For one of my major projects this trimester I teamed up with Ayden and Ricardo to record sound for a short film titled “Karma Suits Ya”. The film follows a few characters throughout their day at the office. The main character Dave finally works up the courage to ask out another employee, Debbie. He is “assisted” by his workmate Jason. The film is a comedy and was shot over two days at SAE Brisbane. This was our first foray into the world of film sound and it was an interesting experience.
Here is the session plan for the recording.
The days were long and only a little arduous. We had only a short time to familiarise ourselves with the gear as we had not had the time to practice prior to the film. Ironically some of the best takes were the first ones when we were still getting the hang of the gear. There was a lot of downtime whilst the other students were preparing the set and directing the actors. It was in these moments we took the time to really get to know the equipment.
As the day progressed we became more confident in our use of the equipment and in doing so I think we became a little lax in our quality control. This was remedied in the mixing stage but it was unnecessary if we had paid more attention at the recording stage.
Most issues we faced were fixed promptly. Early on day we had a noise issue with the boom mic. By switching from the mixer driven phantom power, to a battery we solved this issue. There were quite a few little adjustments to lapels throughout the day as well, this was to be expected. Perhaps our biggest issue was just our technique with the boom. During mixing the boom was really quite shit and I feel like we didnt try hard enough to get in really close with it during the recording stage. If I were to do another film I would interact with the director of photography a little more to find out how much leeway there is for the boom operator.
Recording went well. We had done our job and we were happy. Next thing to do was mix the audio to the film and add foley effects. We were quite comfortable at creating foley assets this deep into the trimester. The recordings though did a good job of capturing the surroundings so there were only a few things that needed to be added.
The biggest struggle throughout this project was data management. The film student who was in charge of editing was willy nilly with his sessions. I ended up with at least 100GB of unnecessary sessions due to his shoddy file management. After we (myself) got the session working we were drastically behind schedule. Our studio time was running out so we decided to split our forces. Half went to another studio to edit and the other stayed to do foley work. This would have been perfect except the other studio couldn’t handle opening any of the plugins that were required to repair the audio in our session. In the end I took the session home and edited it myself as I have the required plugins that were needed for the edit. With the use of EQ and noise reduction plugins I was able to create a decent product. With some feedback from my peers I was able to quickly reexamine the session and fix any glaring issues.
I would work on another film. I would like there to be more professionalism in it next time though. I understand it’s a student endeavour and everyone is learning but common courtesy is a real winner in my eyes. Regardless! Here is the final product, please give it a watch and don’t share it around as it is only for educational purposes. The polished product is still in the works, but this serves as an example of the audio.