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Recording audio on a boat out at sea

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Tarik Fouda
Recording audio on a boat out at sea
on Jun 28, 2016 at 2:23:10 am

Hey Everyone,
I just got asked to record sound on a project that is shooting out at sea on a boat. It's going to be very windy most likely, along with other sound issues--birds probably, small waves, and the boat is probably going to be a bit rocky. I've told the director that this will cause some difficulties...but any suggestions on extra things that I can do to minimize said difficulties?
Thanks, as always...


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Richard Crowley
Re: Recording audio on a boat out at sea
on Jun 29, 2016 at 5:51:00 pm

Is this scripted? Or is it "reality"? Is this just a quick "three-hour cruise" or a 3-week shooting schedule? Is this at the dock or in the bay or out on the high seas? Are you expected to record in heavy weather? How many speaking parts? Do you have wireless mic coverage for all the speaking parts? Are the subjects wearing heavy rain-gear or bikinis? (or naked?) There are so many variables here which were not revealed in your question, it is hard to know how to answer it.

Have you researched how they did sound for the TV series "The Deadliest Catch"? Reports are that they had wireless mics on all the principle subjects, and used on-camera shotgun mics to collect opportunistic sound. They used a variety of protection for the microphones, but typically most of the microphones didn't even last for one season before they had to be replaced.


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Tarik Fouda
Re: Recording audio on a boat out at sea
on Jun 29, 2016 at 6:08:18 pm

Thanks for the response and the recommendation--I'll look into The Deadliest Catch. It's a scripted, fiction program, and we're going to actually be out at sea, not just docked. I have wireless mics for all 3 actors, who will be fully clothed, and I was planning to use a boom mic too.


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Al Bergstein
Re: Recording audio on a boat out at sea
on Jun 29, 2016 at 10:58:53 pm

In addition to any advice from the pros here on the best mics for the job, buy yourself a Pelican case to hold it all. One mishap and the price of the case will be more than paid for. I have run a number of rivers and the pelican case is the only way to go.

As to mics and wind, lavs under the clothes are likely the only way to go. But I'll defer to folks doing a lot more of it than me.

Al


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Craig Alan
Re: Recording audio on a boat out at sea
on Jun 30, 2016 at 4:45:55 pm

Like photographers who wait for the magic hour and trees and cloud coverage to filter the light, wait for times when the wind dies down. and find locations on-board where/when there is less wind.

shoot all angles on the boat and places you visit to use as backgrounds in case you need to green screen shots back home.

Blimp systems rycote brand.

keep boom parallel to wind and facing in same direction that wind is coming from so that the wind hits the back of the mike, not front. Choose a boom with highly directional pick-up pattern. find something to block wind from reaching the mike. but don't create a hazard doing so. rearrange things that are making loud sound because the on-coming wind is hitting them. wind sound that acts as Foley is needed to capture the atmosphere of a boat. A lot of the dialog can be done with ADR. Particularly easy if the dialog is coming from the person not facing the camera. OSS shots lets the audience know who is talking with the camera on the expression of the listener.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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