If you have any audio tips or tricks you’d like to see here, I’ll credit them to you and link to
Email me at email@example.com
I always try to know everybody’s names in the crew, and treat respectfully everybody.
The inexperienced PA of today having his first steps in a set may become your employer someday in the future! Or may (or may not) suggest your name to new productions.
Also, sound needs colaboration from the whole crew. If you treat people well, and invite then to listen to your headphone when they have a little time near you, they always say “wow” when they listen to what you listen, and understand why you have to be the “shut up everybody” guy!
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Keep Smiling. Even if a bad tempered DOP or AD presses you to speed up when you’ve been waiting 2 hours for a shot to set up. And tell them that even God waits for sound when the lighting strikes!
“When I go to mic talent with wireless and they are not used to being mic’d up, I explain everything I am going to do before I do it, such as, “can you drop this (the TA5F end) down your shirt and pull it out below, then I am going to clip the transmitter onto your waistband.” If I am hiding lavs, I’ll explain what I am going to do before I do it as well. I know I am invading people’s personal space and it tends to put them at ease knowing in advance that I am taping a mic to their cleavage or stuffing a transmitter down their pants.” – Marc Hoppe, New Jersey, firstname.lastname@example.org
“When I go to mic talent with a wireless, I make sure the transmitter is already on before I approach them to make sure that I never have to check that the transmitter is on after they are wired.” -Chris
“Always offer other peoples names that you know and trust for a job if you aren’t available, even for other positions besides audio! And tell them to tell those folks that you put their “names in the hat”. What comes around goes around!” -Chris
Good Gear: Try to research and buy the best gear possible.It shows that you take pride in your equipment and know what it takes to record quality audio. Keep in mind that good audio gear will hold it’s value and doesn’t have the same issues such as the often changing video formats of camera gear.
Continuing Education: Don’t stop learning about new gear or pigeon hole yourself with one manufacturer’s offerings. Also, talk to other mixers: it’s a great way to finding new audio techniques. Of course, another great source is the web. -Chris
Rates: Stick to your rate (and the rate of other mixers in your area). If the production is too cheap to pay a good rate, that often means that there are other serious issues with the project. -Chris
Networking: Get your name out there! Get listed in the local Production Guide (it will pay for itself many times over). Put up your own website. Write your own blog with your audio experiences. Also, make sure you get listed on these free job websites:
Also, check out the Facebook Group:
-“Freelance Television Mixer & Recordists”
Chris is a Production Sound Mixer for Feature Films and High-end Dramas. He is based in the United Kingdom, but is always ready to travel world-wide. He also loves testing and reviewing new audio gear and sharing his findings on his blog.
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