Series - Preparing for Your Shoot

pre-shootGood sound and picture does not happen by accident nor on its own. It requires concerted efforts from all the production executives (producer, director, production manager) as well as from members of the crew. Success in every aspect of filmmaking hinges upon decisions made early on during the pre-production process.

From location scouting, crewing, and dealing with rental houses, this series covers essentials of the pre-production process.

Chapter 6: Preparing Your Gear

Palmer soundcartYour capability to record sound hinges strongly on the ability of your equipment to function when on the set. Having the best of gear, but not being able to make it work, is frustrating and career damaging. There are no apologies nor excuses run under the dailies! Bottom line is that the Sound Mixer is responsible for checking each and every piece of gear that is earmarked for the shoot. Every recorder, every microphone, every accessory, every adapter cable, and every mic line must be checked with the same care and concern that a skydiver employs with his parachute.

Chapter 7: Defining Equipment Packages

boomDuring the pre-production stage, it will become necessary to think and deal in terms of basic equipment packages. When defining equipment and budgeting in terms of these packages, bear in mind that these are simply terms of convenience. The specific contents of each package type will vary from studio to studio, rental house to rental house, and even from sound mixer to sound mixer.

Chapter 8: Dealing with Rental Houses

SoundRRentalsAs I have mentioned before, I do not trust Rental Technicians when it is my career on the line. Double-check and prep everything carefully! Place your order with the Rental House early, at least a few days in advance. If you have a shoot coming up, but it has not yet been 100% confirmed, let them know this. They can pencil your order in tentatively, and then check in with you later to verify a firm commitment.

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