post and I was only recording for sync. Haven't heard since then and haven't seen the ad air yet and no phone calls.

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12 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Be glad for the next soundie they hire--maybe they'll remember that experience when they scout locations.

They won't.

 

12 hours ago, Jay Rose said:

 

There were. Many producers, DOPs, directors etc are visually oriented to the extent that they don't even hear sounds when they're distracted by images. They note the content -- all the words appear to be there -- but aren't listening to the sound. 

Their auditory brains don't turn on until they're listening to the track by itself. 

Then their political brains look for someone to blame.


I've had scenarios where it is so noisy that the camera crew are having to SHOUT to communicate to each other, and the actors can barely hear each other's lines for their cues, then they ask me if the sound is going to be ok???? How is that a question, are your ears painted on??? 

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17 hours ago, Constantin said:

Was shooting in a supermarket the other day. I tried my best to tame the noise from the dozen or so fridges or freezers. Some of them are semi-broken and rattle. I put some blankets, hoping it might reduca the noise at least a bit. I try to get the store guy to help me, but he says an alarm will go of in their headquarters when the temperature rises above a certain threshold. Even though they had initially told me that they could turn everything off on a per take basis. 

But they can’t really. Producer, director, dop, everyone tells me it’s fine they‘ll be able to filter that (they wanted to air this three days later). 

Next day they come back to me, and literally said „We can hear a lot of noise from the freezers. Couldn’t you do anything about that?“ ?!!??? Wtf? It‘s like there were two different sets of people there 

 

 

I did 5+ years of (in store during biz hours) supermarket TVC's so hear your pain. 

These days I just mention it's usable but you'll still need Izotope RX to fix it. 

It's always surprising how many on set are audio pro's when you have a location issue and mention it. Try telling the DOP how to use his/her lamps..  

 

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When repeatedly having pointed out to the music video director gone commercial ad director, that he needed to think about not giving directions during takes with dialogue, and the 1AD steps in and calms me down: "no worries, he will be doing the editing himself, and he loves listening to his own voice" :-)

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An EP at video village calls me over.

 

“Hey Dan, my Comtek isn’t working! What’s wrong with it?”

 

“Can I see it?”

 

“…Oh, it’s off.”

 

Everyone within 10 feet laughed.

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Just got home from a shoot that is supposed to take place in the end of the world.

 

On the first day someone was cutting the grass close to the location. They got convinced to turn it off and they took a break and started to blast music from a radio instead.

 

I told the producer that we had a problem.

 

- Can you really hear that?

- Ofcourse.

- Well can't you just filter it out in post?

- No not really. It's a broadband sound and I don't think they listen to Rihanna and then Beyonce from the other perspective. Not when they don't even have electric left.

- Is there some way you can get rid of it?

- We can ask them if they are willing to shut it of.

- That's not possible.

 

I know this might seem like going behind someone's back. But I really didn't want to ruin the sound becouse of a stubborn producer so I asked a girl if she could convince them. And she sure did in exchange for a pack of cigarettes to the guys at the radio.

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