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Old July 1st, 2007, 02:32 PM   #1
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Sound for "Pilot" Crew 4 Actors 4 or more

I have a planned shoot the end of Augest for a comedy SitCom "Pilot". After looking at my previous stuff, some producers are willing to look at it if I can pull it together and get it shot. I'm not going "super great shots" on this one but would really like nice sound since the script and dailog is funny. I'll most likely be using 2 manned PD-170's and a couple old 3 chippers for backup video on stands. Now... there will only be a crew of three... hoping four... but main actors... minimum four but somtimes six! Of course it's sitcom style so the banter quickly jumps from actor to actor. I imagine the best way would be to wireless mike them all with expensive sony mics into an expensive mixer... but... that's probably over budget. The other is a boom pole operator but wondering if he can manage to capture the fast banter switching from actor to actor. How about... if I try as best as possible to keep the actors together and have mikes key placed around the set? Hmmm... I want good sound... I have two Olympus DS-30 recorders I guess I'll place around for backup sound but the other equipment I'll be renting. Suggestions please...
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #2
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Just keep going, man. The shutguns will work fine.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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Hello Carl,

Multiple shotguns. Isoed to different tracks through a good mixer with good preamps and limiters.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old September 12th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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Go for it and best of luck. But keep in mind that the industry is unforgiving of compromise. If this is a pilot, remember that you're competing with all the other pilots your customers may consider and all the present shows that your target customers have running. The minimum acceptable level of quality is the best that your target customer presently has in his schedule. That's not to say that budget might not force you to compromise but do so very, very reluctently.

Years ago I saw a window display in a men's clothier in San Francisco that featured very high-end items - Armani suit, Vuiton briefcase, Bally shoes, etc - and the only copy was an engraved card that read "To get where you want to be, you must look like you're already there." That's absolutely true in show business - to compete with Seinfeld you have to be better than Seinfeld or be able to prove that you can be.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #5
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Well put.

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Old September 14th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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Seinfeld?

Hi Steve:

I totally agree with what you are saying.

The only thing I disagree on is the quality of production on Seinfeld. Yes, it was shot on 35mm, but Jerry can't act, he looked like he was always ready to crack up, you saw off of the tops of sets, boom shadows, clunky camera moves, bad exposure, etc. Technically, Seinfeld was a really medicore show, overall. Comedically, sheer genius. Writing-wise, pure genius. After getting all of the released DVDs so far and watching them a LOT, yep, Seinfeld was really average technically.

But you can also make an argument that content rules, and it was one of the best shows ever and deserves it's reputation. Sometimes, the technical stuff just doesn't matter.

Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Go for it and best of luck. But keep in mind that the industry is unforgiving of compromise. If this is a pilot, remember that you're competing with all the other pilots your customers may consider and all the present shows that your target customers have running. The minimum acceptable level of quality is the best that your target customer presently has in his schedule. That's not to say that budget might not force you to compromise but do so very, very reluctently.

Years ago I saw a window display in a men's clothier in San Francisco that featured very high-end items - Armani suit, Vuiton briefcase, Bally shoes, etc - and the only copy was an engraved card that read "To get where you want to be, you must look like you're already there." That's absolutely true in show business - to compete with Seinfeld you have to be better than Seinfeld or be able to prove that you can be.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi Steve:

I totally agree with what you are saying.

The only thing I disagree on is the quality of production on Seinfeld. Yes, it was shot on 35mm, but Jerry can't act, he looked like he was always ready to crack up, you saw off of the tops of sets, boom shadows, clunky camera moves, bad exposure, etc. Technically, Seinfeld was a really medicore show, overall. Comedically, sheer genius. Writing-wise, pure genius. After getting all of the released DVDs so far and watching them a LOT, yep, Seinfeld was really average technically.

But you can also make an argument that content rules, and it was one of the best shows ever and deserves it's reputation. Sometimes, the technical stuff just doesn't matter.

Dan
Actually I was thinking about the technical quality issues and not production values (I'm not especially a Seinfeld fan myself). For example the OP was talking about how wireless mics to a mixer was going to be overbudget, they may not have anyone to operate a boom mic, and wondering if they could get away with a couple of consumer memo recorders planted on the set to capture sound, I guess backing up the on-camera mics. Would it work to get something on tape? Probably. Would it be good enough technically, look and sound slick and polished enough to compete with a pilot from Seinfeld's production company in the eyes of network program buyers or even local TV station buyers? Probably not.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #8
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A good commissioning editor will see past the crap and commission a good idea. (Which says a lot about commissioning editors and how good they are and the state of today's TV content).

Depending on how you block your scenes, you might look at using a less directional mic. I've often had good results dropping a cardioid into a group conversation. YMMV of course.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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Content here in the US would indicate there are no commissioning editors. TV Programming is pretty weak.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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