|An Open Letter from your Sound Department
Written by John Coffey with help from Klay Anderson, Brydon Baker, Mike Barnitt,
Darren Brisker, Joseph Cancilla, Carl Cardin, Peter Devlin, Carl England, Mike
Filosa, Stu Fox, John Garrett, Alexandre Gravel, Robert Gravenor, Mike Hall,
Hans Hansen, Larry Long, David Marks, Mike Michaels, Matt Nicolay, Todd Russell,
Tim Salmon, Dave Schaaf, Wolf Seeberg, Brian Shennan, Chris Silverman, Scott
Smith, Mark Steinbeck, Randy Thom, Noah Timan, Eric Toline, Charles Tomaras,
Glen Trew, Von Varga, Jeff Wexler, Mike Westgate, Charles Wilborn, Rob Young,
and many others.
This letter was written with input from audio professionals to help directors
and producers understand how good sound can be recorded on the set. We have
a common bond to help you make the best film possible.
For this piece, we will not discuss the topic of mixing itself, as this is
the "hocus pocus" part of the process that you trust us to do so well.
The same audio principles would also apply to high definition and video shoots.
We want you to have information that will enable you to evaluate what is interfering
with the recording of good sound before you make a hasty decision that is harmful
to the quality of your film. To help you make your decision, you need to know
about some of the obstacles that we face before we can even begin to get usable
This is, after all, the age of digital sound. Theaters have wonderful SDDS,
DTS, Dolby, THX (the audience IS listening) and surround. Even home audio is
often better than many theaters, now that a sophisticated audience demands DVDs
with high quality digital sound... Yet today's production sound departments
face more problems and greater apathy than ever.