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Old June 27th, 2007, 08:35 PM   #1
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The Ten Commandments of Sound for Picture

Run, don't walk, to Christian Dolan's blog and be sure to read his Fifteen (drops tablet, ala Mel Brooks) Ten! Ten Commandments of Sound for Picture for all to obey. Inspired by Mike Curtis of HD For Indies, his guidelines make such excellent sense that everyone should read, review, print and keep them. And thus... an instant sticky for this forum.

Excerpt: "Thou shalt accept the fact that... there is no such thing as a remove echo filter."

Part One: http://www.syncsoundcinema.com/2007/...etten-ten.html

Part Two: http://www.syncsoundcinema.com/2007/...en-ten_24.html

And on a related note...

"An Open Letter from your Sound Department"
located at http://filmsound.org/production-sound/openletter.htm

This letter is being written by audio professionals to help directors and producers understand how good sound can be recorded on the set. We want to help you make the best film possible.

Thanks to Mike Curtis for passing this on.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Chris,

Thanks! This is my first sticky'd blog post . :)

(Also, you're the only one so far that has gotten [or at least mentioned] the Mel Brooks bit.)

Thanks to all who've stopped by.

-Christian
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Old July 1st, 2007, 04:43 PM   #3
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Dear Christian,

I enjoyed reading your Ten Commandments.

In part 5, you prefer "Booming from Above", over "Booming from Below".

I realize that these are your preferences and that you will use "Booming from Below" when it is advantageous.

I feel that in many cases "Booming from Below" is very desirable. For example, less problem with shadows, less problem with unintended floor noises, and it is easier to hide the boom operator (in some cases).

Could you elaborate on why you prefer "Booming from Above"?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Could you elaborate on why you prefer "Booming from Above"?
I can't speak for Christian, but I have a number of reasons why I feel boom ops should boom from above and not below. Here are some:

- Celings are rarely carpeted, nor do they usually have as many furniturelike objects on them and their hard smooth ceiling surface can cause your sound to be overly live

- people's legs are frequently touching the floor, as are, usually, many more furniturelike objects than appear on the ceiling. These things are obstacles to a moving boom and can make it impossible to follow action or movement

- in almost any shot except a close up or extreme close up of a person, their mouth is going to be closer to the top of the frame than the bottom. closer is better

- booming from above is going to sound different than booming from below. Therefore, even during the times that none of the above mentioned things are true, I'd still prefer booming from above because it will mean the sound will more closely match all the other shots where the booming was from above because of one or more of the above mentioned things.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Christian Dolan View Post
you're the only one so far that has gotten [or at least mentioned] the Mel Brooks bit.
Are you kidding, I love HOTW Part One.

"Sire, the peasants are revolting!"
"You said it! They stink on ice."


Apologies for the OT post...
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Are you kidding, I love HOTW Part One.

"Sire, the peasants are revolting!"
"You said it! They stink on ice."


Apologies for the OT post...
I got it. But then again, I have that movie in my library. One of my favorites.

"Occupation?"

"Gladiator."

"Did you kill today?"

So much funny stuff in there... like the chessboard scene.

-gb-
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:10 AM   #7
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Here are two shoots in which I decided to boom from below.

1. A shoot for ESPN at a fishing tournament. The frame was upper chest and face. We were outdoors, with the sun overhead with a small HMI as a fill light.

I was worried about shadows if I boomed overhead.

2. We were indoors, in a studio with high insulated ceiling, shooting a staged scene. The studio was set to look like a restaurant, with two people talking quietly to each other.

Again, if I boomed from overhead, I would create shadows on the wall behind the actors.

I found that if I lay on the floor, the mike and boom were hidden by the table. I could get close enough and had enough room to maneuver to the speaker. It sounded great, in my humble opinion.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by David Garvin View Post
I can't speak for Christian, but I have a number of reasons why I feel boom ops should boom from above and not below. Here are some:

- Celings are rarely carpeted
Isn't carpeting a good thing? I thought you would want to reduce reflections.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #9
 
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Chris..

Great list, but, I think you left off one so very basic that most amateurs don't even think about it.

"Thou shalt always monitor the audio whilst recording video".
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Old September 26th, 2007, 03:06 AM   #10
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Bill! You mean people *don't do that?
*faux shock*

Also, the slating tip is awesome. I don't care if you're recording in the same device, some poor editor (whether it visual or audial) is going to have to sort through that slugde.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #11
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Again, if I boomed from overhead, I would create shadows on the wall behind the actors.


you should try and get the shadows cut, I only boom from below when all else has failed, It can make the actor limit what he wants to do not to mention putting your mic at risk. But if you like lying on the floor be my guest.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #12
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I agree with attempting to get the shadows cut.

In this particular case, due to the nature of the film, the director wanted harsh "Larger than Life" shadows on the walls behind the actors. An overhead boom would have created a problem.

I also agree that it is best to boom from overhead.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #13
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one more thing to the list... let us get room tone and ambience's it takes 30 seconds out of a long day. not a big deal!
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Old March 14th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #14
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Are we up to 15 commandments yet?

My favorite line...
"It's good to be the king!"
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Old March 20th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre Safak View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Garvin View Post
I have a number of reasons why I feel boom ops should boom from above and not below. Here are some:

- Celings are rarely carpeted
Isn't carpeting a good thing? I thought you would want to reduce reflections.
Exactly, pointing at carpeting is a good thing and that was my point. If you boom from below, you're almost inevitably going to be pointing at an uncarpeted ceiling. That's one reason you are usually better off booming from above.
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