Interviewing Children on video- Audio recording tips needed at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 15th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
Interviewing Children on video- Audio recording tips needed

Hi All,

New to this forum, I thank you all in advance!

I write to you for technical advice and tips for how to best prepare and carry out interviews on video with very young children. We will carry out about 15 individual interviews with the children at their own homes: place with a lot of dust, different ambient sounds from animals, other family members, neighbors and top on that, there is some lighting challenges. The interviews will some times have to be carried out in the middle of the day with lot of sunshine shining in a place with lot of trees that creates a scene full of shadows where ever you point the camera.

The audio recording:
So, how can I best prepare myself for this challenging assignment? We will be a two-people team doing all the production. We will use a Canon GL2 and we are wondering about buying an extra wireless microphone and a XLR receiver mounted on the camera so we can let the children walk around freely during the interviews. Is the Beachmark the best XLR receiver option, and what about the wireless microphone? Unfortunately we do not have a big budget, so we cannot by the original from Canon. But, if using a wireless microphone, can we also use the Canon DM-50 Directional Stereo Microphone to record ambient sound at the same time? Or will the built-in microphone work well enough? Will this make the GL2 a very heavy camera without any possibilities to use a tripod since the XLR receiver will be mounted on the tripod head place? Do anyone of you have any experiences about making interviews with children on video? Please, I am anxious to hear about your experiences!

Lighting problems:
We will not be able to use any fill lights of whatsoever, so what should we think about when shooting during this harsh conditions? What camera mode should I shoot in? Manual, Auto, TV or AV? I still have not bought the cameras, so I cannot yet practice with it, so sorry for many questions. Apart from the camera settings, are there some simply tricks or accessories we can use in order to minimize the bunch of shadows all over the place?

Wide angle:
So the last question, if I cannot afford buying the wide-angle from Canon, what options are there?

I thank you all so much!

Anna
Anna Wall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #2
Retired DV Info Net Almunus
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,943
Welcome, Anna!

I've moved your post over to this area hoping it will get better topical exposure and responses.

I've not had the experience of shooting young children so I cannot offer much advice on that general topic.

For audio, wiring very young children will not be practical. You're going to get better results from a shotgun mic on a boom. The Beachtek XLR adapters are very nice, basically indispensable, for pro audio.

Lighting sounds like it may be a bit of a challenge. It's impossible to offer specific tips but in general I recommend that you basically just watch your contrast and highlights. You can accomplish quite a bit of "fill" with one light source and a simple, well-placed reflector.
__________________
Lady X Films: A lady with a boring wardrobe...and a global mission.

Hey, you don't have enough stuff!
Buy with confidence from our sponsors. Hand-picked as the best in the business...Really!

See some of my work one frame at a time: www.KenTanaka.com
Ken Tanaka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
A couple of 5-in-1 reflectors can solve alot of outdoor problems. Use them for fill or for diffusion, Also a large bed sheet can do great diffusion of direct sunlight. Bring some clothesline/rope and gaffer tape.
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 196
I've done a bunch of work with kids and agree a shotgun mic on a boom pole is the best way to do it. Since many times I shoot solo (no boom operator) I camera mount the mic as well. As I'm sure you're aware you want the mic as close as possible without being seen. I use a beachtek adaptor and have been happy with the results.

I don't know how you can avoid unwanted ambient sounds. I have had to keep a keen ear alert for dog barks, door slams and planes flying over and when they do had to stop and reshoot.
Dan Measel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #5
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
Thank you all!

Hi,
Thank you so much for your answers!

Given the low-budget, and the lack of any boom-operator we have decided to use the Canon stereo microphone to mount it on the GL2. I hope this will be good enough. What do you think?

But, just to be sure to record the voice from the children we are still thinking about using an external minidisc with a stereo microphone to clipp on somehow to the child. Has anyone of you used this, and in that case what kind of Minidisc and microphone do you recommend me to use?

IŽll let you all know how it went when coming back from my assignment in october. Learning by doing!

Thanks again,

Anna
Anna Wall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 344
If you can turn the LCD on the camera towards them while you video, it will get their attention better than any question you might ask them.
Stephen Finton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2005, 07:44 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Manila, Philippines
Posts: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Wall
Hi,
Thank you so much for your answers!

Given the low-budget, and the lack of any boom-operator we have decided to use the Canon stereo microphone to mount it on the GL2. I hope this will be good enough. What do you think?

But, just to be sure to record the voice from the children we are still thinking about using an external minidisc with a stereo microphone to clipp on somehow to the child. Has anyone of you used this, and in that case what kind of Minidisc and microphone do you recommend me to use?

IŽll let you all know how it went when coming back from my assignment in october. Learning by doing!

Thanks again,

Anna
hello anna,

have you heard iriver with a lav microphone to clip on the child? that could be a good backup and could capture and voice of the child clearly. it is also small in size. that's what i'm using to capture voice recordings.
Leonardo Silva Jr. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2005, 01:08 PM   #8
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
Check out "Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos" by Barry Hampe. There's a small but informative section on working with children. The author himself, has done several documentaries on small children.

On a budget or not
Record the ambient sounds separately from the interviews. On a budget, I think the built-in mic will get the best ambient sounds. For the best interview audio, make sure you are close up, and in a quiet area, especially important if you're only using the built-in stereo mic.

Budget shotgun
One step up from the built-in stereo mic is the Rode Video mic. It will allow you to work a little bit farther away from the subject, and in a noisier environment. You can also connect a 2nd mic using an inexpensive mini stereo Y cable adapter.

The Canon DM-50 is another budget shotgun BUT, it cannot be used with any other mics, it just replaces the built-in mic.

Other budget mics
Think about using dynamic handheld and wired lavalier mics. They're inexpensive, but can be effective, if you don't mind putting a little sweat into the production.

The Shure SM57 and SM58 are inexpensive dynamic handheld mics, that are also good investments. You'll have to get pretty close to the interviewee's mouths to get the best audio. Fortunately these mics are very robust and durable so they'll survive with small children.

Here's a couple of inexpensive wired lavs that you can use without an XLR adapter:

* Audio Technica ATR35s
* Giant Squid Audio Stereo Microphone

I like the Giant Squid mic because it gives you two lavs at the same time, one for the interviewer and one for the interviewee. It plugs directly into the camcorder's stereo mic input and has a 5 foot cable on each lav. No battery is needed.

The ATR35s is mono, uses a battery, and has a 20 foot cable. You can use it with the Rode Videomic.
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2005, 01:14 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
If you can afford an XLR adapter, check out the Studio One Production XLR adapters. You can clip them onto your belt or backpack to take the weight off the camcorder.
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:12 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network