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Old September 12th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #1
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Audio on reversals?

During a shoot over the weekend the director wanted to concentrate on capturing the dialog on the main subject of an over the shoulder shot, and blow off the dialog from the other guy since you couldn’t see his mouth. I know you have to do that sometimes, but since we had two mics and a second boom op, I felt strongly that we should record in stereo. (The speakers were far enough apart that it would have been difficult to hit them both with one mic, especially since the DP had effectively lit an overhead boom out of the shot.) I know from my own editing experiences its WAY easier to edit the two angles together when you’ve got complete dialog from both speakers on both takes. Of course you have to crossfade the dialog so that the speakers are never within 12dB of each other and mix down to mono. Assuming the editor isn’t an idiot and knows how to do that, wouldn’t this have been the way to go? How do you guys do your reversals?
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Old September 14th, 2005, 12:51 AM   #2
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If that's what the director asked for, that's what I'd do... There's always ways to improve any part of a production.

We used to tell producers there's nothing we can't do, it is a matter of time and expense. If they want only certain dialog, they must have their reason.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
During a shoot over the weekend the director wanted to concentrate on capturing the dialog on the main subject of an over the shoulder shot, and blow off the dialog from the other guy since you couldn’t see his mouth. I know you have to do that sometimes, but since we had two mics and a second boom op, I felt strongly that we should record in stereo. (The speakers were far enough apart that it would have been difficult to hit them both with one mic, especially since the DP had effectively lit an overhead boom out of the shot.) I know from my own editing experiences its WAY easier to edit the two angles together when you’ve got complete dialog from both speakers on both takes. Of course you have to crossfade the dialog so that the speakers are never within 12dB of each other and mix down to mono. Assuming the editor isn’t an idiot and knows how to do that, wouldn’t this have been the way to go? How do you guys do your reversals?
I did this on my feature...well...without using a boom op (which I will never do again, I used stands.) I think micing the off screen actor is a great idea. The only thing you have to be sure of is that the micing distance and angle is as identical as possible when using the two mics. Other then that, micing both actors not only makes it easier in the editing room, but it also acts as a safety net in case you may want to use the off-screen actor's dialogue for something else (for example, sometimes the off screen dialogue can be better then the on screen dialogue, and therefore you can use it on wide shots.)
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
During a shoot over the weekend the director wanted to concentrate on capturing the dialog on the main subject of an over the shoulder shot, and blow off the dialog from the other guy since you couldn’t see his mouth. I know you have to do that sometimes, but since we had two mics and a second boom op, I felt strongly that we should record in stereo. (The speakers were far enough apart that it would have been difficult to hit them both with one mic, especially since the DP had effectively lit an overhead boom out of the shot.) I know from my own editing experiences its WAY easier to edit the two angles together when you’ve got complete dialog from both speakers on both takes. Of course you have to crossfade the dialog so that the speakers are never within 12dB of each other and mix down to mono. Assuming the editor isn’t an idiot and knows how to do that, wouldn’t this have been the way to go? How do you guys do your reversals?
Dear Marco,

I doubt that you could have recorded anything other than "double mono" rather than stereo... But you were perfectly right to assume that having both mic inputs recorded on both cameras was the way to go. To do this you would have to have mic1 and mic2 fed into ch1 and ch2 of a mixer and then have splitters on the output of the mixer to feed the ch1 output to the ch1 inputs of both cameras and ch2 output to the ch2 inputs of both cameras.

Lots of XLR cables an alittle harder to set up, but definately easier on the editor when he/she has to match audio. Hint: Make sure both cameras are running on the same timecode and frame mode or all this won't make a damn bit of difference in post.

Good luck. Hope this helps to convince your director to stand down alittle in the future. Saving time in post is a very convincing argument... But getting him to edit the video using his own insistent audio requirements would be the best education of all. Steph
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Old September 14th, 2005, 07:44 AM   #5
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Stephanie,

Thanks. There was only one camera by the way. I seem to have used the term stereo incorrectly. I didn't mean that we were trying capture a stereo image, but rather that we would have separated the actors on the left and right channels.

I do agree that it's absolutely the director's call. I just let him know his options.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #6
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"Sometimes you go to post with the audio you have, not the audio you want..."
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