Recently I placed an ad looking for a local boom op for a feature and asked for an audio file from a project they had worked on as a sample. Thanks to many years of audio production my ears are terrible, so would appreciate if you guys could listen and tell me what you think of the boom op's abilities. This is raw audio from one boom mic.
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06-21-2012 08:05 AM
06-21-2012 10:25 AM
Are we to assume your only hiring one production sound person?
The "quality" sounds OK, the acting sucks. They also should not have been doing practical FX over the dialog, but that may have been a visual necessity. Usually though it isn't and all the dialog over the hissing is compromised. But that would not be the boom ops fault.
However you probably are not going to get much useful info from listening to things like this. For one thing nobody working on a larger project is going to have access to the "raw sound". Basically only folks who are working on no-budget shorts or are doing their own films and maybe a few students would be able to send you a sample. IF your paying you probably eliminated all the experienced people from your pool. If it's a freebee then they probably weren't there i the first place, but you never can tell...
That said. I have gotten plenty of production sound that was no where near as clean. I personally think it's a bit crispy but that is fixable and is probably the mic. On a shoot so small the boom op could get ahold of raw sound it may well have gone direct to camera so he/she will have had very little control other than placement. They probably could have been closer, but that is REALLY hard to tell. Nobody seems way off mic and there were a number of characters so...
Of course this could be the only usable take before they fired him/her. You never know which is another reason sound sample don't mean much.
If you want to know about the guy ask for some references and call them. If you know a sound person in the area see if they have heard good or bad about them. Those will tell you a lot more than some sample.
06-21-2012 04:51 PM
Thanks for the input. The boom op is a film student fresh out of college. She's done boom work on a few student projects including this one. She had access to the raw audio through the engineer who did the post work.
My project is an ultra low budget feature. We do pay our crew but can only afford miniscule rates, so students are about the only possibility. Listening to the audio, I got the sense that was doing a decent job of positioning the mic and handling the boom pole without a lot of noise. Just needed a better set of ears to confirm that.
Last edited by mainstreetprod; 06-22-2012 at 08:01 AM.
06-21-2012 06:27 PMFilmmaking is the art of being invisible; if anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.
06-21-2012 06:40 PM
This is not bad for raw audio, I have heard WAYYYYYYY worse. I did have a slight issue with the placement on the second actor. It did not sound equal in amplitude to the deeper voiced actor. But that is just a minor issue....... it could be that this was a 2 shot and he was shorter and frame height was what it was. And would definitely be fixed with the coverage. (or he was one of those quiet voiced actors). I love actors that have worked in theater. Never have to tell them to project a little more.
Didn't hear any obvious pole noise either.
LOL, well unclebob............I think now you ARE the Foley police.
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06-21-2012 07:46 PM
I did foley once....David Fisk
K-Tek/M. Klemme Technology Corp.
06-21-2012 08:42 PM
Here come the Foley police....
swat.gifFilmmaking is the art of being invisible; if anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.
06-22-2012 02:32 AM
Mmmm .... needs some sound to go with it
Cheers.35yrs with our own a/v production company and studios.
06-22-2012 08:29 AM
In reference to the bit you cut out of your post, RE here project where she did post.
First don't let us scare you... LOTS of folks make the f mistake so we tend to have fun correcting it.
Second, post and production are really different worlds. I think it's useful for some cross pollination since it helps keep post folks from railing on production folks if they have ever been under that gun. And knowing some post helps production folks from falling into the "fix it in post" trap. But they are generally very different skill sets. So if she was fantastic at post it doesn't mean she is any good at production. I'm mostly a post person and production is HARD. Post is hard sometimes also but it's not nearly as physical, and you can take a break, usually, when you need one. You also need to listen with different ears.
I wouldn't be unhappy to get the track you posted, so this isn't about her but you should really try to judge on meaningful criteria and post expertise isn't really that for a production person.
Really in almost all film jobs, competence is a nec. but almost as important is how you work together. An OK mixer that you work well with will get you better tracks than gods gift to mixing IF you cant stand each other.
Never hire someone you haven't talked to.