on Jan 27, 2014
Just chiming in to agree with the rest of the folks on this thread. Your show is hilarious, but the audio mix made it unscreenable (in a movie theater; it screened great on our TV). We were all fans and physically angry that we couldn't screen your show.
Your show looked great, though! The interiors were lit without being too shadowy, which always used to be my problem. Bouncing light off the ceiling always helps with that. You used interesting outdoor locations, too, which is a plus. It's always better to get out of the house. Just be careful around busy streets, which makes clean audio even more difficult. Do what they do on Car-Jumper and find an abandoned street full of broken glass.
When recording audio, it's best to err on the side of recording it too loudly. And when you mix the audio in post, err on the side of making the music too quiet.
Do some test-shooting with your mic. See what works. If you have a way of monitoring levels, then try to get them to -6dB or as loud as possible without peaking.
And, like Tom said, smart phones work great. For the shoot in Times Square on New York Stories 3 we used Tony's cell phone to record the audio as a voice memo, and it isolated his voice very well. It sounded better than a boom mic would have!
Some bad audio can be saved. Corel VideoStudio looks kind of obnoxious for getting into the nitty-gritty of tweaking videos. Try exporting the dialogue tracks of Salsa Blog to a wav files (page 178 of the manual) and importing them into Audacity. Amplify the levels and play with noise reduction. Audacity has a lot of great features (namely that it's free), but it has an obnoxious learning curve.
Like Dave said, try making a pilot with dubbed lines. Or a pilot where you're talking onto your phones the whole time, recording your lines as voice memos. It's way easier to watch something with awkward, clear audio than with natural bad audio.
But yeah, keep making stuff. Salsa Blog was a high point in an otherwise dreary panel meeting.
Jan 29, 2014 at 9:27am
Thanks for the feedback guys! We have a shotgun mic but we recorded the audio at a very low level and couldn't make it louder without making it sound weird. Also, we didn't have much time to edit/adjust the levels because we started super late. We'll do our best to use our equipment the best we can for February.
And Tom, we're editing in Corel Videostudio.
Jan 27, 2014 at 5:58pm
So good. But yeah, audio. Levels are ALL over the place. We can't do that to the live audience. In that theater your audio issues would sound 100x worse.
If the boom stuff is too much of a pain in the ass, maybe try a pilot where you dub all your lines afterwards? But that depends on the editing software, if you can even manipulate those elements in post.
And because you guys don't have a ton of lighting resources I would consider shooting more in the daytime.
Looking forward to your February pilot because I know you're enjoying this!
Jan 27, 2014 at 3:58pm
Dammit. Tom beat me.
Jan 27, 2014 at 1:10pm
This was the best pilot you guys have made yet. So awesome. I loved the jokes and the story tracked along fine.
The major problem was AUDIO. Holy crap. It seemed like you picked your shots well, but the dialogue was barely able to be heard. If the audio was fixed I think you guys would have crushed it with this one.
I know times are tough, but you should seriously consider buying or borrowing a boom microphone. You could probably find a used one for $150 off Craigslist, or a new one on Amazon. The difference with using a boom/shotgun microphone compared to an on-board mic or some personal recorder thing from Best Buy is that a boom captures more sound further away. Attach it to a painter's pole and you're set.
Try contacting Paul Isakson or Doug Beatty to pick their brains as well. They know their audio shit.
Jan 27, 2014 at 1:06pm
This was unanimously in the screening if not for the audio problems. We mix the screenings to -6 db, so if you're recording your stuff at, say, -30, it's going to sound like garbage.
If you don't have a boom/external mic you can record wild lines into the camera mic as a backup audio source. Even using voice record on a smartphone works as passable ADR.
What editing program are ya'll using?
Jan 27, 2014 at 1:05pm
Jan 27, 2014 at 8:05am
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