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#1 Joseph Dudek

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:59 PM

When working with a loud camera, such as a Russian 16mm, in a piece that requires either sound effect and/or dialogue, how difficult is it to achieve a decent post-sync with just a basic digital recorder and Premier Pro? It sounded to me as almost impossible, but after research it seems it was the industry standard for a much of the 20th century and is still in use in some places.

What techniques exist to make the sync better? I mean, actors would surely need to speak in such a way in the recording as to completely mimic the rhythm of their speech in the image. Assuming I choose to do it this way - I was going to sit with the actors and watch the chosen takes, watch it several times, then attempt, while watching, to get the actor to speak their lines in as close to the rhythm as seen on the image. Thoughts?
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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:07 PM

You should record reference audio. Even noisy reference audio will be a huge help to actors trying to loop their lines later.

I also like to get "wild" audio takes on set. Basically, do a couple of takes with the camera. Then do a couple of dialog-only takes (without the camera running, of course) while the scene is still fresh on the actors' minds. I'm always surprised how well wild takes sync up with picture.
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#3 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

When working with a loud camera, such as a Russian 16mm, in a piece that requires either sound effect and/or dialogue, how difficult is it to achieve a decent post-sync with just a basic digital recorder and Premier Pro? It sounded to me as almost impossible, but after research it seems it was the industry standard for a much of the 20th century and is still in use in some places.

What techniques exist to make the sync better? I mean, actors would surely need to speak in such a way in the recording as to completely mimic the rhythm of their speech in the image. Assuming I choose to do it this way - I was going to sit with the actors and watch the chosen takes, watch it several times, then attempt, while watching, to get the actor to speak their lines in as close to the rhythm as seen on the image. Thoughts?


Short and best answer- don't do it. Don't believe anyone telling you it's possible- they haven't done it- they just think they have. You WILL go insane.

With quiet sound-sync 16mm becoming so affordable lately, I would seriously consider investing in one if you plan on doing extensive dialogue filming instead of doing all that post work with a sewing machine-noisy camera. Actors will certainly appreciate a quieter set.

You will spend hundreds of hours trying to sync wild audio to wild camera footage. You will yell, throw things, etc.. Sound creative? It's not. Needless frustration? Absolutely.

Why not spend that hundreds of hours working more hours, get a 2nd job- deal drugs even prostitution- whatever needs to happen and buy that super quiet crystal sound sync off Ebay for $499 or $999?

It'll be a lot less traumatic and you can fantasize about all those great projects you can now film with that great new camera in the mean time!
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#4 Joseph Dudek

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:32 PM

Short and best answer- don't do it. Don't believe anyone telling you it's possible- they haven't done it- they just think they have. You WILL go insane.

With quiet sound-sync 16mm becoming so affordable lately, I would seriously consider investing in one if you plan on doing extensive dialogue filming instead of doing all that post work with a sewing machine-noisy camera. Actors will certainly appreciate a quieter set.

You will spend hundreds of hours trying to sync wild audio to wild camera footage. You will yell, throw things, etc.. Sound creative? It's not. Needless frustration? Absolutely.

Why not spend that hundreds of hours working more hours, get a 2nd job- deal drugs even prostitution- whatever needs to happen and buy that super quiet crystal sound sync off Ebay for $499 or $999?

It'll be a lot less traumatic and you can fantasize about all those great projects you can now film with that great new camera in the mean time!


Any recommendations? (camera)
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#5 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:37 AM

Well..I am partial to Arriflex, Cinema Products.. I also live in a medium size American city with a few film making non-profits that rent complete high end Super 16mm packages for $150 a weekend or $45 a day (which is very reasonable, since the houses here charge $225 a day min. for S16).

Here's a few I found on Ebay- right now- today! Remember, don't buy anything unless you're absolutely in love and it's going to work for you. Ask lots of questions, ask for a demonstration that they can upload to YouTube- it's not unreasonable, you're sending hundreds of dollars to a complete stranger for a 25-45 year old camera- if they're ambivalent or clueless about what they're selling, move on- there's always a camera for sale somewhere. Also make sure they pack it correctly- lots of protection. And if they don't and it shows up in pieces or if it's broken just because- tell Ebay, open a case..you're guaranteed to get your money back, that's what's great about Ebay- money back if you're unsatisfied.
http://www.ebay.com/...=item4d05202d4c

A beat up CP-16 for $99! Prolly needs work though- I dunno,,,
http://www.ebay.com/...=item53efa3fc08

Another Cp-16 $999
http://www.ebay.com/...=item2ec2f5ac69

Here's a Arriflex 16BL $699, I had one and it was very quiet- rock steady registration (has a claw!)-- lots of these, they were a popular news camera..
http://www.ebay.com/...=item3a7b27bb84


Just keep checking back (on Ebay), there's always deal to be had. Also don't forget this site, I bought a few cameras and filmstock from members here once I expressed my interest - they approached me!
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#6 Joseph Dudek

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:03 AM

Well..I am partial to Arriflex, Cinema Products.. I also live in a medium size American city with a few film making non-profits that rent complete high end Super 16mm packages for $150 a weekend or $45 a day (which is very reasonable, since the houses here charge $225 a day min. for S16).

Here's a few I found on Ebay- right now- today! Remember, don't buy anything unless you're absolutely in love and it's going to work for you. Ask lots of questions, ask for a demonstration that they can upload to YouTube- it's not unreasonable, you're sending hundreds of dollars to a complete stranger for a 25-45 year old camera- if they're ambivalent or clueless about what they're selling, move on- there's always a camera for sale somewhere. Also make sure they pack it correctly- lots of protection. And if they don't and it shows up in pieces or if it's broken just because- tell Ebay, open a case..you're guaranteed to get your money back, that's what's great about Ebay- money back if you're unsatisfied.
http://www.ebay.com/...=item4d05202d4c

A beat up CP-16 for $99! Prolly needs work though- I dunno,,,
http://www.ebay.com/...=item53efa3fc08

Another Cp-16 $999
http://www.ebay.com/...=item2ec2f5ac69

Here's a Arriflex 16BL $699, I had one and it was very quiet- rock steady registration (has a claw!)-- lots of these, they were a popular news camera..
http://www.ebay.com/...=item3a7b27bb84


Just keep checking back (on Ebay), there's always deal to be had. Also don't forget this site, I bought a few cameras and filmstock from members here once I expressed my interest - they approached me!


You say the post-syncing process is a headache, I'm sure it is - but even major productions do a lot for ADR, is it not the same principle? i.e. having a recorder on hand to get their lines in the set, then re-record to improve the dialogue, later.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:37 PM

Major productions do; and have professional equipment, engineers and money to do it with. On the low-budget it can be quite difficult. But the idea is to play back with the talent listening to their lines and trying to re-deliver them as close as possible. Of course, the biggest issue is to have it sound "right," in terms of where they are, and not sound like it's in a studio somewhere. That level of audio mixing takes some talent, time, and normally a bit of cash.
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#8 Chance Shirley

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:39 PM

> On the low-budget it can be quite difficult.

Sure. But everything about low-budget filmmaking is difficult.
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#9 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:47 PM

> On the low-budget it can be quite difficult.

Sure. But everything about low-budget filmmaking is difficult.


Yeah, but you don't have to make it more difficult because it's already difficult. That's a recipe for failure.

I like my process to be as organic as possible, too many bizarre technical hurtles would cause me to up and quit.

I'm not ashamed to admit that- the quitting part. I've done it before and I'm always ready to-- indie filmmakers can be total amateurs that waste everyone's time.
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#10 Chance Shirley

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

In my experience, ADR isn't that much more difficult than getting good location audio (which is also difficult). But, as they say, your mileage may vary.
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