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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:27 AM   #1
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Comments on my work please, especially audio

This is a 28 second piece of my current project. I want feedback from DVInfo.net experts. I'll take it down in a short while because it's still a work in progress. We have no lights, makeup or set, so don't complain about them.

1. I have a habit of keyframing the audio to eliminate coughs, ums and tongue-clacks by dropping the audio volume. I've been told that it's really annoying when I do this. What do you think?

Bear in mind that I intend for this video piece to be shown in the corner of the final work - the clips that would normally function as overlay/cutaways will be shown over most of the screen, and this will have its own little section on screen. There'll also be music. Knowing this, does your answer change?

2. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the unwanted noise from the audio? The Adobe Premiere Pro decrackler/declicker effects don't seem to do anything.

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For the record, this was shot by me using a Sony PMW-EX1R camera at 1920x1080i, 25 fps under office fluorescent lights. The mic is a Rode NTG-1 (it's the only one we have). Put together in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 6 using 1 second dips to black. Audio undergoes aforementioned keyframing, volume increase and EQ in the parts where he moves the mic away from his mouth. Video undergoes Neat Video reduce noise, then Auto Color, then Auto Contrast filters.

[Dons flameproof suit]

Richard
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Old June 16th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Re: Comments on my work please, especially audio

The audio cuts are a bit distracting. Is there an option to work with the person to reduce those issues?

Would it be possible to get a LAV mic?
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Old June 16th, 2012, 11:59 PM   #3
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Re: Comments on my work please, especially audio

Hi, Chris.

I don't really want to shoot the raw footage again. Because I work with disabled people, that's actually one of the best pieces of interview footage we have.

When I play it with music underneath it, it seems fine. But I admit my audio-editing habits are eccentric. It's only a couple of clicks to get rid of them though!

We're getting a lav mic with our next purchase.

Richard
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Old June 17th, 2012, 07:25 AM   #4
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Re: Comments on my work please, especially audio

Get a boom stand and put the shotgun just out of frame. Your talent can concentrate more on delivery and not worry about mic handling.

As you said, a music bed helps. Ignoring the debate on whether you should leave the segments in because it makes it sound natural (only professional speakers really can talk without them), this is a situation where room tone is useful. Get in the habit of recording 30 seconds or more of just the noise in the room. You can then use it where you keyframe out the subject.

Also, the EX1R affords you some room to digitally zoom in so you could every once in a while use a jump cut to something at 150% and then jump cut back after a few seconds or until the next keyframe.

Recognize these are all just tricks to get around errors by the talent.
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Old June 17th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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Re: Comments on my work please, especially audio

Hi Richard,

Mate, this bloke talks with his hands :) Take the mike out of them...... I know its the only mike you have. Make up a DIY boom pole and have it out of frame. Any one who speaks with their hands must be allowed to do just that.

You're shooting into a window, try and reposition, there is too much flare on the right hand side and theres gaps in the vertical blinds, maybe drop a sheet over the blinds might work. I know you don't have light but make up a reflector, as simple as a large disk covered with Alfoil to get a bit of fill light into his face by positioning it low down to your right hand side therefore lighting the left hand side of his face. His eyes are very important, they need to be lit correctly.

Tighten up your frame, your subject is the guy, not his office. This may also eliminate background light issues.

See if he's comfortable about sitting without his legs crossed, this will give you a better aspect when you tighten up your frame and still keep his hands active. If able, see if he can bend his elbows, thus raising his hands, one, IMO, needs to be able to see his hands working in conjuction with his facial expressions.

Camera level (height) is good IMO.

Audio, I wouldn't stress, it's how he talks if you get my drift, I had no trouble in understanding him but visual distractions are high.... :)

Hope this all make sense...... :)
Good luck.

Al

BTW, I'm no expert..... ;)
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Old June 17th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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Re: Comments on my work please, especially audio

In addition to the previous comments (tightening up your shot, boom or lav mic, room tone capture), I would add the following: get rid of swivel chairs. Interviewees tend to be nervous on camera, and it manifests itself in a swivel or rocking motion when the chair allows. The ideal chair for this interview would be solid, low back (below the shoulders) and have arm rests. Barring that, you might want to have them stand (for short segments), sit at the edge of their desk, or move them to a different office. If you plan on doing many future interviews, then a solid future investment would be Vortex Media's "Lighting for Interviews" video. Even if you can't spring for the expensive LED lights, Arri fresnels or top-quality light gear, you'll get a sense of what it takes to put together a great interview (which is the bread and butter of many corporate shoots).

Meanwhile, here is a tutorial I did a while back to help with similar audio cleanup issues:
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Old June 18th, 2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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Re: Comments on my work please, especially audio

Oren,

That, for me, was a very imformitive video, Thanks.

Al
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