24-Bit Dailies in a 16-Bit World

Booming in the Rain

rainHere are a couple of audio related questions that recently came to us from readers....

 A university professor writes: I have students shooting a major war battle scene from their film this Friday, in a town about a hour away. They do have some dialogue, although it's mostly an action scene. The weather prediction is now 70% rain.

Their question was, other than attaching wireless lavs under clothing, how else could this be recorded? We can't have the boom mic out in the rain, and we'd pick up the sound of rain on the mic. Is there any other option for location recording in the rain?

Hollywood does boom in the rain!

Here is what you need to do....

Spray an entire can of water repellent onto the furry windscreen that is over the zeppelin. Use a hair brush to keep brushing the fur as it dries, to avoid clumping. If really heavy rain is expected, slip a dry condom (Trojan red) over the shotgun mic itself.

To avoid rain pitter patter, purchase some "hogs hair" crate packing material from an industrial shipping supplier (or from a motion picture sound specialty shop or expendables shop). Hogs hair appears as a plastic thistle type material, and is sold in sheets. Similar but way more coarse than the stuff they use in some floral displays.

hogshairMake an inverted V tent over the zeppelin. Use a plastic cable tie or some wire to hold its shape. The hogs hair material does not prevent water from reaching the zeppelin, but it does break up and disperse the raindrops.

And that's how we do it!

Note: Location Sound Corp sells hogs hair for $3.50 per foot. Photo is from their website.

A student writes:  I have a question about production sound. Here's the situation: two talents sit closely at the bed edge, talking to each other; cam is in front of them and doesn't move; then one of them stands up and walks away but still talking; cam still points the bed. Then my boom should follow the one walking away or stay still?

If the person on the bed (on camera) talks, then the boom should stay on the bed, but just aim towards the person who steps out of frame. And the person who steps out of frame should only move as little as possible, so that they are no longer seen, but still fairly close to the bed & boom. They do not really have to walk away for real......

 If the person on bed is quiet, and only the person leaving is talking, then the boom could follow that person. But not too closely, think of perspective.

If you have questions about sound recording, email them to Fred.


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