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2 way coms with actors


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I'm looking for suggestions about how to handle multiple, (3) actors in full body robot like costumes. They need to have full duplex
coms with each other and the director. The production said do you have comteks for the actors. Yes, but do you understand that the actors own dialogue need to be iso'd (is that a word) from their comtek feed otherwise it will feed back to them and cause a distracting echo that will likely be too much for their own intelligibility. Another problem is the 2 way coms I'm familiar with like the HME systems that the camera departments use; have a large headset and boom mics which probably wouldn't work in a full body enclosed costume. Any other 2 way coms that would require a "Push To Talk" are obviously out of the question because the actors can't physically do it. I have easily done 2 way phone conversations with 2 separate comtek transmitters and a mix minus on the actors iso outputs. I have 3 comtek transmitters and 4 Lectro IFB's which I could conceivably make into 3 separate actor feeds and still have IFB's for everybody else; like the director, the crowd (which I call the Video Village audience) the booming and utility and maybe camera department (which could be operators and assistants), still need to take care of AD's and possible effects crew and PA's. There sure are a lot of crew out there that need to follow along. Any of your suggestions and observations would be appreciated. Say a prayer for us here in New Mexico this year it our turn for our state to burn.

 

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Hands-free? Maybe have a look at sports referee com systems or, even better, horseriding comms like Ceecoach ...

They're Bluetooth based, but range is practical.

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Check out this article: https://www.lectrosonics.com/press-releases/836-gotham-sound-gears-up-for-lost-in-space-with-lectrosonics.html

 

Also, I'm pretty sure there is some knowledge out there from Simon Hayes who did Prometheus (a space-suit movie with practical comms). This article is about The Martian: https://www.local695.com/magazine/the-martian/

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We do this all the time on our show.

You’ll need two Comtek systems. You mic the actor. However you send the directors feed to the actors (earwig, earbud, one ear), use one transmitter that’s sending only the VOG mic. The other transmitter (on a separate frequency, of course) you feed the actors mic. Director hears actor only, actor hears VOG only.

 

Regards,

 

Moe

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I had an on set emergency where they thought the actors could just be on the phone with each other (as per the script) but there was no cell service. Haha! So I gave the actors the full mix in their ears and they were total pros about it. YMMV. Try to ask or do a test with the actors. They may not mind hearing their own voices at all.

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The actors usually don't mind hearing themselves if the mix is such that they are way lower in it than the incoming feed.  In fact I found that some of them were made nervous if they could NOT hear themselves--it made them think the system wasn't working or that the director couldn't hear them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On the movie "Interstellar"  we had spacesuits and helmets.  Each suit was rigged with a lav, an SMV transmitter, an earpiece and a Lectro R1A.  All wires received into a 788 and output mix minus for each actor transmitted via Lectro SMV in IFB mode.  The actors could hear each other, no issue with hearing themselves or feedback and the individual mics were clean.  The director had a wireless push to talk mic fed into 788 and out to the actors while he listened to a Comtek with the mix.  This whole system was very portable and scalable up to 7 actors. 

 

We also had one "robot."  That actor had the same setup but we used a headset mic since he didn't have a helmet.  To complicate things the robot was also rigged with a powered speaker so his voice could be audible to the astronauts when they took off their helmets.  

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On 5/10/2022 at 4:53 PM, boomhead said:

On the movie "Interstellar"  we had spacesuits and helmets.  Each suit was rigged with a lav, an SMV transmitter, an earpiece and a Lectro R1A.  All wires received into a 788 and output mix minus for each actor transmitted via Lectro SMV in IFB mode.  The actors could hear each other, no issue with hearing themselves or feedback and the individual mics were clean.  The director had a wireless push to talk mic fed into 788 and out to the actors while he listened to a Comtek with the mix.  This whole system was very portable and scalable up to 7 actors. 

 

We also had one "robot."  That actor had the same setup but we used a headset mic since he didn't have a helmet.  To complicate things the robot was also rigged with a powered speaker so his voice could be audible to the astronauts when they took off their helmets.  

Great sounding work!

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