March 17, 2009 by

Quiet on the Set

1 comment

Categories: random stuff, The Director

Guess where I am blogging from….


I am typing this between takes on a movie set. Impressed?

The Director began shooting today on a new short film. We are spending the next three days shooting at a local nightclub. It’s closed during the day, and they’re letting us use it for free. And it’s a great backdrop for the content of the script.

No, I’m not going to tell you.

Anyway…I am doing basically the same job I did for the last short film. I am the sound engineer. It’s not that amazing, actually. What it means is that I listen through headphones to the single microphone that is plugged into the single camera, and listen for strange sounds that shouldn’t be there, and be sure to tell The Director if there was a strange sound that shouldn’t have been there. It also means I get to boss around a teenage boy who holds the boom mike and who is called a “grip.”

So basically I get to sit at the bar wearing headphones and type at my computer (between takes, so I don’t make a typing sound during the shot), while the grip spends the day with his arms suspended over his head.

Should I feel guilty? Look, the grip seems to like what he does. Why mess with that? 🙂

If you’ve never been on a set–especially a low-budget one–it’s not as glorious as Hollywood makes it. Very tedious work, actually. The actors say their lines over and over while The Director changes the camera angle and the lighting between one actor and the other. Lots of preplanning goes into it; The Director knows in advance what shots and angles he wants to capture. All the same, there are unexpected things that have to be figured out on the fly–which creates plenty of downtime. And obviously, time to blog. (That is, unless it’s my turn to figure something out.)

I have a funny story to tell you about this soon.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

One Response to Quiet on the Set

  1. Jim

    And because of technology changes, no one says, “Speed” any more to tell when the tape is up to speed, even though they still use it to comedic effect on Praire Home Companion from time to time.

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