Production Mixer Head of the sound crew Responsible for sound Political liaison with Production Company Finds the work Hires the Boom and Utility
Production Mixer Specifieswhat equipment will be used Responsible for ordering equipment Responsible for prepping equipment Equipment MUST be prepped at least half a working day prior to needed use time!
Boom Operator Positions mic during shot Must be attentive and adaptive Knowledgeable about microphone capabilities Understanding of lighting and shadow placement Physically demanding job
Boom Operator Must wear headphones in order to hear all of the working mics, so as to avoid phase problems. Very difficult job on the set!!
Utility Sound Technician More than just a cableperson Jack of All trades. Often 2nd Boom or 2nd Mixer. Sound Playback Engineer.
Salaries Mixer… $250 to $450, plus O.T. Boom… $150 to $350, plus O.T. Very often, just a bit less than the Mixer’s salary. Utility… $100 to $350, plus O.T. Depends on whether the Utility doubles as Boom or Playback Tech.
Daily Rate Day is 8 hours straight time, excluding 30 min to 1 hr for lunch. O.T. is time and a half up to 12 hours Golden or double time after 12 hours Union Day is 9 hours (8 straight plus one @ time and a half)
Daily Rate when non-union Always negotiate up front with Producer Never quote a daily rate without defining what is a day Example: a day could mean 8 hrs, 10 hrs, 12 hrs, or as long as it takes. Negotiate when flat rate stops and overtime kicks in. No such thing as a “half day rate”
Meals Meal Penalty if lunch is not called within 6 hours on the set, but not less than 4 hours on the set Lunch period starts after last crewperson sits down with food to eat, not while standing in line. 2nd Meal is 4 to 6 hrs after 1st Meal, or else Meal Penalty. 2nd Meal is paid for by Producer.
Meals On stage, crew eats at Commissary or on their own (one hour) On location, producer provides the meal. On location, meal is catered. On location (small shoots), Producer takes crew out for lunch and pays.
Proper Equipment Package Packages are called “channels” Examples: stage channel, location channel, video channel. Equipment is specified by the Mixer. Equipment is ordered by the Mixer. Equipment is prepped by the Mixer at least one day (or half day) prior to the shoot, to allow ample time to correct any problems.
Proper Equipment Package Always use only the best equipment that money can buy (or rent). Having the right tools to do the job makes a world of difference. Don’t skimp on the sound budget. Poor gear will cost you big time, later in Post. Okay for Producer to pay for the package, but only the Mixer orders the equipment.
Proper Equipment Package Don’t forget the tape stock! Bring enough NEW batteries. Additional equipment may include radio mics, Fisher boom, assistive listening, sync playback.
Producer Be Wary Equipment is usually 4 day week; no overtime Mixer may offer to include equipment rental in with daily labor rate, at cheaper package price than if equip rental separate from labor. However, Producer now is paying overtime on equip+labor, as well as extra for days 5, 6, 7. (normally, 4 x daily = one week’s rental)
Budgeting for Audio Media 400 ft of 16mm OR 1000 ft of 35mm is approx 11 minutes. Sound rolls before camera, so 15 min sound is right for one camera magazine. Always change sound when camera reloads.
Tape Stock Nagra tape: one 5-inch reel is 15 minutes. One 7-inch reel is 30 minutes. Equates to one 5-inch reel per film magazine. DAT tape is 60 min to 120 minutes Have to turn in tape every day for dailies. Probably one or two tapes per day.
Memory Cards1 gig equates to 90 min @ 16bit/48k 2-trk 90 min equates to 6 full mags film Always rotate at least two cards One always ready in recorder and one being transferred into laptop
Storing Takes for Dailies Always full format before recording session Xfer takes from mem card to laptop hard drive via card reader Rename simple file names on computer to match full Script names Burn CD or DVD for the dailies Keep backup copy of all files on laptop
Proper Attitude / Professionalism Be aggressive for good sound Fight for close mic placement Use multiple mics to capture every line of dialogue. Keep it all friendly!
Proper Technique Don’t be lazy, but don’t over-complicate. Keep it Simple, Stupid! (K.I.S.S.) Avoid over reliance on lavaliers and radio mics. Use the boom and plant mics as much as possible.
Act Professional And you’ll be treated Professional.