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Embrace Your Soundman Today

One thing that is of utmost importance, but became even more so during this shoot, is audio. This shoot was for one of our clients, Cell Science, which had organized a discussion event to focus on the topic of stem cell research and therapy. The panel, led by Dr. Alan Gaveck, included a number of prominent physicians and experts in the health industry, including Dr. Patricia Suzuki, Dr. Alex Thermos and Paul Bogaardt of Heartstem. A number of healthcare professionals were invited to be a part of the audience to participate in a Question and Answer format.

There were a number of factors that put this shoot on a tight schedule. The first was the fact that the studio was only available for a certain amount of hours, and the second was that a number of doctors and guests had schedules they had to keep, so their availability was limited and those available slots were different from doctor to doctor.

So, juggling became our secondary talent and we were able to put the schedule together to ensure that taping would be completed, so long as no issues arose. (Yeah, good luck)

The problem arose when the first group of doctors sat down for the first panel discussion. It almost felt like the moment I had the cameras roll, a racket began to fill the studio. Apparently, in the building of this studio (the studio being on the second floor), there’s a music room situated under the studio with inadequate sound proofing. The sound of drumming (very poor drumming at that) seemed to be coming directly underneath that stage at which the doctors sat. It took no more than a few beats for me to seek out the studio manager to see what could be done to rectify the situation. He quickly fled, presumably to put an end to the percussion distraction, only to return a few minutes later to inform me there was nothing he could do.

Quelling my anger, I looked around the studio, at the doctors, the guests and the crew, and realizing how much money was spent to make this day happen, I walked over to the soundman. I asked him if he’d be able to make it work and he nodded, semi-confidently, and said that he’d do what he can. He then sat down at his mixer and began doing his thing.

The drumming lasted for hours and it took quite a bit for me to keep from losing my temper, but one thing certainly helped. With each take, having the headphones on, I listened intently for the sound of drums. It was pretty clear that these takes would be usable.

We were able to film everything we needed and at the end of the day, the soundman gave me the audio files. The next day, in the quietness of my room, I listened to the audio and my smile was confirmation that I knew our soundman was topnotch. Not a peep of drums can be heard on any of the files. I don’t know how he did it. At times in the studio, it sounded like the drums were the primary sound and the voices were secondary. Somehow, he isolated the drums and got rid of them without any adverse effect on the voices.

And that’s what happens when your crew is topnotch. When problems arise (and they will), the talented ones will rise above it. We are certainly honored to have a great crew and we gotta give that special shout out to our soundman, Ray Moore of Moore Audio. His expertise is top notch, and he certainly saved that day of shooting. THANKS RAY!

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