We, the sound crew, are the ones that you depend on to create and protect YOUR
original sound tracks during production.
Unlike the work of the majority of the people who are working for on-camera
results, the mixer's efforts can not be "seen" on the set. Almost
no one hears what the microphone picks up. Too few are even sure just what it
is that we do. Only the most obviously bad noises are brought up for discussion.
Included in our job is to monitor the sets for unnecessary, accidental, ignorant,
and sometimes even malicious actions (or lack of actions) that may compromise
your sound track. We are too often frustrated by the state of conditions that
now exist on most sets. Many times we are expected to solve all sound problems
Instead, solving these problems should always be a cooperative effort with
the assistant directors and other crafts, some of whom create these problems
Sound mixers are often perceived as pests or even a hindrance to the film's
progress. We don't like being put in this untenable position because it is humiliating
and unnecessary. We don't like to be considered adversarial to the rest of the
production, and we certainly don't want to be the "sound police"!
A mixer on a tough show, who fights alone as a black sheep trying to get you
good sound, stands a good chance of burning out from all the excuses and defenses
put up by others.
It's hard to put it all out there without the above-the-line support. The temptation
is to cave into the pressure and just go with the flow. No good can come from
The problems that we face may lead you to believe that good sound cannot be
achieved without set disruptions and added costs. This would not be necessary
if reasonable measures are anticipated and endorsed by you, both in pre-production
We know the limitations of our equipment. For example, microphones are just
tools. They don't make miracles happen by themselves. If on-set audio problems
are not dealt with immediately, they will only be back to haunt you again in
Good sound can most often be achieved by using reasonable preparation to avoid
pitfalls. You can help us do a better job for you. We need your understanding
and your backing.