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How should I mic my interrotron set up?

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Noam Osband
How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:12:21 am

I'm buying two teleprompters and making an Interrotron.

http://www.whiterabbitdesigncompany.com/Miscellaneous/images/interrotron%20...

I'll be in the same room as the person I am filming but we wont be facing each other. In my setup, we're divided by a black fabric screen. I am going to be filming myself with a camcorder, likely a Canon Vixia. This will be the feed for the teleprompter facing the talent.

I want to also mic my voice into the room. I could hook myself up to a lav and hood the lav to a speaker. Does that make sense? What type of speaker might I want? I feel like there are probably some angles here I'm missing.

I'm not planning on piping his audio into me. I dont worry about being able to keep my attention and concentration. Although, if someone here feels differently, let me know why.

thanks as always!


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Richard Crowley
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:49:13 am

I'm not getting the full picture here. Are you RECORDING the other person's audio (speech?)? Is it a production track or just a scratch track? Do you need to isolate the sound from you to the other guy from the recording of the other guy? Note that when you see remote interviews on TV, the people at each end are wearing earpieces to hear the other guy's audio but so that it doesn't interfere with their audio being picked up by their own mic.

We don't know what the ultimate goal of the audio is here, and we don't know whether isolation is important?


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Noam Osband
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:54:53 am

Yeah, looking over my question there is a lot left unsaid......

So, the only audio I want recorded is the subject. That will be for production. I will be doing that with the camera shooting him: my HMC-150. I have two XLR's so I use one shotgun and one lavalier. I need to attach my sound to a speaker so the subject hears it well. We're not going to be sitting across from each other cause we're going to be making eye contact through the two teleprompters that will be set up.

I want the subject to feel totally at ease with the image on the teleprompter they'll be taking to, so I plan on partitioning the room with a curtain. But that isn't for audio reasons. It's just so the subject is alone with the teleprompter.

Does that make sense? Thanks in advance!


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Richard Crowley
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 20, 2011 at 8:28:33 pm

It is not clear why you think you need anything at all for the subject to hear you since you are both in the same room?


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Eric Toline
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:24:53 pm

Richard,

It's to create the illusion that the interviewer is NOT in the same room. I've worked on those type of setups and that's what I was told by production when I asked the same question.

Eric


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Bill Davis
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 20, 2011 at 11:17:36 pm

You're taking a lot of time - using a lot of extra equipment - and adding a lot of complexity to a process that will give you essentially the exact same results by simply having your interviewer stand directly BEHIND a single camera - and ask the interview questions out loud.

Yes, your way presents a video picture for the interviewee to respond to. But in my experience, it's almost totally unnecessary.

I was in San Diego shooting interviews recently. We did 30 plus recordings over two days. Politicians, civic leaders, and lots and lots of "just plain folks" pulled off the street to give their opinions alongside everyone else.

The producer wanted exactly what you're looking for. Responses directly into the camera.

NOBODY had a bit of a problem being asked simply to listen to the interviewer and respond directly into the camera.

I think you're putting a lot of effort into solving a "problem" that isn't really there in the first place.

For what it's worth.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Ty Ford
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 12:13:26 am

Bill,

I'm with you. I've done sound for shoots like this. It's very strange to talk to a disembodied face in a box. Sort of like the genie on PeeWee's Playhouse.

It seemed to me the elaboration of the system fell into the "because we can" model. To which I answered, sure, you CAN, but why would you want to?

If it's a client request and you can't get out of it. Get an SM58 mic with a switch and a small guitar practice amp to ask questions. Don't forget to turn the mic off each time you're done asking a question and direct the on camera person (probably more than once) to wait until you turn off your mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Noam Osband
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 7:02:06 am

The thinking is that it lets the subject look deadahead at the camera. And I want that look....


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Richard Crowley
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 7:05:14 am

OK, if you say so. But you have never actually established a need for any kind of audio "talk-back" system at all. Good luck.


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Noam Osband
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 7:10:52 am

Your points all make sense. I do feel though that if I'm going to have a film centered around a long interview of someone - kind of like the doc Collapse that recently came out (i really well directed film) - than i cant just keep asking them to look into the camera. if i want someone talking for hours, i need them to have eye contact. its always the best way to get someone to open up i think.


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Ty Ford
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 1:32:49 pm

Noam,

My SM58 with a switch + guitar amp (or small fostex powered monitor) answer your question.

I'm not just an audio guy, I shoot, light and edit.

Even though you have an obvious attraction to this particular method for shooting, I continue to have a negative reaction. Do what you will, but....

Interview or not, maintaining dead on eye contact with a person or a camera (your pursuit of perfection) is not normal for a human being.

With your intended setup, you're putting the viewers of this piece in the position of the interviewer. The viewer is not asking the question, you are. That's offputting to me as a viewer because you are forcing me into a role I did not choose. In fact, I can only participate as a viewer if I'm not on that axis.

There is something very creepy about forcing an interviewee to sit in a dark room with a camera and forcing them to look at a disembodied face on a video monitor with a voice not coming from a human being, but from a small electronic system. I can't imagine the "face as an avatar" approach engenders a positive feeling in them. In fact, it smacks of terrorist interrogation or a Fritz Lang film.

Just my opinion. Best of luck with your project!

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Noam Osband
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 6:25:52 pm

I appreciate the pushback here. It's always good to have opposing voices. this is the setup Errol Morris uses and he's my favorite documentarian. i dont mind blatantly ripping this element off from him. Now, if i could be just as good an interviewer, director and editor as him.....


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Ty Ford
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 21, 2011 at 7:50:32 pm

mebbe one of them metal clipboard and box thingees

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/729882/Office-Depot-Brand-89percent-R...

Regards,

Ty

PS: and sunglasses

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Bill Davis
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:07:05 am

If you're stuck doing it this way - go right ahead.

But if you're open to some advice...

a lot of us here are saying that what you're planning is a VERY unusual technique in the grand scheme of an industry that's been cranking out interviews by the thousands for many, many, many years.

if you're going to attempt to re-invent the wheel - we believe it would be an extremely good idea to TEST OUT your new wheel design before you attempt to balance the success or failure of your entire project on this very unusual method.

Assemble your rig. Call up some friends. Divide them into two groups. Do the first group with method A and the second with method B. Compare the results.

If you believe the results in A are superior - have at it. If not, you've just saved yourself a HUGE amount of hassle schlepping and setting up a bunch of stuff that can break down and cause you grief during your shoot.

Nothing to lose with this "test first" method — and everything to gain.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Noam Osband
Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?
on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:50:18 pm

True that. thanks for the good advice...


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