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Please, someone call "CUT"!!


Mark LeBlanc
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Was on a 5D shoot last week and had the same problem.  In fact, the director was standing so close to the camerman that at times he didn't even call "roll".  Apparently he would just nudge the cameraman or just nod his head to roll.  MANY times as he called "action", I would have to stop him and say "how about we roll sound first and slate it?". 

I think most of this is due to these people's background being video only.  It's difficult for them to get in the habit of thinking "dual system".  I'm not sure there's a good solution.  Hopefully the more they do, the more likely they will remember.

Tom

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With the 5D (at the moment anyhow) we are fortunate that it will cut itself at 12 min.  (I understand the new version of the camera will not have this "feature".)  I have the most problems with DP/directors who come from the VFX world--they just aren't used to the idea that anyone besides them has to roll.  A DP who decides that "not cutting" will help him make his day while a boom op is working on the set is deluded.  The quality of the work by other depts will suffer as well.  I have been on shoots where no cuts were ever called for anything to do with sound, but any tiny tweak the gaffer or vanities wanted to make were always accommodated.  In some cases I just killed all the Comtek feeds for a moment (that usually gets someone's attention), said "I need a minute." and went about my business while the boomie and I caught our breath.  They hated us, of course, but a man's gotta breathe.

phil p

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Matthew,

While this is a non-union shoot the DP/AD/ and Director have all worked union shows just not in there respective positions.  What's frustrating is they are acting like they have never been on a set. The funny part is between the master and coverage the dialog and basic scene is changing so those 15 takes with the 4 start/stop takes within the take won't match. Also has anyone ever heard a director say "close the gaps" to the point where even the coverage dialog is overlapping?

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Matthew,

While this is a non-union shoot the DP/AD/ and Director have all worked union shows just not in there respective positions.  What's frustrating is they are acting like they have never been on a set. The funny part is between the master and coverage the dialog and basic scene is changing so those 15 takes with the 4 start/stop takes within the take won't match. Also has anyone ever heard a director say "close the gaps" to the point where even the coverage dialog is overlapping?

I believe the appropriate term would be "expressionist, interpretive, free form, in the moment" film making. Safe bet that file based video has allowed DP's to run amok when shooting.

Eric

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In long run situations I would request a J.L. Fisher. 695 gives taining classes for this. Ive never taken that course because Im noton the contract services list, but I wot go into that matter right now about how fuk'd I think the local is.. ahemm, sorry.

Matthew... just to clarify... Contract Services' Roster placement and Local 695 union status are 2 different processes controlled by 2 different entities... in fact, some 695 members aren't even on the Roster.  It's relatively easy to join the Local but in most cases you also want to be on the Roster, which can usually be done if you can show a sufficient number of days working in your category.  Don't know exactly what obstacles you faced with Contract Services but Local 695 members can attend the One-on-One Fisher Boom Training class with or without placement on the Roster.  Also... JLFisher had an annual open house a couple weekends ago... a good chance for people to get a little free training... maybe you'll want to watch for that next year.

Laurence

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" What's frustrating is they are acting like they have never been on a set. The funny part is between the master and coverage the dialog and basic scene is changing so those 15 takes with the 4 start/stop takes within the take won't match. "

OK, call it: " expressionist, interpretive, free form, in the moment" film making. "

I don't believe it makes the movies better, and in fact is usually counter-productive!

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Killing the Comtek feed is a good idea.  Or even making up some bullshit file size nonsense, or needing to reload a disk, or CF is full.  We can do all sorts of things to halt production on occasion without really drawing too much attention.

As long as we are giving them what they need and being nice about it, these sorts of things will not affect production's opinion of the mixer.

Robert

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My rant with my current shoot would be the camera op yelling out, "Camera speeds!, Mark it!".

Oh... btw... sound speeds.....you're welcome..... how bout second sticks now... ya?  Sigh...

That's why they invented pre-record!

The sad fact is that those people probably don't know what pre-record is. I don't know if they thing we roll all day or what.

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If they mark before AD calls the roll, I have my boom operator say, "We're not rolling.  The 1st AD hasn't called it yet."

If they mark before we have called speed, I have my boom operator loudly say, "Sound speed", which usually sends the 2nd AC back for second sticks.

Once this happens a few times, protocol is usually followed much more closely, and I have found it to be greatly appreciated by many departments, including camera and production.

As for cutting... well we've all had to ask, "Is that a cut or a cut-cut?"  I don't press 'stop' until I know the cameras have actually cut.  But if I hear the word "cut" and I know my boom operator needs a break, then I will announce over the Comteks that we cut (whether I did or not), and cameras usually follow.  Then other departments do their thing, and once again I have found that this is appreciated by many departments, including camera.

Sometimes it just takes the ACTUAL professional on set to have the balls to follow protocol.  And quite often that might just need to be us.

Robert

P.S.  I don't believe this would ever be the reason for someone to get fired or not invited on the next show.  At least that's been my experience.

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That's why they invented pre-record!

The sad fact is that those people probably don't know what pre-record is. I don't know if they thing we roll all day or what.

Ya, it's always been on, but it's not helping with my sanity :P

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Emotionally hot topic, this. Giving me flashbacks and willies.

Having been weaned on "Law & Order", most movies and shows have fallen varying degrees short of their quiet, efficient, block, light, rehearse (with stop n' start marks-for-the-boom-op moments), shoot model, that remains in my dreams THE way to do it.

For a while, this differential between L&O-excellent and my own low budget projects' less-than-excellent reality was a source of frustration; then, realizing that frustration wasn't buying me anything good, I embraced whatever model was the model du jour, and adapted my style to work as quietly efficiently as I could.

Am taking away some great ideas from this thread to justifiably force moments of rest for my team when no one seems to be willing or able to call cut. Brilliant stuff.

If something goes south during a long bunch of resets, I leave the recorder rolling and unapologetically walk on set to fix it.

When things other departments do on set (like abandoning sticks, failing to call "roll sound," and all the other aberrations recalled here and elsewhere, like choosing noise-laden locations) will undoubtedly have a deleterious effect on post, I feel it's simply my job to bring the facts -- calmly, yet memorably -- to the producer and/or director's attention. Memorably enough so that when they are tearing their hair out later, they might remember the moment I warned 'em and hopefully recall me fondly for that honesty when the next project comes along.

Sometimes in the event of particularly heinous behavior, it helps to bring editorial into the conversation. Call the assistant editor and ask if X behavior is costing them. If it is, I offer to back them up on set should they choose to send out a memo. At least then post knows I know, and will be less tempted to throw sound under the bus later.

I've had a lot of "two takes/one file" notes on sound reports in recent years. Also find myself inquiring of the boom as to whether they've cut more often than I'd prefer. Furthermore, find I often have to look fastidiously for the teeny time code numbers rolling on the monitor. I don't let that make my blood pressure rise. Our good tracks are not affected. Post figures it out. Boom op gets rest 'cause he/she's got eyes on set.

Just sayin'.

-- Jan

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Jan,

Great post!

I just finished a pilot, where the ONLY time there was a rehearsal was when on one steadycam shot which involved five principals, because we were waiting for talent to get to the set, the AD said "Why don't we rehearse one while we're waiting?" Funny thing was, we made all of the adjustments before shooting as opposed to making them between takes one and two! How novel!

When I started mixing in the eighties, DPs would insist that after a rough blocking of a scene, the CAMERA would be rolled in and MARKS would be set to the camera, insuring a viable shot, and insuring that all angles of coverage would work - BEFORE the first team was kicked off of the set. Directors knew then, that when the precious film was turning over, they were assured of print quality. The analogy comes to mind of the sport fisherman who carefully chooses their location, carefully selects just the right bait or lure for the moment, focuses their mind on their projected catch, then casts - as opposed to tossing a net overboard, while opening a beer, and "seeing what we can get."

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" "quiet, efficient, block, light, rehearse (with stop n' start marks-for-the-boom-op moments), shoot" model, "

" DPs would insist that after a rough blocking of a scene, the CAMERA would be rolled in and MARKS would be set to the camera, insuring a viable shot, and insuring that all angles of coverage would work - BEFORE the first team was kicked off of the set. "

ah, the good old daze!

" Call the assistant editor and ask if X behavior is costing them. If it is, I offer to back them up on set should they choose to send out a memo.  " another major great idea!!

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Quick update: We are on to our 4th - 1stAD. I've worked with him many times in the past and recommended him to the company originally. With only 2 days left FINALLY someone is calling CUT!! But, the multiple takes in one, changing the scene between the master and coverage is still in full swing.. Please keep the poor editor in your thoughts!!

Thx

Mark L

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Director walks into set, starts giving notes to actor. Everyone is still quiet and poised. After about a minute director says, "Are we still rolling?" Camera operator says, "Nobody said cut."

And this is from a seasoned director who worked with film for most of her career. Now she's a "keep rolling" director.

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Director walks into set, starts giving notes to actor. Everyone is still quiet and poised. After about a minute director says, "Are we still rolling?" Camera operator says, "Nobody said cut."

And this is from a seasoned director who worked with film for most of her career. Now she's a "keep rolling" director.

Directors like this are made, not born. If crews kept it together when, "Cut!" was called, bet, "Keep rolling," would be less necessary as a strategy to make the day.

-- Jan

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love when the director shouts "CUT, Ok keep rolling back to 1" as if cut only means stop your action were doing it again, and had no relation to the crew rolling or not. and im just sitting their like *facepalm* "Uhh Sound cut" then your get the glare of doom. Obviously you catch on after a few times but man is that awkward at first.

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I like pushing a scratch to camera its so important any real productions will use your real audio and anything else will at least have something better than camera audio.

My next debate is whether to jam slates or push time code to them, I really like(this comes from post-production) that when you push time code from a 788t it pushes the user bits to slate and udates take by take accordingly... very nice for edit and my sense of OCD, you dont even need an incredible transmitter, comteks work great as do lectro IFBs and ambient makes a set of radios designed for timecode for only $500 ($250 each).

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 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?

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 learned on film and HD to not press stop until I see the cameras have cut. If there's no indication on my monitor, I confirm with my boom operator.

My experience is that editors and assistant editors rarely complain if you give them :10 or even :30 seconds too much sound at the end of the scene. God help you if you roll late or give them too much sound at the head.

The best advice seems to be, do a :10 buffer and roll just as the slate is about to clap -- provided you can do a very quick sound ID. I'm constantly vexed by "new school" rules where nobody says, "roll sound... roll camera!" Nowadays, you're lucky to get "roll it!"

And Mark above is right. Nobody seems to yell "cut" nearly as much anymore. I started noticing this trend ten years ago in dailies -- it's like a lot of conventions and rational traditions are falling by the wayside... cry.gif

--Marc W.

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