1. Confer with the sound department when adding noisy set furniture, computers
2. Try to consider overhead mics before building low covered ceilings, hanging
lamps and cross beams.
3. Inject foam into constructed stairs and steps to get rid of hollow footsteps
4. Whenever possible, carpet the sets to deaden echo and live rooms. Especially
consider taking this step in rooms where the majority of dialog takes place.
None of these implementation plans will succeed if the ADs don't support YOUR
sound on the film. Sometimes they don't! The crew will take their cue to stop
co-operating if it's clear the ADs react at the expense of getting good sound.
Derogatory statements like "waiting on sound" and "just loop
it" are unproductive and sap our spirit.
1. If are paying police, use them. Have them lock down traffic when possible.
2. Get quiet lock ups on set. Do not allow any walking or talking. Station
your PA's at key locations outside, and most especially under windows. (Keep
the PA's from talking too.) "Lock It Up" means that we should not
hear any work noise from our crews. No engines, talking, etc. Have your walkie
set up with priority override function so as to announce the roll across all
walkie-talkie channels being used by all departments.
3. Please allow the sound department to make quick corrections that are reasonable
without announcing that we are "waiting on sound" unless you also
yell out "waiting on camera" when a D.P. adds a light. We do not want
to intentionally hold up production when factors out of our control necessitate
fast action. If we need another take, dont announce "going again
for sound" unless you also yell out "going again for focus" when
the A.C. needs another take.
4. Enforce silent pantomiming from the background extras.
5. Allocate a reasonable time and place for an actor to get wired. It won't
help you go quicker if you push the sound crew to wire faster when the actor
insists on getting wired at the last second on the set. Conversely, don't make
a sound person sit outside a star's dressing room just wasting valuable time
that could be used to work out other sound problems on set.
6. When there are closed rehearsals, make sure the boom operator gets to see
at least one rehearsal before the actors leave the set.
7. Honor wild line and wallah requests before releasing the actors and extras.
8. Honor room tone requests before breaking the set up, and stop all talk and
movement. Room tones are very important to do immediately, before the ambient
9. In plane or traffic infested locations, roll as soon as the engine noise
tails otherwise another plane or bus comes in and the window of opportunity
is lost. Keep the set quiet enough to determine the status of the incoming and
outgoing planes. Too often, we are not ready to roll as the outbound noise abates
and the purpose of waiting was defeated.
10. Be sure to inform the Sound Department at least two days ahead of scheduled
playback days so the proper equipment can be ordered. Have the office send a
post approved tape with sync. Don't expect that a CD or cassette will suffice.
11. Have all walkie-talkies, cell phones and pagers turned off during takes
and final rehearsals. They can wreak havoc on wireless microphones.
12. Every time there is a new set-up, announce out loud what kind of shot will
happen and the direction we are looking. It is a common mistake to keep the
crew in the dark. It only adds chaos as the crew sets up in the wrong places
and have to move again. Take the guesswork out of it.