TTOU: Sound Notes, London
When first asked to come on board as the sound recordist I looked at my kit and was pretty confident it would do a great job. My main concern was the batteries. I was using Energizer 2400mAH AA for all my kit. This meant when running my mixer, recorder and three wireless systems, I would be using 20 AA batteries; that’s a lot of charging every night! Now, the Energizers are a brilliant battery and last all day, but I couldn’t face all that charging. I looked around for a good battery system that would power at least my mixer (which takes 6 batteries, twice a day). I went for the Swit NP1 Li ion 73wh with a Hawkwoods distributor. I had two batteries, one in and one on charge. This proved very successful and since The Three Of Us I’ve added a Sound Devices 744T to my kit and the Swit system powers that as well. So, I’d solved my concern over power.
Next, I studied the script and made notes, deciding which scenes would be “boom only” and which scenes would need wireless lav mics as well. This proved worthwhile, and ran pretty true on set.
The first leg of the film was in London with three main locations, interior and exterior. The interior scenes were less of a challenge than exterior, shot mainly with my short shotgun mic. with wireless lavs as back up. Space and boom shadows were my main concern, but overall successful.
The two most tricky scenes were on a bridge by a main road and a car interior. The bridge scene was at night, and the road wasn’t too busy. It was a fast bit of road though, and the passing traffic was very noisy. I wired up the actors with lav mics and got my boom in where I could. I made sure on close-up shots that I was as close to the actors as possible to try and capture good clean audio. As a safety precaution, I got all the dialogue from the actors as a wild track at the end, whilst still on the bridge. The other issue for sound was the over excited passers by shouting (unfunny) comments and cars hooting at us………hilarious……not!
Later that same night we shot the car interior scenes. I wired up the car with a lav mic on each sun visor, hidden just out of sight. The wires were then hidden under the cars’ trim and one transmitter went into the glovebox and the other was gaffer taped under the dash. I switched in the High Pass Filters on my mixer, and off we went.
During the actual shoot, I had the pleasure of riding in the boot of the Estate car with my sound bag, whilst Jack (DOP) and Gabs (Director) were in the back seats. This lasted around 2 hours and although it sounds uncomfortable, I had the most fun ever; easily my favourite shoot of the whole movie!
So, the London leg was very successful, next up was France……tres bon!
- Azden 42a mixer
- Zoom H4N recorder
- Rode NTG2 shotgun mic
- AKG CK93 short shotgun mic
- Sennheiser G3 radio packs
- Sennheiser ME2 Lav mics
- Swit battery system