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Old June 25th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #1
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What do you expect?

I was involved as the "Theatre Technician" for a stage production, the dance school requested a clean feed from the audio desk for the video guy to use to record from.... No problems, I ran a cable to his camera point, the mix was on a separate o/p of the desk, line level on a fader +4 balanced, isolated and the o/p was a XLR male.
The guy got VERY annoyed when he couldn't plug it into "HIS" camera [a domestic Sony with 3.5mm mic input only] I mentioned I may be able to come up with some adaptors to plug it in but it still would be line level and doubt i could accurately get it to mic level and it would possibly over load the input of the camera and make it unusable [ he then asked how is line level different?] To cut a long story short and more anger from him.... my comment is there's the feed use it if you want, I've got the production to do.

The question is what would you expect from a theatre facility and how much does the videographer supply?
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Old June 25th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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Personally I just expect a place to plug into on the board. Other than that I have my own cables, my bag of connectors and turn arounds and anything else I can fit into the bag that might come in handy. Most of whic I've collected over the many years.
Now if the sound person has cable layed out to my camera position well that's a plus and an extra thank you from me.
As a camera op that's all I can and do expect from the sound person.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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You were completely right and the amateur videographer had totally unrealistic expectations. Unless detailed technical arrangements (and even equipment dry-run tests) are done in advance, the "itinerant" operation (the videographer, etc.) are expected to bring their own kit of adapters, connectors, etc. to get from any kind of industry-standard source (such as you provided) into whatever equipment they are using. You cannot possibly be equipped to handle EVERY kind of different equipment that comes along. That is THEIR responsibility.

If they can't handle professional line level (+4dBu) and professional connectors (XLR, TRS 1/4 inch, etc.) then they are simply not prepared to do business. Based on your narrative of the scenario, this doesn't appear to even be debatable.

I speak from many decades of experience on BOTH sides of the cable.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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I expect nothing. If I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to get a feed from the board I supply all the necessary cables/adapters. If I get something that I can feed directly into my camera I'm very happy. But I always have a mixer with me in case I need have additional control.

The only time I've expected more was when I was filming a concert that was being shot specifically for the purpose of making a music video to accompany the release of the CD. This was being shot in a recording studio and they had the engineer who at the board mixing a feed to our cameras. It was great to not even worry about the audio. The funny thing is we didn't even use the audio from the cameras. The engineer was just really detail oriented and wanted to make sure we all were getting a quality mix.

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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:19 AM   #5
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I expect nothing but a feed from the board if arrangements have been made. It's not my equipment, so I don't expect to be able to use it unless that has been worked out as part of the deal. I was in one place that wouldn't even let me hide a wireless mic on the stage, so I got them to let me attach my wireless to their feed. I used the wireless from the board and a tiny bit of the onboard mic to get some audience sound and it was great. A wireless with XLR input is quite handy.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:50 AM   #6
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If it has been predetermined that I am to get cooperation from the sound guy, that's what I expect, and all I expect. I feel it is then up to me to make the contact and find out what gear / cabling I need to supply HIM, in order to take his feed to my cameras. So many times I am the last thing the sound guy does before the show takes off, that I learned long ago to make my requests as small as I can, and have everything ready for him to plug in, adjust, and get on with his job. For the most part, I have worked with some wonderful people to get their feeds. I also...have worked with some real arrogant jerks too. Surprisingly, the nicest, also seemed to be the ones who did the first rate job for the performance and for my needs as well.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 06:00 AM   #7
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I agrree with Richard ... It sounds like you did your job 100% professionally and the videographer was in way over his head. For him to accept the job when he didn't to know what it took to get proper sound into his camera, even to the point of not knowing such fundamentals as the difference between mic, -10 consumer line, and +4 pro line levels, and for him to arrive on location without the necessary tools in his own kit that would be needed to accomplish the job properly, such as a Juicelink or Beach box, plus cables, adapters, etc, is inexcusable. Some people think that the democratization of the media created by the profound drop in hardware cost means that the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to properly execute a job have similarly been reduced. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
...Some people think that the democratization of the media created by the profound drop in hardware cost means that the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to properly execute a job have similarly been reduced. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Well said, Steve.

If it matters that the end product look good and sound good, then having the right people and equipment resources matters too.

When mixing house sound for a live event, I'm be happy to supply every bit of cable and adapter I have and could spare to a non-pro videographer, in the time available. But, if I don't have advance information about their needs, I too am not going to have the bits and pieces with me that output at 3.5mm consumer mic level.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #9
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You, sir, were dealing with an amateur. This is the downside of the democratization of digital video gear. It means that anyone can show up with anything amidst pros and expect the pro to "make it all right". Which is ridiculous. It is fine if the videographer was clueless but to blame you for his not being prepared is borderline idiocy.

Not your responsibility. You provided what any pro would have been expecting. If he has never heard of a BeachTek or Juicedlink product, he is an amateur and had no business expecting you to remedy his ignorance.

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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #10
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I agree with everything said. UNLESS a technical rider including a requirement for an 1/8" mic level feed was SPECIFIED (yeah, right...), you can rest assured you went above and beyond the second you actually strung the cable to the camera position...

When I take board feeds, I show up with cable and adaptors and EXPECT +4 line level at the board. I expect to have to adapt to and from just about anything. If I get -10 tape out on RCAs, do I complain? Nope. Deal with it. Headphone/control room post-solo out? Sucks but I deal with it (again, UNLESS there is a tech rider in place...)
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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #11
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PS. Most video neophytes seem to think a mixing console (regardless of size) is a magic box with anything in/anything out in unlimited quantities. So do most bands and theatrical troupes.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #12
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Some people think that the democratization of the media created by the profound drop in hardware cost means that the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to properly execute a job have similarly been reduced. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Steve, can I have this inscribed upon my tombstone, with due credit given?
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Some people think that the democratization of the media created by the profound drop in hardware cost means that the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to properly execute a job have similarly been reduced. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
That's a fact! I'm gonna have to remember that one.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
I Some people think that the democratization of the media created by the profound drop in hardware cost means that the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to properly execute a job have similarly been reduced. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
You should sell this quote as a sticker for flight cases!! well said (Im just about to email it to a friend)

On the topic , your patience is infinitely longer than mine , generally Im helpful but unless instructed otherwise theres the board, pass me an xlr and i'll put it in for you and make sure its transmitting sound on a post fade .....my gig is to make sure the room sounds fine and thats enough to be getting on with

If Im behind a camera or field mixing I'll run my own cables and ask permission if i want to attach something to a stage/podium and i'll always carry a radio with and xlr input

Bane of my life is webcasters , journalists and cameramen who arrive 10 mins before a show and think I have nothing better to do than take responsibility for their productions, provide an infinite run of cables, power and connectors so that they can hide their technical ignorance and lack of preparation

Your Cameramans anger would have been met by an equally angry tirade questioning his ability to do his job
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Old June 28th, 2010, 05:06 AM   #15
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The theatre problem that occured the other day had me thinking what would be the best way to solve the problem.... 2 x XLR female connectors to 3.5mm stereo plug with maybe a switchable 40db pad mounted in a box. Infact this is what a BeachTek adaptor is, with a few other things added.
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