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Cinematography and genny sound

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Todd Terry
Cinematography and genny sound
on Aug 20, 2012 at 3:44:06 pm

This is really an audio question, but has a cinematography part to it (and you're all the guys I know, so I'll ask here)...

We don't get TOO many big features made in our small city, maybe one every year or two, but right now there is one being made here.

Unbeknownst to me beforehand, my neighbor's house was a shooting location yesterday so I got to enjoy my small downtown street being clogged with about 50 crewmembers and about a dozen big trucks and trailers all day right around my house. Not a quiet Sunday.

For those of us who spend our lives on locations there was nothing too out of the ordinary (other than it's a little unusual to unexpectedly see Dermot Mulroney sitting on your neighbor's roof).... except, I couldn't figure out something about their generator. They had the usual bigass blimped generator (probably about a 100kw) parked in the alley right behind our houses. The thing is, this was right beside one of the shooting locations, one scene was in the garage just adjacent to the alley... they were probably shooting no more than 15 feet from this generator, separated by only a garage wall. And while I wasn't on the location, I know they were shooting sync sound in that scene (through the open garage door I could see a boom operator mic a scene with Mulroney).

Sure, we all call these generators "silent"... but they are really far far from 0dB. I could clearly hear it running, even inside my own house next door. I've never been on a set before where they didn't string the genny as far away as possible from the actual scene, so this was a puzzler (especially since there were much further-away places they could have very easily moved it).

Any thoughts on this??

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Cinematography and genny sound
on Aug 20, 2012 at 4:46:22 pm

My guess is they plan to loop it anyhow in post, the synch sound is just a guide track to them.

By the way, I came across a tidbit from the NASA spin-off's publications... they've spun-off a former military technology for civilian use now. It's a high-output fuel cell that runs on methanol. Picture something like the ubiquitous Honda generator, only lighter, completely silent, with the same power level and run time, no dangerous emissions, except CO2 and water, re-fueled at any gas station. Seems to me not just a boon for campers and boaters, but the location film biz. Now, who will be the first company to sell it at NAB and the film conventions?


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Todd Terry
Re: Cinematography and genny sound
on Aug 20, 2012 at 4:59:20 pm

[Mark Suszko] "My guess is they plan to loop it anyhow in post,"

I kinda doubt that. They did break for sound a time or two when a helicopter went over, and once when you could hear the sound of a train in the distance. If they planned to loop, those would have made no difference.

Also, these scenes were with Mulroney and a kid actor, Thomas Horn. You don't see much looping with young kids, since it's pretty tough to do well.

My only thought it is that they planned for noise reduction to take care of it in post... but it's sure a heckuva lot easier (and better) to record clean audio in the first place.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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