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FUTURE PROPOSED CONTROL MEASURES FOR SPREAD OF COVID-19 By AMPS Feature Mixers Group 36 PRODUCTION SOUND MIXERS WORKING IN FEATURE FILMS & HIGH-END TV IN THE UK


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I just read through this doc and my message to its authors is that I will implement what is being asked for in direct proportion to the extra money handed over by a production to do so.  Many aspects of what is being asked for exceed the current technology owned by some of us, either in features or in sheer number of units, and this is not exactly a time in which I'm contemplating expensive upgrades to whole systems.  The business about sound supplying a lot of headsets for crew etc use is not going to happen--they have to get their own, as with walkie earpieces, and do their own sanitization.    Constant users of IFB, slate, TX box, camera hop etc technologies should be handling the disinfecting of those devices themselves, not waiting for the sound dept to deal with it for them.  Extra communications gear and set up will also happen to the exact degree that time, personnel and money are allocated for them.  It needs to be made clear that COVID protection is a PRODUCTION problem, not a SOUND problem.  I have reacted this way since over the years the sound dept has been increasingly marginalized on sets, and the doing of what this doc sets forth will require a very serious and far-ranging change of attitude in all the other departments involved.  I will be curious to see to what degree they will be able to make that change.

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I am all for having a safe set, but unless production wants to foot the bill for overtime (all of this in addition to our usually long days is going to be strenuous) and a ton of new associated kit fee costs (duplicate transmitters, more headsets, extremely remote antenna runs through say fiber etc etc) then it is just going to be masks, hand sanitizer and being "smart" about not being around people as much as possible.

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2 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

I just read through this doc and my message to its authors is that I will implement what is being asked for in direct proportion to the extra money handed over by a production to do so.  Many aspects of what is being asked for exceed the current technology owned by some of us, either in features or in sheer number of units, and this is not exactly a time in which I'm contemplating expensive upgrades to whole systems.  The business about sound supplying a lot of headsets for crew etc use is not going to happen--they have to get their own, as with walkie earpieces, and do their own sanitization.    Constant users of IFB, slate, TX box, camera hop etc technologies should be handling the disinfecting of those devices themselves, not waiting for the sound dept to deal with it for them.  Extra communications gear and set up will also happen to the exact degree that time, personnel and money are allocated for them.  It needs to be made clear that COVID protection is a PRODUCTION problem, not a SOUND problem.  I have reacted this way since over the years the sound dept has been increasingly marginalized on sets, and the doing of what this doc sets forth will require a very serious and far-ranging change of attitude in all the other departments involved.  I will be curious to see to what degree they will be able to make that change.

 

+111111

 

Starting up again, I have a feeling things will be a bit clumsy and time consuming at first. We (sound, other departments and productions as a whole) will have to figure out workflows, and find ways to get things to run somewhat smoothly while on the actual job. As we all know, no two jobs are the same...

Once we start working, I'm hoping we can share things that have worked for us in practice (or not) here on this forum.

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In my opinion the Comtek madness needs to stop and productions should really consider a 100% BYOH approach. Or at the start of a show you hand out brand new headsets to every crew member that needs one and they are not to be returned. It should be the individual’s responsibility to store it and keep it for their own personal use. Obviously we’ll keep ordering more (and production keeps paying for them) for replacing the inevitable lost or forgotten headsets but being expected to manage so many headsets and be responsible for their cleaning every single time village moves?? Oof. 
 

I think for the main villagers why not do the same with the receivers too. Just supply batteries and let them handle it. The less touching and passing gear back and forth the better no?

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6 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

I just read through this doc and my message to its authors is that I will implement what is being asked for in direct proportion to the extra money handed over by a production to do so.  Many aspects of what is being asked for exceed the current technology owned by some of us, either in features or in sheer number of units, and this is not exactly a time in which I'm contemplating expensive upgrades to whole systems.  The business about sound supplying a lot of headsets for crew etc use is not going to happen--they have to get their own, as with walkie earpieces, and do their own sanitization.    Constant users of IFB, slate, TX box, camera hop etc technologies should be handling the disinfecting of those devices themselves, not waiting for the sound dept to deal with it for them.  Extra communications gear and set up will also happen to the exact degree that time, personnel and money are allocated for them.  It needs to be made clear that COVID protection is a PRODUCTION problem, not a SOUND problem.  I have reacted this way since over the years the sound dept has been increasingly marginalized on sets, and the doing of what this doc sets forth will require a very serious and far-ranging change of attitude in all the other departments involved.  I will be curious to see to what degree they will be able to make that change.

Thank you, Phiip for putting it so well. I had the same impression, but couldn't draft a reply that didn't sound too negative.

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The document is about guidance and creating confidence in the fact that our craft has taken the situation seriously and can react and adapt safely to whatever issues we are faced with. The document deliberately does not set out a set of rules- they are guidelines. It may be that some productions do not require additional equipment, it may be that some do. Whatever the case may be we have it covered. For instance- actor decides he/she will not allow a sound assistant to work closely to change batteries, that *may* require the use of two TX's so the actor can be passed a fresh TX with new batteries by a dresser. We do not stipulate this, but if it is a requirement the cost can be negotiated with production. It is not our aim nor our business to talk about the financial implications of Covid-19, it is our aim to create a road map that can safely get our department back to work. Our document is about options - not about buying new equipment unless it’s necessary. We must all remember that when we return to work there is going to be a lot of content the studios want to shoot to get back on track in film and TV. There will be a cost associated with making productions safe in all departments and the sound dept is no different.

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The trouble with this document is that I can see producers taking it up wholesale and deciding that what it says is now policy, enough said--go do it, soundies, make sure you are "ready".  We "may" need 2 TX apiece for actors, and so on.  "May" doesn't cut it.  The production either plans for and pays for the extra gear in advance or it won't be available in the moment.   The problems needing to be solved need to be dealt with in pre-production, and will require a new attitude on the part of all the other departments who are used to the sound department being in an uninformed entirely reactive status all the time, and rolling with it.  Extremely well organized episodic shows with serious budgets will make this work.  For the rest of us--show me.

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20 hours ago, Derek H said:

In my opinion the Comtek madness needs to stop and productions should really consider a 100% BYOH approach. Or at the start of a show you hand out brand new headsets to every crew member that needs one and they are not to be returned. It should be the individual’s responsibility to store it and keep it for their own personal use. Obviously we’ll keep ordering more (and production keeps paying for them) for replacing the inevitable lost or forgotten headsets but being expected to manage so many headsets and be responsible for their cleaning every single time village moves?? Oof.

Even before COVID I was thinking of something like this. I will try to implement this on the next job. Thanks for sharing.

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on the subject of headphones this is great info. i already alerted my clients moving forward and will have them alert their clients job by job they must bring their own headsets or i can sell them a pair. that way no surprises. i am thinking airplane earbuds or dollar store / five below cheapies just to get thru the day billed back to the invoice at the very least. is this bad form to not have a quality headset at a higher price i.e. of you want good phones its on the person asking to bring their own?

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