Within this week we are back focussing on Audio. In particular there are various different elements towards Audio, however we’re looking at “Pre-Production” for Audio.
What is Pre-Production?
Pre-Production is the “plan” for anything to do with Production, and happens before the main production itself. Usually it is done many weeks, months in advance to the actual production to make sure that everything is there and ready.
How does Pre-Production apply to Audio?
- Finding out which microphone to use in the actual production
- Physically going to locations to find out about ambient sounds. If you don’t go there yourself, you’ll never know what the audio quality there is like already. Can determine which microphone would be best to use in the location.
- Making sure you’ve got the best sound operator possible.
- There might be other distractions out of shot (e.g a garbage processing unit)
- Will any of the audio have to be re-recorded in a booth?
- What type of audio will be needed in the scenes
- Ambient Sound
- Dialogue etc.
- You have to rethink how you do things and relearn what it means to contribute to the team at an early stage.
- Making sure that you have the correct equipment to be able to shoot the audio.
- Testing out the variety of different microphones and equipment/recording devices whilst on location, before production, to find out what would be best.
- Researching into the location – right equipment for the location.
What are the elements that need to be considered?
- Preparation – You have to prepare what you’re going to be doing, otherwise you won’t be able to do anything!
- Taking time – if you don’t take time to record the audio, as rushed as the atmosphere may be, if you don’t take your time you could easily press the wrong button and not record the audio.
- The Problems that could occur and possible solutions
- Dealing with any reverb or ambient sounds on location
- Once on location, a sound professional will focus on the sound of the location as well as wireless frequency problems and other audio ideas.
- The cost needs to be considered, is the equipment affordable, do you already have it etc.
- Discussing story elements, additional recording beyond dialogue and plot strategies, capturing the best sound.
- Types of Equipment
- Microphone Placement
- Have some form of plan
How does this link with the other stages of the production process?
- Link with Finance – booking out a studio will cost more money, more actor fees etc. if the audio on-set isn’t good enough and it needs to be dubbed over or “ADR”.
- You’ll have some form of plan to be able to create what you want to create with the audio.
There’s also a video about Sound Design Tutorials for Film, which includes Audio & Pre-Production within it as shown below.
Sound Design Tutorial For Film: Audio & Pre-Production (LightsFilmSchool, 2003)
Planning and Documentation
Planning and Documentation is important when it comes to the Film & TV Industry, without it, there wouldn’t even be a production! During Pre-Production, you would have to have at least these following forms of planning & documentation to have benefits to prevent any issues.
Meeting and Hiring Crew – This will allow you to know what you will actually need, and whether the person is best for the job.
Locations – Risk Assessments, you need to know what it looks like, the acoustics etc.
Health and Safety – Thinking about everyone’s safety, not just your own.
Budgets – Finding the costs of specific items/objects, usually on a daily rate (e.g searching online for the cheapest possible and only renting for certain days).
Contract and Details – Details for if someone is running late/hasn’t turned up, you’re able to contact them. Contracts for securing the deal between you and the company.
Time Planning – Make sure you’ve made some form of plan to be able to use the most of the time that you have at the time. This can link to the following which is…
Scheduling Shoot Days – You know exactly what you’ll want to be doing on which specific day
The Task – “The Proposal”
Within this week, our task is to produce a short radio play titled “The Proposal”. It’s a scene set between two different characters set in a restaurant and one of the characters propose.
We will be creating the script, and we will plan and produce using applicable elements of the pre-production process.
The Script for our production was to try and make it so that the proposal isn’t a success, and we tried to think of a way to do this with some humour added in, so we decided to write it like this:
Despite the script being as it is, there may be the odd word added in during the recording process or maybe a different way of using some of the audio tracks within the production itself.
We will be recording the audio tomorrow (the 21st of February) and will edit it into Avid to try and create a radio play. For this we will also be using some libraries online to be able to get any sound effects that may be needed, as well as finding some on YouTube and various other sites.
First there were some papers that we had to complete: taking a Location Recee to be able to find out if the location we wanted to film the audio in would be good enough. This is our Recee sheet filling out what we felt was necessary
We also had to complete a Health and Safety Risk Assessment. This was to fill out the checklist to find out if we thought there would be any health and safety issues. This is our Health and Safety Risk Assessment Hazard Checklist:
Production is the producing of the content that will be used in Post Production (Editing). This will be for recording and dialogue, recording any sound effects etc.
Whilst we were recording our audio, we originally had a location that worked very well, which was our original plan… until more people came over. Of course we couldn’t just ask for them to leave, so we changed where we were recording the audio. Instead we moved over to quite a quiet location, which was also quite soundproofed. This delayed our expected original time to try and get the dialogue recorded – this was a set back as we had to find a new location to record the audio in, and fast.
We recorded the dialogue within a few takes, and the sound effects we went back out for after creating a Sound Effects list that we created. You can see this in the image below:
On the left was a small checkbox to say whether we had completed the sound effect at the time, followed by the sound effect that we wanted to get (e.g Walking Footsteps for the Waiter). The next column was “Use/How” to say either “How will the effect be used?” or “What will it be used for?” – for example, following onwards from the current one, it would be “Footsteps for the Waiter”. The final box was whether we would be getting the sounds on the Internet (Int), or recording them In Real Life (Irl). This would determine if we would have to find any excess sounds from an online sound bank, such as Freesound.org, or finding very good quality ones on YouTube.
Post Production is the editing side of the content that we have produced. For this, I’ll be editing in AVID Media Composer as it will help practise skills for future use in the program for future projects.
This is the final edit of the production itself – I’ve used a variety of different tracks and have taken advantage of keyframing to fade in or fade out effectively. The first track is dedicated to “Gary’s” Audio, the second track is dedicated to “Mary’s” Audio. The third, fourth and fifth tracks are for any sound effects that are necessary to the radio scene that I’ve created, and the 6th track is “Chatter in Restaurants” to make it sound more realistic. Finally, the last track is for some background music. I’ve also keyframed this track to be able to make it louder and quieter dependant on if there’s dialogue or not.
Finally, this is the final outcome of the audio task.
Social Media Report
For this part of the Social Media Report, I’ve taken into consideration the work from back in one of the Visual Tasks. This is the original tweet as shown below, and it received 2 Retweets (one from myself on my personal account as it has more followers) and 6 likes on the tweet.
The Retweet was from a person named “Matheus de Goes” who has 137 followers, so it possibly shared more engagement towards the tweet itself. Even if it’s not loads of people seeing it, it’s a start and it’s at least some people.
I haven’t received any responses from my Instagram account as of this week, so I may look into switching over to a Facebook page rather than Instagram, but I will see how well that does compared to the Instagram page before confirming any form of moving over. It could simply be that I’m not using the correct hashtags, but I won’t be able to confirm that until trying more hashtags.
BondaFideStudio (10 April 2014), Importance of Audio Preproduction. Available at: https://bonafidestudio.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/importance-of-audio-preproduction/ (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
Domgee (No date), Production Sound – Boom Operator. Available at: http://www.domgee.com/boommainframe.html (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
Gl33k (14 June 2011), Pre-Production for an Audio Team. Available at: http://www.gl33k.com/blog/2011/6/14/pre-production-for-an-audio-team.html (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
Lights Film School (No date), Sound Design & The Pre-Production Process. Available at: https://www.lightsfilmschool.com/blog/sound-design-the-pre-production-process (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
LightsFilmSchool (2013), Sound Design Tutorial For Film: Audio & Pre-Production. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWN3RJGUetk (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
Ward, C (3 November 2014), 5 Tips for Planning Your Audio in Pre-Production. Available at: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/audio-preproduction/ (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
Woodhall, H (14 February 2014), Pre-Production Audio for Post Production Sound. Available at: http://www.provideocoalition.com/pre-production-audio-for-post-production-sound/ (Accessed: 20 February 2017)
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