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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:01 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Philippines
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pls advise regarding sound for indie film

hi all,

i'm about to shoot a no budget film with a single dvx100 and practically no crew (just me and a couple of other guys). i will be editing on a g5 in FCP. my question is, any tips on handling sound?

i dont want to be caught up in post with ADR mainly because i dont have any money. so, if possible, i'd like to record all sound wild and get the dialogue as it is performed.

i'm staging things so that most dialogue will be indoors or, if outside, in a place where there's minimal wind etc. if anyone has any useful insights or things they learned the hard way regarding sound, i'd be very grateful for your thoughts. please advise on hardware matters too (should i use lapel mics on occasion or just a directional boom?)

by the way, the film is about fighting and there will be lost of brawls and breaking of everyday objects.

many thanks in advance!

dan abbey
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 08:21 PM   #2
Fred Retread
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You call it a "no budget" film, but mention the possible use of multiple lavaliere mics and a boomed mic, which puts you in the neighborhood of $1000-2000. So do you already have access to the equipment, or are you going to buy it?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 09:02 PM   #3
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ADR actually costs less because you do not have to worry about eliminating ambient noise. The only problem is synchronization (and capturing the sound "fingerprint" of the environment, but I think you can waive that).

I think you can get by with just a boomed mic, if your film (short, right?) is anything like the one's I've made. If have lavalieres to boot, you should have no trouble at all.

Just be sure not to get the boom in the frame. Otherwise you really will be sorry.

I note you are making an action film. That means you will be working with a high dynamic range. I would try to find a limiter, if I were you, to compress the peaks. If you do not take precautions you may well find the loud parts getting clipped, causing unpleasant distortion.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:11 PM   #4
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fred - yeah, my friend owns a production studio and is willing to lend equipment. actually, i made a mistake saying it's "no budget" - i shouldve said "virtually no budget" coz there might be some money to help it along although the chances are very slim. but no matter; i live in the philippines where a lot of things are dirt cheap and i can haggle lots of stuff, not to mention secure things for free. im calling in favors too so location-wise, as well as equipment-wise, im set without having shelled out any money.

emre - thanks for the advice, i have jotted that down and will be alert while filming. yeah, having a boom in the shot really ruins things. we shot a segment for a tv show im working on but had to rush things coz we were being hassled by security for using their location without permission (it was a public street, security guards here can really overact sometimes). but anyways, in our zeal to wrap, we didnt notice a few seconds of the boom in shot. luckily we managed to cover it in post with a widescreen mask.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:43 AM   #5
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Since the DVX100 has fairly sensitive mic preamps, you should be able to get good results with a moderate sensitivity hypercardioid or cardioid mic on a boom.
A good candidate would be the recently updated AudioTechnica U873r hypercardioid, which is the new version of a mic (AT873r) that I've used with the DVX before. The new version is lower sensitivity, but with an action movie that's probably better. It also has lower self-noise and it's easy to wind protect due to the small size, a small furry and an elastic hairband is all you need.
It's also supposed to be protected against cellphone interference.
There are other candidates too, such as the Rode NT55, NT6 or NT3 if you have a boom person with strong arms.
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