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Please, someone call "CUT"!!


Mark LeBlanc
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Sorry to vent here.  On a two camera Red shoot. Yep getting screwed with the Wide and Tight. The bigger issue is no one is calling CUT!! We are doing 10 minute long what I call Stutter takes where you hear "rest back to 1" then a flurry of notes from the director and keep shooting. This stutter happens 3-4 times during these long takes and when they are finally done the only way you can tell they have stopped shooting is the sudden whirl of the Red One Fans... ARGH, everyone wants to yell Action, but forget to call CUT..

Vent complete

ThX

ML

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I'll go you one better - Shoots that "want to move fast" so the director decides to use the slate only when-he-feels-like-it or it doesn't get in the way of his creative speed. Meanwhile, he IS calling cut on takes and the camera is stopping.

Sure thing boss, but you DO realize that your post production team is going to want to kill you?

This has happened to me on a couple projects, usually involving some complicated setup with either a child or animal and half a zillion takes. I honestly don't know how the script supervisor is allowing them to get away with this, unless the scripty is just unaware of how impossible that will make editing for THEM too. I'm just glad I have a 10 second preroll buffer for when he suddenly will call Roll Camera AND Action with almost no warning at all.

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Happens to all of us on RED shoots mostly for me. I don't worry much Since I run Free Run Time of Daytime Code with sync boxes on camera and a scratch track via comtek if timecode doesn't stay in sync they can use Pluralize. If the production wants to do this I just tell the Script Sup she can take notes that way and I do as well. It is there movie if they want to make it that way thats there choice

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Even better when they yell "Tail Slate!!"..........and your not even recording :(

Yep, had that too... B/c I heard cut from the director, and the camera did too... The AD was the only one to remember the tail slate, not that it would do any good.

Wireless TC to the camera is not a bad idea Whitney, I'd be happy to use it on "their" film (it's MY film too) if I had one of those setups. As for drift... The boxes shouldn't drift much at all, especially if you re-jam at lunch. Maybe a couple frames an hour at most, which is easy to correct.

I don't agree with the use of an actual audio scratch to the camera b/c on the RED you have sample drift during the takes which will drive Pluralize insane... Or worse - The post edit crew decides that the scratch copy is "just fine" and all your GOOD audio never leaves the drives. ICK. Better to give them nothing at all, force them to pull in the multitrack (with the mix on 1/2) so the actual good audio rides with the project straight through.

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Wireless TC to the camera is not a bad idea Whitney

No Wireless Timecode to Camera in my set up I jam slates and Sync boxes to my recorder with Free Run TOD timecode and send a scratch track to camera as long as camera jams from SBT or SB3 RED will stay in sync without issue for the whole day ( though I like to rejam after lunch if possible)

I don't agree with the use of an actual audio scratch to the camera b/c on the RED you have sample drift during the takes which will drive Pluralize insane...

I have done many  RED project that Pluralize  was used on with no problems what so ever. If you feed RED audio is stays in sync with the picture period. Have you personal had pluralize do this to you?

The post edit crew decides that the scratch copy is "just fine" and all your GOOD audio never leaves the drives. ICK. Better to give them nothing at all, force them to pull in the multitrack (with the mix on 1/2) so the actual good audio rides with the project straight through.

On the projects I do everyone CLEARLY knows the Comtek Feed to Camera is NOT for broadcast. If you cable to a RED it may tempt the editor to use it but a Comtek is to low fidelity to use which is why its great for a scratch track.

Clearly you have never mixed a feature or long form RED Project, They often request a scratch track to camera so they can use the RED footage for dallies and so if they want to watch a take at the DIT station they have some audio. It is common and most every sound mixer I know either uses a Comtek Lectro IFB or G2 wireless to do this.

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I'll go you one better - Shoots that "want to move fast" so the director decides to use the slate only when-he-feels-like-it or it doesn't get in the way of his creative speed. Meanwhile, he IS calling cut on takes and the camera is stopping. Sure thing boss, but you DO realize that your post production team is going to want to kill you?

Speaking as an occasional post guy, I agree 1000%. At least yelling "cut" allows the crew to relax, provides a little more order on the set, and lets the assistant editor and/or dailies person know, "ah, the take has officially ended."

I also have constantly said, "there's no excuse for tail sticks except for shots involving a) wild animals, B) dangerous stunts and explosives, or c) very small children." Tail sticks are a pain in the ass for everybody. Long takes are a strain on the actors, the boom op, and wastes a lot of drive space... but like it or not, it's the trend.

My experience in post over the last 25+ years is that it's the camera that stops before a tail slate, not the sound. My favorite is when the camera op goes, "uh-oh," then restarts it quickly and pretends he never stopped. Inevitably, we get a call from the editor: "uh, the slate looks like it's out of sync, but all the dialog is in. How could this be?"

facepalm.gif

--Marc W.

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It's maddening.... Mirror is right that the boom op suffers during these things. I have also been in these where the boom op has to say to me "and that's a cut" because I am off set enough not to know for sure. People walking and talking on set doesn't always mean the camera cuts these days.

1) I love pre-record for these kinds of shows

2) I love a sync box.... well, post probably loves it.

3) there is an argument for a comtek 72 series on the camera. Nobody will mistake that as production audio. I've been using a G2 on the camera because it sounds better, and has better range, but I guess it is a risk of being left as the audio track. Fortunately, the last few RED features I have done had somebody on set syncing my audio, so no worries there. The scratch track is very helpful for playback, or end of the day so there is some audio if they want to go home and look over what they shot. The full audio will be synced in the morning, but there is *some* audio all the time. It would also help if they are using PluralEyes.

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I tell everyone we have 4ways to sync

1, Slate Clap

2. Timecode number on smart slate matched to audio file

3. Matching Camera timecode to audio file timecode

4. Pluralize

No matter what they I am convinced that one of these methods will always work

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Well they have no editor or post production plan. The DIT is just friend of the director.

The kicker is as an occasional post guy also we calculated that if they have to transcode the footage it will take them almost two months solid. Then at then have over 2500 audio clips to sync to over 4000 video clips.

To quote Mr T " I pitty the fool"

ML

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Two notes:

1.  The AMPTP has finally, formally acknowledged that the lengths of takes available with the migration away from negative, has potentially deleterious effects on crew, such as the steady-cam op and boom-op. If you are on an IA show (sorry indies...) it is OK for the steady-cam op, through the DP (and the boom-op, through the mixer), to let production that the duration of the last take made an unreasonable physical demand on the op, and that if the director intends to repeat the process, a rest or replacement operator would be necessary. If this request is denied, an action may be taken. Timecode doesn't lie. I will try to find a soft copy of the memo, or scan it and post it here.

2.  The worst scenario for me is the "performance is the only thing" directors who compose two or three simultaneous wide shots, keep rolling while the director yells "Back to one everybody! Cameras tighten up, annnnnnnnd Action!" - and every single department groans as their opportunity to make all of the wonderful little adjustments to lighting, hair and make-up, sound, etc. that have taken a lifetime of hard work to master, are ignored. The sad part is that production folk rarely have the chance to then see the offender b*tch-slapped by the editor!

Jay

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If they want to roll in that freeform way I follow the example of the estimable Crew C and start rolling and don't stop until they move the camera or the actors leave the set.  They can slate or not slate as they please.  I'll let the boomie, out on the set, decide when they can relax, and hope I have everyone of consequence wired and iso'ed in case he's wrong.  Sync boxes on the cameras (if they are using cameras that can use them--not at all a given anymore), scratch mono lofi feed via something wireless.  If we're on a stage and production insists I'll hook up to the camera for real (if that camera makes it possible).  On location--wireless feed or no feed, I'm totally over being cabled to a camera while working a bag rig in the field.

phil p

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"Keep rolling..."

My first experience of this kind of thing was with Wes Anderson's "Darjeeling Limited" in which 1000 ft mags were used as the usual thing and cut would mostly be run outs. However, Wes would have a chat with the actors and that would give the boom op Mark Fay a few moments to rest.

Late 2007, after I got my own gear, my first project was an independent feature by a bunch of guys (indians) from the US.

Day 1 of the shoot - location barber shop - the (only) AD at that time came over to my hotel room and told me 'Sir says you are not to use the boom, because it attracts too much attention...". And they were shooting with TWO Panasonic cameras. I was also told "no slate". I told the AD to convey this message "Ask him to go find another sound guy who will do his gig the way he wants to. Also tell him this is HIS first film, not mine."

Ten min later, Director storms into my hotel room "What do you think of yourself?". "I think I am fine, you are the one that needs help, and i am offering it to you... If you start shooting this film without a slate you will be the one in the soup, not me. SO, better you dip your young beak into my elixir of experience and learn to trust the people you have hired..."

Early into the shoot, they decide to "let the actors play and we keep shooting them until THAT moment happens..." This meant my boom op was up for periods of 10 min and longer - sometimes 25-30 min. I told them "Look, I will not run a shot beyond a limit, and if you want to keep rolling, you can forget about the sound for a few min every now and then - that's when my boom op will lower the boom and rest his body a bit before he goes into action again..."

50 days of shoot. Since the blokes were on video (no film, and NO tape either! all on reusable cards! let's go on shooting!) they felt they could wait for "magic" to happen on almost every scene. I had to kick them in the butt to make them realize that a real person was holding up a boom in the air. Not the same thing as two hand held cameras that move when they feel like, take a break really when they are 'looking for another angle'.

They took some two years or more to edit and complete the film. Ha! Imagine them doing the same thing without a slate... with footage from two cameras...

The film got done eventually and has been shown at some film festivals recently...

-vin

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The AMPTP has finally, formally acknowledged that the lengths of takes available with the migration away from negative, has potentially deleterious effects on crew... [snip] ...I will try to find a soft copy of the memo, or scan it and post it here.

Here is the document from the AMPTP website http://csatf.org/pdf/ExtendedSuccessiveTakes.pdf (and here are all the other Safety Bulletins http://csatf.org/bulletintro.shtml).  The lawyers had some fun diluting the language but a well-informed mixer knows how to use this document properly.  UPM's will generally make the responsible choice when the potential for a recognized health and safety hazard on their set is brought to their attention.  When there's room for it, a Fisher boom is the easy solution but there are other ways to address it once people recognize that it needs to be addressed.

Laurence

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Well they have no editor or post production plan. The DIT is just friend of the director.

The kicker is as an occasional post guy also we calculated that if they have to transcode the footage it will take them almost two months solid. Then at then have over 2500 audio clips to sync to over 4000 video clips.

To quote Mr T " I pitty the fool"

ML

That's a case where a sync box will save somebody's life. I can rarely convince production to pay for one, but I know that's because I work with either inexperienced producers, or producers that only worry about putting the film in the can, and are on another project by the time the post costs start to add up.

My most extreme case of the "never cut, all takes done continuously even when using a dolly" was a RED shoot. First time director taking cues from a jaded old DP that convinced him this was the only way to make our days. Again, no sync box was wanted. The poor editor worked for a flat fee, and hopefully learned his lesson on that. I had worked with the owner/DIT a few times before and he told me we were averaging about 2.5x the GB of data per day compared to any other feature he had done. I was still on a PD-6, so loooong takes were a concern when I am using 1.4GB DVD-Ram discs and not knowing if we will ever cut. Those discs don't give you a ton of time when you are running all 6 tracks (24 minutes at 48/24).

If I had my Fusion then, I would have just let it run and tap the Record button again if they were going to slate (to index the take number). Instead I constantly stressed about when to change discs.

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