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Is it worth it without a sound mixer?


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#1 Lamont Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:57 AM

Is it even worth it to try to film a movie using just the camera mic and perhaps a boom mic? Or is the sound mixer so essential that it's pointless to go at it without one?
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#2 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:44 AM

is the sound mixer so essential that it's pointless to go at it without one?



Yes, unless you are making a silent film, don't bother.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:13 AM

Is it even worth it to try to film a movie using just the camera mic and perhaps a boom mic? Or is the sound mixer so essential that it's pointless to go at it without one?


Arguably, quality SOUND is more important than picture quality. Audiences typically forgive a "bad" picture, but rarely will forgive bad sound.

This extends beyond production sound into post-production where most of the soundtrack will be created. Ideally, you'll be able to capture the best dialogue tracks possible on set. But because of production limitations, you have to be prepared to have ADR afterwards.

ALSO, if you have any desire to sell to a foreign market, it is essential to have separate tracks for everything.... a track for dialogue, a track for foley/fx...and a track for music. It is necessary to have the ability to have "foreign" dialogue tracks created and then mixed with the fx and music if there is any intention of selling to the international market.

So, the answer to your question is, no, it is not in your best interest to forgo having a qualified Sound Mixer on set during production. You can, but you'll be spending more money in post production as you must bring your talent back in to do ADR sessions.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:14 AM

I think it depends on what you're trying to do.

For a drama you really need a sound mixer, for documentaries you should have a mixer for the best quality work, but people do make docs (and shoot news) using a high quality on board mic and radio mics. However, you really do need to be on top of your sound recording techniques otherwise you can have poor to unusable sound and you're also limited in what you can acceptably record.

Unfortunately, broadcasters seem to be happy to allow this, together with cameras focused on the wall behind the subject.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:19 PM

Is it even worth it to try to film a movie using just the camera mic and perhaps a boom mic? Or is the sound mixer so essential that it's pointless to go at it without one?


It depends on how good your mixer is. One guy gets you clean tracks in the front seat of a convertible at 60 MPH. Another, the KGB coulda bugged the location and done better....

Even if you plan to loop everything, like a spaghetti western, having a guide track helps a lot -- especially if you have ad libs.






-- J.S.
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