Jump to content

Talk About Sound Reports


Jan McL
 Share

Recommended Posts

A few years ago, took to creating a sample sound report to send to editorial during pre-production, like this:

2670083846_c3135e0d69_z_d.jpg

First and best, sending out a draft sound report with notes continues the already-open flow of information and communication, with a small dose of humor. The timing is just after we've agreed on specs, so post (and UPM) can see the sound report in draft, before I send it to the printer.

I'm really consistent with my marks. Stars for sync/transfer, asterisks for sound editorial notes, circles for tone.

Seems like productions don't often need time code notes from me any more. I like that. This was one of the last shows I used the DAT for backup, hence the file #'s.

If one of the wires sux, I'll make a note of the take that sux the least, for example. I tend to make little temporary marks known only to me for future reference in the event that a take requires a further note to post.

What else do you include on your sound reports?

-- Jan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant as always, Jan! Maybe it's just because we both do a lot of the same things that I am so impressed. I sent off my "Reading the Sound Report" document to Editorial on the movie I am starting. I did a sample report and marked it up with simple explanations just as you have done. I designed and made up several full page (8 1/2 x 11) report forms but I hated using all of them. I'm sticking with the half page reports I have been using since 1978 (having gone through many different versions to support the changing ways of doing things --- DAT, file-based, etc.). I still do not log timecode and thankfully have never been asked to on the jobs I'm on.

- Jeff Wexler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[blushing] :) Jeff.

Have heard of political echo chambers, but now...

Jeff, how do you indicate iso track assignments on a smaller report? I ask because as I trim down to a 2nd Unit cart mini-everything-I-can-think-of, wonder if a smaller clipboard would not be in order.

Here's a copy of my current, generic multi-track report:

4764317788_b850072826_z_d.jpg

I've left a column for time code because some NY TV shows want it.

-- Jan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff, how do you indicate iso track assignments on a smaller report?

-- Jan

I indicate iso tracks in a very simple and somewhat under-powered manner: in the Comments line I put a square box with a number in it and a name (character name) or description (fx, o.c., ambience). The number is the Track number of the iso track. This simple method has worked for me primarily because I use so few tracks on most of the movies I have been doing. This is changing, of course, as I work with more and more productions that want to "wire everybody" and have isos for everything. In these cases, a larger sound report with a dedicated entry box for all 8 tracks may be needed.

I got a panicked call from the assistant editor on the TV pilot I did saying that she couldn't find the iso tracks. I had issued a memo at the beginning of this job explaining that I would turn in 1 DVD-RAM disc that would always have a Track 1 ("mix") track and any other tracks would be on this disc as well and indicated on the sound report. I think the assistant had not had a lot of experience and the last job she did the mixer handed in several discs and a hard drive, one disc having the mix, one disc having the isos, the hard drive having everything and a duplicate backup...  yikes! It turns out that she was looking for all the isos for several scenes where we only used 1 microphone and 1 track.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1/2 page with room for notes and track IDs.  I label track IDs with cast numbers, which are usually obvious as to who they are, even if editors do not get cast list, which I send them along with copy of reports at the end.

I like this. If the track boxes were just a bit bigger I could put actual character name in. I'm not sure about the whole thing of keying cast member's Call Sheet number to the sound report.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like this. If the track boxes were just a bit bigger I could put actual character name in. I'm not sure about the whole thing of keying cast member's Call Sheet number to the sound report.

There is room for most character names, and I often write them.  If the boxes were any bigger, I'd be onto a full-page report, which I am trying to avoid, since I also try to use as few tracks as possible on features.  I will sometimes use "him" or "her" or "mom" or "dad" or something shorthand, when it is obvious as to who I am writing about.  Typically, I find in features that most scenes involve #1 and/or #2, so that's usually how I identify them.

Robert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of these reports look great.  Here's one I came up with--less multitrack-centric than most of yours, since I seem to do oddball jobs that require a lot of explaining, and thus open writing space and a flexible format.  Many of you have seen the reports that Metacorder (and Boom Recorder) can make on their own--they work very well for me on jobs in the 20 track range (Metacorder has a lot of flexibility about changing file info after it has been recorded--a very excellent thing, prior to converting the report to PDF within the app).    Full disclosure--on most of the jobs I do anymore  the picture and sound are delivered together as files, so I need to give them a file-based report--there is no box to put the report in etc where I'm sure the right people will get it (a big issue on short jobs w/o a worked out routine for daiies).

For those jobs and for bag/docs etc I end up keeping a quick log of what's in which audio file and then making a simple text file on a laptop that goes w/ my audio files, and can also be emailed to post and production right from the set.  In truth I'm doing this sort of report (along w/ the Metacorder PDF) a lot more than filling out my multi-copy paper reports anymore.

Philip Perkins

horiz_nurepPDF.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a sometimes dialog editor, I cannot stress enough how important the sound reports are. Unfortunately they are frequently so poor that some editors have gotten into the habit of not even looking at them. The more specific the notes are, the better. (For instance, if a take is bad, please state exactly why.)

I also appreciate it when the mixer lists the mikes used, including radio mikes, so that if we need to loop a single line we can try to match it as closely as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Way to go, Bob! Made my day, again. I used to get my sound reports from Glen Glenn ... brings back lots of memories. I also used to get the Fisher boom (which we had on almost every job) from Glen Glenn because they had the seats and the offset arm.

-  Jeff Wexler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff,

The Glen Glenn sound report is actually 14 inches long for some reason (I had to cut out about a third of the lines so I could fit it in my scanner). It's a 3 page form with carbon sheets in between. I've had a stack of 50 of these sealed in cellophane since the 70's I think and I finally cut it open to scan one of them. I also have a stack of Todd AO reports which are nearly identical.

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question for those of you who make your own why don't you have hardware pre-filled in as well?

In my case the recorders change often enough re different gigs that I like to keep it open.  Back in the day I had reports (and tape box crack-and-peel labels) that had "Nagra IV-S-TCS" or "Nagra 4.2" (and before that, Nagra III NPH) already filled in. 

Philip Perkins

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a sometimes dialog editor, I cannot stress enough how important the sound reports are. Unfortunately they are frequently so poor that some editors have gotten into the habit of not even looking at them. The more specific the notes are, the better. (For instance, if a take is bad, please state exactly why.)

I also appreciate it when the mixer lists the mikes used, including radio mikes, so that if we need to loop a single line we can try to match it as closely as possible.

@Bondelev! Yes! So good to hear from one familiar with post.

After a couple of calls requesting a mic make for ADR, I've taken to trying to remember to list lavs under character names. Will be better at that from now on.

I used to get the feeling that post wasn't looking at my reports, and went on a campaign to change that. It starts with spec negotiations (I get the assistant editor's & transfer guy's cell #'s so we can text - the fastest way to stay in touch while shooting IMHO), continues by sending a draft of the sound report with notes, and then, a text here and there to stay in touch.

@Bondelev -- What makes for a bad report (beyond inaccuracy)? Under what circumstances have you banged your head against the keyboard while flailing a sound report?

I love that a bunch of the coolest soundies on the planet are totally geeking out about sound reports.

@Matthias I have a .pdf of my report 'copied' via Kinkos online to 3-part forms, and delivered to the store closest to the production office for COD pickup, after connecting with the UPM/APOC for authorization/information of course. Since I last ordered 'em, I think they may have added this as a print option, if I'm wrong about that, then just include the 3-part form request in 'special instructions'. Debate the wisdom of taking my copy of the report home and distributing via scan --> email. Yes. No. Yes. No.

For a movie/show, I try to fill in everything I can in advance for the printer. Every little bit counts. Second Unit folks can scratch out and replace different information, including name, contact info, or a different recorder.

Speaking of 2nd Unit, providing 2nd unit with labels, reports, stock, batteries, start work, etc., is one of the nicest things a 1st Unit sound team can do to ease 2nd Unit first-day stress. Kinda like the welcome wagon. Sweet.

Thanks!

Jan

P.S. How are you guys including a link to download those .pdf's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like this thread, interesting to see variations on a design. I use quite 'chunky' freeform info, because I seem to have big handwriting (if it's to remain legible). The stuff I work on is generally all boomed (due to budgets and lack thereof), and I try to make it self-explanatory with the acronyms I use. I think I based this off a Richmond Film Services format. "T#" is the recorder take, essentially the incremental numerical file suffix, so there's an absolute reference to the actual filename on the CF.

harp28_sound_report_v3.2.pdf

harp28_sound_report_v3.2.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does everyone start a new scene with "take 1" or do you use incremental take numbers so there's only one take 1, 2, 3,etc? Seems to me that incremental take numbers would be easier for post to assemble the preferred takes. OTOH I've heard that some talent get upset when the take number is abnormaly high due to the number of takes for the day.

Eric

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does everyone start a new scene with "take 1" or do you use incremental take numbers so there's only one take 1, 2, 3,etc? Seems to me that incremental take numbers would be easier for post to assemble the preferred takes. OTOH I've heard that some talent get upset when the take number is abnormaly high due to the number of takes for the day.

Eric

It is not for us to decide, it is the script supervisors job to let us know about how things are numbered.  I will say that there seems to be a clear pattern to the way spots are numbered vs shows and movies but that may be because I am married to a Scripty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does everyone start a new scene with "take 1" or do you use incremental take numbers so there's only one take 1, 2, 3,etc? Seems to me that incremental take numbers would be easier for post to assemble the preferred takes. OTOH I've heard that some talent get upset when the take number is abnormaly high due to the number of takes for the day.

Eric

I actually still do this when working on jobs w/o scriptys--I just do ascending file numbers and then describe what's going on in each one or each group.  ("KISS".)  When there is a scripty, I do the numbers their way.  A lot of jobs I do anymore SHOULD have a scripty but DON'T (and I'll leave you to conjecture why that is), so in that case the AC and I kind of make it up as we go along.  As long as we agree I figure we've done what we can....

Philip Perkins

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in in paperless world now!

No more trying to write in ball pen on rain sodden log pages!

I enter slate/take/notes into my Portadrive

I backup on my laptop each day

I use BWF Widget Pro to extract all the info.

It produces a complete log with t/code in and out for each take plus duration

All this complete with my logo and phone number and production data

This then ends up as a PDF that I burn with the rushes and or email

I then archive the day on a 1.5T ext drive complete with the log

mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, Mike, I'd love to see one of the pdf's this produces.

Thanks!

I'm really excited about the possibility of getting to this kind of work flow for sound reports. Finding the laptop a spot on the cart is one of the first steps toward that goal.

-- Jan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is one big benefit of Boom Recorder. I still use paper reports but suppliment the discs with a PDF copy from Boom Recorder. Customizable and automatic! Post, even though it is clearly labeled on the paper report, didn't know it was there. Once they found out, they loved it. Now with the newer BR version, a CSV report makes sorting any variable easy and efficient incase they are looking for a specific actors line or sfx.

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...