Location, Location, Location

One of the biggest elements of this project is the location recording aspect. Out of our five films, four of them required location recording services. These films are; Descent, Feel Good, Immort, Remember.

All five members of the group took on the location recording, splitting the hours between ourselves as best as we could.

As I am managing the sound for Remember, I wanted to have as much involvement with its location audio as possible. This can also be said for the other films and their managers. However, some of the dates meant that my availability was limited, or I was unable to make the shoots altogether. Having a large group meant that the others were able to step in when needed, and I could then offer help on the dates that they were unavailable for, or wanted someone else on the job instead.

Having only ever had one location recording experience in the past, I was somewhat apprehensive about getting involved in the location recording to begin with. Prior experience to this project consisted of me holding a boom mic, albeit very badly, in a cemetery for a couple of hours during semester A. It was essential for me to make sure that I got the techniques correct, and payed close attention to what I was doing this time around to capture the best possible sound.

Boom technique is certainly something I struggled with to begin with. Prior to attending the shoots, firstly I harked back to the lecture delivered to us by Grant Bridgeman and the techniques he taught us, and secondly I researched into location recording.

Sound recording tips: how to record location sound in film and video production

Here I found some very useful information regarding location recording. Things such microphone choice and placement were top of my list. For all of our shoots, we have used the Sennheiser MKH416 Rifle Mic. This particular mic has an extremely directional capture. Almost like playing sound into a cone, it only really goes right onto the tip of the mic. This makes it excellent for capturing dialogue, especially when combined with a radio mic.

Gladly I am able to say that at no point did I have the boom in shot, and the dialogue we captured has been of the quality desired.

The second job on set is the sound recordist, and whilst it may seem the easier of the jobs, this has often not been the case. The Sound Devices 633 has been quite a steep learning curve for me, as it can be an extremely complicated piece of kit to use. On the first day of shooting for Remember, I was given a quick 5-minute run through by Alice, as she has already had experience with the recorder. In hindsight, I ought to have booked out the kit and had a trial run on my own time, however the delays on the shoot meant that fortunately there was enough time to go through it.

To begin with, the roles were swapped around to get a feel for each. As the shoots progressed, I became much more comfortable booming opposed to recording, and as such pursued this as much as possible for each location recording I was on hand for.

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