This week, we once again focused on the elements of audio in film and television production. However, we payed particular attention to the part it plays in pre production.
(Caleb Ward 2014)
How does pre production apply to audio?
There are so many elements within the planning process of a film that apply to audio,that can be overlooked. Everything to ensuring one has the right equipment for the job to making sure filming spaces are appropriate for quality audio to be recorded is essential.
- Scouting for a location that the sound will work well in – This is an extremely important step. It’s quite common to go looking for a location that a particular scene within your film will work well in, but paying attention to how the sound will come out in that location needs the same attention. For example, if a scene is to be shot in a room with a lot of ambient sounds, such as loud air conditioning, it’s important to find out if it can be turned off.Also, a big room with high ceiling or a large carpark tends to give off an echo, and if it is not intended for the scene, it can be quite obvious and distracting. Furthermore, locations that are near busy roads will more than likely have the frequent sounds of vehicles passing, beeping and trains passing. Scouting out and anticipating these sounds before production takes place would make the filming process run a lot more smoothly.
2. What does the shot entail? – Things such as wardrobe design and actions within as scene are very closely linked to the outcome of the audio, and it is important to identify and act on these things before production begins.For example the fabric of a subjects clothing may not let a lavalier microphone hold it well, so that a different microphone may have to be used. It is better to test this before production, than during as a lot of time will be saved.
3. Make a detailed plan of the sounds needed. Making a list of all of the sounds that will be needed in a scene will save a lot of time in both the production and post production stages. Knowing what sounds will need to be created for foley, and getting materials prepared for this is essential. Especially as sounds like this often get thought of during the stage of creating the idea, its important to take note of them as they come.
What are the elements that need to be considered?
- The environment– As mentioned before, the enviroment plays a big part in determaining how the sound will turn out in that particular location.
- Time constraints- The more time that is spent preparing all of the elements within the project being created, the less time will be spent in both the production and post production stages. With a plan, everything will run smoothly, minimizing the risk of mistakes.
- Equipment– Investing in the right equipement that will deliver the best quality audio is essential. Also, making sure that the right equipment is being used for the appropriate tasks needs to be tested and checked during pre production.
- Finance and funding– Financial planning of a project always occurs before production and determines almost everything about how the production will turn out. No production can take place before the budget is in place. It should include everything from pre to post production and it’s cost. When looking at audio, things such as equipment costs, crew fees, transportation fees, catering services and permitting fees need to be included. Also, if using sound effects that are you did not create yourself, you need to account for the amount of money will need to pay the person who did create it, for using their work.
- The Crew– The sound crew will involve everyone from sound technicians and people who hold the equipment during filming to sound editors, foley artists and narrator or the actors who are being recorded.
How does the pre production of audio link with other stages of production?
As mentioned before, so much time and money can be saved by preparing and planning the ways by which it will be used prior to production. It is absolutely necessary for things to run smoothly on set and during post production. Firstly, organising the crew for a film/ production is part of the pre production process, and finding the best foley artists and sound engineers is part of this. Furthermore, testing microphones and how they respond in the environment where it will be used is more valuable than one may think. If this is skipped, and the wrong microphone is used to record a scene, re recording it will waste both time and money.
Moreover, actors rehearsing their lines and reviewing the script with the directors guidance is a big part of pre production, and it will only turn out goof in the production stage if it is practiced effectively during pre production.
In addition, if foley is to be used, preparing what sounds need to be created and the best person to do the job links to post production and will save a lot of time during this stage.
Pre production of ‘The Proposal’
Evaluation of ‘The Proposal’
For this assignment that had to involve a proposal, my group and I decided to make it between an elderly couple. The obvious problem with this was that we had no elderly people who would play these characters, and so we had to put on the voices ourselves. However, we were convinced that we would be able to pull it off. Listening to it after production however, it is pretty clear that the people talking are not elderly, and this may not have been the greatest decision. Despite this, during post production, I edited the recordings as best as I could. Most of the sound effects that I used were taken fro a website (linked in the description of the video) as it would have been quite difficult to mimick the background noise of a restaurant and the fizz of champagne. However we tried to create sounds such as the clicking of cutlery and the pop of a champagne bottle. We created the cutlery sound by bashing keys together or on metal surfaces.
For the champagne we made the ‘pop’ sound verbally and in my opinion, it could have sounded a lot more realistic. However, because the rest of my sounds were from a sound library and none of them original, I decided to include it. Also, an editing error that I noticed once the video was already published was that the background music of the restaurant stops before the applause, something I should have noticed and fixed. Furthermore, the applause itself sounds a little unrealistic to me, and slightly over the top for guests at a restaurant who have just seen a proposal.
Overall, I am not overly pleased with the project I created but can learn from my mistakes and produce something of better quality next time.
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(The Beat: A Blog by PremiumBeat, 2017)