Pity the Poor Sound Recordist

I think in some way DP’s (Directors of Photography) have it easier than sound recordists although I know all my DP friends are shaking their heads right now.  But consider this – if you don’t like what’s in the frame, you can just move the camera or come in tighter – problem solved.   Unfortunately there is no such thing as a zoom microphone. You still hear what’s not in the frame.  Even though bad sound can ruin a move MORE than bad video, no one really notices or appreciates good sound.   They only comment when there is a problem.  So why do it?  That is a great question.  Here’s why I love production audio:

  • It’s an art – you have to be an artist.
  • It’s challenging, every set has different issues.
  • Audio equipment doesn’t become obsolete every three years.
  • You are right in the action with the director, the camera operator and the actors.
  • Good sound can make or break a movie and good directors and producers know this.

The other thing about audio I love is it is often a one-person job.  Although you are part of a collaborative production unit, on a small production or indy film, a single skilled person can boom and mix at the same time.  You have great responsibility for your work, since there is no one else to blame which I find very rewarding.  You have to be good to survive.

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