Monday, May 02, 2005

The Mix



After locking the film down I was ready for the mix. I mixed my film at Agnello Films in northern NJ by Tom Agnello. Tom is a cinematographer & editor, and he knows his stuff. Over three days we mixed the film, and it all went well because of Tom. The one problem that Tom found was that some of the footage seemed out of synch. This was attributed to me not coding the film and mag track so that when I began cutting the film I lost synch. When projected it became a bit noticeable, so Tom had to take the time to re-synch some of the footage. We also added some new sound effects that he thought would help. Tom has an extensive collection of sound effects, and it took him no time to cut them in. We edited on a another 6 plate editor, which was similar to a KEM. Tom is one of the few who still edit this way. His basement is his studio, and it works without a hitch. Tom is also familiar with the people at Color Lab down near Washington DC where the film was printed. So if you are going to edit on film do yourself a favor and edge code your mag track and film together after you synch up your footage. It will save you time and a lot of headaches. Another thing Tom did was to clean up the sound of the camera in the production track. It seems during the production my camera was a bit too noisy, and you could hear it though it was blimped for sound. So with a few tweaks and turns on the old sound board Tom managed to minimize the sound, and now it's nolonger a problem for the film. My sound person used a very expensive & sensitive microphone, and hence the problem. When I tested the camera for camera noise I used a good shure microphone, but one not as sensitive to noise up front. Remember folks expensive doesn't mean good, so if I were to do this again I would use a good cardiod-microphone where it's pick-up wouldn't be as sensitive as the one that my sound person used.

I remember working on many professional films where I heard camera noise at the screening, but when the film went to a mix the sound was minimized, so it's fixable in post, but that's something my film teacher hated saying, and I know why. It will cost you additional time and money to fix, and it can be avoidable with just good microphone placement, and a good microphone in general. The mix was fun, and exciting because I was seeing all the elements come together and making a honest to God film that I had created. Tom also shot my titles which were plain white titles on black, and I designed the title cards. Tom brought a lot to the table, and I'd work with him in a heartbeat, and hopefully I will again. Tom is also a director of photographer and has served as a DP on several independent films which are currently on tape.

Throughout the making of this film I've been exposed to many different people who have made a concentrated effort to give it their best in the making of my film. I could never have done it without paying these people for their services, and their expertise. But like any addiction after doing this I want more, and hopefully I can use the same people and pay them a bit more on someone else's dime. I'm afraid that may not happen again, but I always hope, and after acquiring the knowledge and experience in making a film I can say that I am a filmmaker, and my experiences and my film prove that.

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