Can you hear me now?
Today, I worked as lighting, grip, and sound for “Battle Scars,” the story of an epic battle between a young girl, social anxiety, and depression. If you wish to learn about the jobs of lighting and grip, click here, because in this post I will be bringing you along on my journey of sound.
Anatomy of the Mic
Since this was my first time working on sound, it was a great educational experience for me. It is one thing to know the parts of a microphone, but it is an entirely different thing to get your hands dirty! This gave me the opportunity to understand the purpose of each piece.
The microphone can be split into three parts: the boom pole, the pistol grip, and the shotgun mic. Let’s take a look:
The boom pole is a customizable rod that allows the mic to be maneuvered from a distance. Its length can be adjusted, as well as its angle on the stand.
The pistol grip connects the mic to the pole. This part is important because the pole holds no purpose without a way to connect it to the mic.
The shotgun mic is very arguably the most important piece. It is a long mic that picks up just about every sound within a large radius (trust me, I wore the headphones). When connected to the boom pole using the pistol grip, the shotgun mic is untoppable.
Snap, Tap, & Clap
You will not truly know how bad your hearing is until you’ve worn the headphones I wore today. They played the sounds picked up by the mic into my ears. And I mean a lot of sound. Think of all the little noises people make–snapping, tapping, clapping–and multiply it by 1000. The two people on the other side of the room are having a conversation about props. That kid is tapping his leg. And no worries, the air conditioning is fully functioning.
Also, trying to talk while wearing them is a true struggle. As it has a delayed output, I often found myself listening to my own voice, thinking it was someone else’s.
Adjusting the Shotgun Between Shots
One of the main jobs of sound is moving the boom, pistol, and shotgun to the perfect location for optimal sound quality. It is important that, just as a camera should focus on the most important part of a shot, the sound should too. Adjust the mic so it is facing the subject at a distance you and the director deem fit.
It was a great experience to wield the power, I mean responsibility, of controlling the sound. As it was a very complex shoot, the process went on an extra thirty minutes than we had predicted. However, we pushed through it and felt the satisfaction of finishing difficult hours of filming. “Battle Scars,” along with “Texts From God” and “Seven Taps,”
will be released next week on Vimeo.
Tune in this Saturday and Sunday for special weekend posts to celebrate Notes being selected for the Gold Coast International Film Festival! On Saturday, I will be sharing the full story of the making of “Notes,” from conception to release, and then on Sunday I will tell you all about our second consecutive year at the film festival!
Cut to black.