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November 8

Thomas Causey

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Ebb and flow; after seven days of music, extras, a cathedral of strobes and water fountains, we have returned to the dark cavern known as sound stage 14 at Sony studios. Two cameras and four walls seem like a gift from above.

We the sound crew now find ourselves with an assortment of duties, clockits for each camera, wireless recievers for each camera, time code slates for each camera, video village's constant need for headphones (quests, family members, execs, agents) really can't participate without the comtec. During the early days of Hollywood, bleachers were constructed to watch this new novelty, the village is a direct link to those days of the bleacher. Since film making is such a slow process; we have a satelite dish and a wide screen monitor so the producers and writers can be constanly entertained during that boring portion known as lighting the set. Its amazing how loud a group of people watching tv can be, oh well, never bite the hand that feeds you.

Actually, one of the crucial decisions takes place right now; the final resting place for the sound cart, this comes once the digital tent, video village have found the prime ground. All essential grip and lightning gear is close to every entrance, let us not forget these departments out number us as well as out weigh us, location, location, location. Way back by the air conditioners, craft service, and wardrobe racks we find a suitable place for cart A. Cart B with radio recievers/antenneas, comtec transmitters, and boom tools is negotiated near the set. Let me underline negotiate, everything that a professional sound crew does is done with consideration for all other departments, a fishpole, a cart left in the way of the grip or lightning crew is the mark of a rank amateur, consideration for the prop and costume department can reap great benefits. Woe be the sound crew that attempts to walk the line by itself, our job is done on the shoulders of many. While the microphone position is the holy grail of production sound, its the effective diplomacy of the set that will permit success.

I must confess, that with the two two boom caddies, rugs, and assortment of neccesitaties we now have a cart C. I agree this and and the seven camera carts is becoming comical, but hell its show business.

The new Schoeps Blue microphone is the hot item, as all new products, it holds out the potential for that exlir, that hope, that this mic can do the impossible, you know, mic a wide shot and a close up at the same time. Well after $2500 spent and savored this mic is a fine shotgun, but as there is not the perfect house, so there is not the pefect mic. It is harder to blend with radio microphones and it does not work in close proximty with other schoeps as well, I find myself using two or three cardiods/hyper cardiods close together on a daily basis. So for the specific needs of a shotgun its a beauty. Alas, no one has taken the time to develop the zoom microphone.

Anyway, the days on a sound stage are quiet and slow and considerably calmer. Nothing pleases the Mixer than the boom person to say with all the confidence he can muster, " I got this one, one mic "

Regards,  Tommy Causey

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Guest Jeffrey Colon

Hi Tom,

I have thoughly enjoyed these posts from my horizontally unemployed vantage... while not at the same level, I see versions of the same stuff.  Last large job I did, a long day, stuffed into a closet with two carts and another mixer.  Right in the middle was a noisy ballast...  you would have thought asking for it to be moved would have required an act of God.  Ahhhh... the "Theater" involved in producing "Art."

BTW, I think some of Sony's product (handie lookies) have "zoom" mics.

Jeff C.

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