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Documentarians and the In-Frame Mic


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:08 AM

This just came to me; is there a specific reason why so many documentarians reject the idea of having their interview audio mic in the shot?

 

Whether it be a concealed lav (which I find somewhat muddy sounding) or an overhead boom (too wet in certain rooms), the majority of documentaries seem so afraid of admitting the microphone isn't on the camera.

It's just lacking in a little something when compared to a high end stage mic.

 

The two reasons I could see someone not wanting the mic in their shot could be

1. Covers the face

2. Looks ugly/out of place

 

My retort to those would be: find a mic placement that works for your blocking, and some mics out there look very aesthetically pleasing. The various colorways of the Telefunken M80 are very nice.

TFunk_M80_Wood_web.jpg

A wood grain M80 placed properly wouldn't be too harmful to the shot at all, and would sound much better IMO.

 

Let me know if I'm getting way too avant-garde.

Thank you.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 07 May 2017 - 11:09 AM.

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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:05 PM

Could be a style if you wanted to do a whole program that way..  if it were a doc about microphones.. sound engineering .. or hearing  .. or TV production ?

 

Otherwise I think it would just be a distraction ,and not really be any benefit .. AFAIK the idea of the off camera interview is the audience is listening in on a conversation .. as if they are in the same room.. and a mic a, either in their face.. or b with a lot of head room and a mic.. would just be distracting and not really serve any purpose.. you can get good sound without the mic being right in your subjects face..  so no technical advantage..

 

I agree lav mics are so small these days, and audiences know there is a camera and mic in the room .. (the UK especially always had this idea to hide radio mic,s as the pretense was the camera and crew weren't there for "fly on the wall doc,s" ..  and then it became a sort of yard stick that posh programs hid the mic and news/current affairs didnt bother....


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 07 May 2017 - 07:06 PM.

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