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Old April 11th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #1
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filming a telephone convo

what is the easiest way to go about doing this, where one actor is scene the entire time and the person on the other end is just a voice there is no cutting between people.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #2
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does anyone have any ideas?
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Old April 14th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #3
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Have an actor off camera perform the lines of the person at the other end, so your main actor has something to work off.

Hope that helps,

Liam.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 05:55 AM   #4
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Jack,

I believe you are not getting much of a response because your question does not explain what exactly you are after. Are you looking for guidance on how to direct or otherwise help the actor that's visible in the scene? (Liam gave you some advise there.) Or is your question more in the technical domain, such as how to get the "telephone voice" into the final result?

Maybe if you can explain in more detail what you've already thought about and where you are stuck, you'll get a lot more help!

- Martin
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Old April 14th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #5
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im sorry its more of a technical question i would like to know how to put a scene together technically. i was thinking about just filming the one actor and then doing a voiceover of the other later in post but i dunno how that will match up. anyideas on how to make this smooth and work well? thanks.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #6
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I suppose it depends on the length of the telephone conversation.

One fairly simple but effective way you could try is this. Film the actor twice, running all the way through the conversation. Using two different camera positions will give you the option to cut from one shot to another. Then make an edit, and after this, get someone to voice over the lines for the voice on the phone. Because you will already have the exact timing of the actor's lines, the voiceover can be made to fit perfectly in with that.

Is the actor to be filmed going to be using a mobile or a landline phone ?

Or, could you get someone to record the voice of the person on the other end of the phone, and then literally play it back to the actor you are filming, by connecting a tape player, mini disc or whatever to an old telephone. Landline phones only have a few wires so with a bit of trial and error you will be able to make the recording come through the earpiece of the telephone. The actor being filmed can then respond in real time to the voice on the phone.

You can also get cassette tape dictating machines which have been converted to record land line telephones. If whoever is the voice on the phone actually speaks to the fimed actor, on the phone, you could record this and use the sound for the film.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Major View Post
im sorry its more of a technical question i would like to know how to put a scene together technically. i was thinking about just filming the one actor and then doing a voiceover of the other later in post but i dunno how that will match up. anyideas on how to make this smooth and work well? thanks.
You can record the actor feeding the lines off camera onto a separate track. The on camera actor can respond to them and deliver their dialogue. If you want to have this actor doing things that create noises, put the other actor into another room on an extension or mobile. You can than either feed them into the second audio track the camera/mixer or onto a mini disk/DAT

In post you can either use graphic equalizers combined with other audio effects to recreate a phone effect on the off camera dialogue.

Remember to record atmos tracks to cover the scene, because you'll be removing the off mic feeds from the on camera actor's dialogue track.

It's basic movie sound track laying - put each sound onto a separate track and you'll have control.

If the off camera actor isn't there, get a stand in to read it, it's just a matter of the actor having to match the timing. You can do a few takes in post to get that correct, but by having it read during the actual take you know the lines will fit in and the on screen actor has something to react to.

If you want to visually cut between the characters, the usual convention is to have them facing each other as per a normal conversation. Having them turning away etc, adds another layer like being on the characters being distracted, extremely busy with things other than the conversation.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #8
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Have the "on phone" actor actually on the phone with the "live" actor. Makes the dialog far more natural. Record the audio portion of the phone actor, then play with the sound to make it seem like it came off the phone.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #9
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There are devices that attach to the phone to help record the conversation.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #10
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I would run the on camera actor's audio into channel one, the off camera actor into channel two, with him a distance away from the scene, and a gobo in between. Record it live, then add a telephone filter to track 2 in post.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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From a directing standpoint it is usually more desireable to have a live actor working off camera as the voice on the other end. Yes, you can record this on a separate track / channel and this is often done but more often than not you can find ways of improving the tempo of the scene in the editing process (having two masters from different angles/distances as mentioned is very important) and redoing the voice on the other end is often done anyway (it's actually easier than trying to pull new inflections from the recorded version through editing). The 'phone' effect is of course obtained simply by running the voice track through a single EQ band or so.
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