Do you need to hire an audio person?
Let me rephrase the question: do you need to hear your subject? The answer in most cases is “Well yeah, of course we need to hear them, but can’t we just rent a mic and do it ourselves?” Let’s dive into it.
I’m not going to give a lesson in sound, but I need to answer a few questions, so get ready for some lite nerd talk:
- Can you just mount a mic on camera?
Your microphone always sounds best when it is close. This means it’s better when it’s on a boom closer to your subject and not on your camera. (Also note: 99% of the time the boom sounds way better than just a wireless lavaliere microphone.)
- Do you want your lavaliere microphone to show on camera?
Sound professionals spend years perfecting the art of hiding microphones on your subject. Unfortunately it’s not something you just pick up naturally—it takes a lot of practice to minimize intrusive sounds on a body mic.
- Can you monitor and change sound levels while also operating a camera?
I’ve seen it done before, but I can say with some confidence you will lose something in the process. It’s better to have the best of both worlds instead of pretty good for each.
- Did you hear the clock or plane or flub in dialogue or car horn or alarm or cough or person whisper or…? Well you get the idea…
A sound person’s job is to prioritize content over everything, so if one of these sounds interferes with the story or content, we will let you know.
- Do I really need to spend that much?
I can’t answer this for everyone, but I can say that most productions can find a middle ground. Consider that the amount of attention you pay towards camera should be balanced with what you budget for sound.
The short of it all is that sound is half of your production. We are tech nerds, we are discreet and we insist that your story will benefit from professional sound recording. And if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask: a good portion of preproduction involves educating people on what we provide. Best of luck and “sound speeds!”