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Audio Basics: Microphone Types

Audio is an oft forgotten piece of puzzle when it comes to video production – Videomaker breaks down the world of microphones and which tool is right for the job.

If you want to record audio you’ll obviously need a mic. But which type and why? What suits the video producer next door might not be best for your needs.

Microphones are an interesting category of video tools, in a geeky sort of way. The primary goal of any mic for video production is the same: convert acoustic energy into an electrical signal for use in recording. But that’s where the similarities end. From that point on, the variations seem endless. At the high-end, there are large diaphragm studio condenser mics that excel at capturing voice and music. At the low-end are the mics in our cell phones, which work well for communication, but not much else. At every point in between, there are specialty microphones for practically any situation when recording audio for video.

Whether you’re working in an audio production studio or shooting in the field, there’s a mic type for you in your sound studio equipment.

Built-In Microphones

Unless you’re shooting with some high-end cinematography camera, odds are that the camera you use has one or more mics built in. It’s also likely that you’re not too impressed with the quality. That’s OK, you’re not alone. There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. Because the mic is attached to the camera, it will naturally be some distance from your subject. When the mic is far away from the source, it picks up everything between the two. So instead of clean, clear voices, you may hear the voices buried in ambient noises or echoes from the room when you’re recording.

This problem has created a completely new category of audio product: the portable audio recorder. When used with external mics or moved close to the source, portable recorders are great solutions. However, many shooters simply plant the audio recorder on top of their camera or mount it to their rig somehow. This is great for gathering crowd noise, but it doesn’t do anything to solve the built-in distance problem.

It’s not really the mic’s fault. In fact, most built-in mics would sound fine in a recording studio or vocal booth. For that reason, it’s possible to repurpose your camera as a voice-over recording rig. Just control the distance between the mic and the voice and eliminate as much background noise and echoes as possible. Unfortunately, as long as the mic is mounted on the camera, it’s best used for recording ambient sound and as a sync reference for separate recorders.

Videomaker | Read the Full Article

Rick Young Reviews the Black Magic Cinema Camera

Hands-on test with Blackmagic Cinema camera. Rick Young tests the camera in many different situations; getting a feel for the camera in terms of operation, usability, working with different lenses, with a good look at the images the camera produces.

Filmed on location in Perth Australia, this is a real-world report to see just what this camera is capable of. Blackmagic Design have described this as a “cinema camera” – check out the images to see how the camera shapes up in terms of image quality, depth of field, colour rendition and the overall “cinematic” look.

Cleaning Footage to the MAX – a practical guide for Denoising

Lucas Pfaff demonstrates some noise cleaning techniques for DSLR and other video footage.

Table of Contents and skip to the Parts which may interest you:
Introduction at Start
“Part 1: Shooting” starting at 1:25
“Part 2: Basic Denoising” starting at 6:15
“Part 3: Heavy Noise!” starting at 13:46 (sorry, I went a bit too far away from the Mic…)
“Part 4: Super Clean” starting at 19:21
“Part 5: Grain on it’s own” starting at 22:25
Final Words at 23:42

Submitted by Simon Hosick

A Guide to Hollywood Unions

In Hollywood, making movies is big business. And where there is big business, the workers unite to form unions. The following list is a sampling of the unions that every large production in Los Angeles will work with in the process of making a film.

This is a partial list of the union organizations involved with collective bargaining for the Hollywood studio system. We have linked union official pages where you will find more information about membership requirements, issues they support, and information about how to join.

These unions can be broken down into two groups: Above the Line (individuals involved with creative side: actors, producers, directors) and Below the Line (individuals who perform the physical production of a given film including editing)

Above the Line

SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA represents more than 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

Website: SAGAFRTRA.org

Writers Guild of America, West

We are the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), a labor union composed of the thousands of writers who write the content for television shows, movies, news programs, documentaries, animation, and Internet and mobile phones (new media) that keep audiences constantly entertained and informed.

Website: WGA.org

Directors Guild of America

The Directors Guild of America is an entertainment guild that represents the creative and economic rights of directors and members of the directorial team working in film, television, commercials, documentaries, news, sports and new media.

Website: DGA.org

Association of Talent Agents

The Association of Talent Agents (ATA), is not a talent agency. ATA is a non-profit trade association representing the finest talent agencies in the industry. Founded in 1937, ATA is the voice of unified talent and literary agencies. ATA agencies represent the vast majority of working artists, including actors, directors, writers, and other artists in film, stage, television, radio, commercial, literary work, and other entertainment enterprises.

Website: AgentAssociation.com

Producers Guild of America

The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The PGA has over 5,000 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by facilitating members health benefits, encouraging enforcement of workplace labor laws, the creation of fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts.

Website: ProducersGuild.org

Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers

Since 1982, The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has been the trade association responsible for negotiating virtually all the industry-wide guild and union contracts, including the American Federation of Musicians (AFM); American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); Directors Guild of America (DGA); International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); Laborers Local 724; Screen Actors Guild (SAG); Teamsters Local 399; and Writers Guild of America (WGA).

The AMPTP, the entertainment industry’s official collective bargaining representative, negotiates 80 industry-wide collective bargaining agreements on behalf of over 350 motion picture and television producers (member companies include the production entities of the studios, broadcast networks, certain cable networks and independent producers).

Website: IATSE-Intl.org

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 435,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ASCAP also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide. ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership.

ASCAP protects the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. ASCAP’s licensees encompass all who want to perform copyrighted music publicly. ASCAP makes giving and obtaining permission to perform music simple for both creators and users of music.

Website ASCAP.com

Below the Line

I.A.T.S.E

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada was founded in 1893 when representatives of stagehands working in eleven cities met in New York and pledged to support each others’ efforts to establish fair wages and working conditions for their members. Our union has evolved over the succeeding 119 years to embrace the development of new entertainment mediums, craft expansion, technological innovation and geographic growth.

I.A.T.S.E. local organizations cover many production crafts people from Art Directors, Costume Designers, Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists, Studio Lighting Technicians, Set Painters, Script Supervisors.

Here’s a longer list of I.A.T.S.E. Local Organizations.

International Cinematographers Guild

An I.A.T.S.E. organization, The International Cinematographers Guild represents the most talented camera professionals and publicists in the world. The technicians and artisans in our union are the creators of the visual images on the big screen, the television screen and our computer screen.

Website: CameraGuild.com

Teamsters Union 399

This Union represents workers in the motion picture industry, including firms that produce feature films, television programs, commercials, and live theatrical productions. Since the inception of the Union in the early 1930s, we have enjoyed a longstanding tradition of providing quality service to the motion picture and theatrical trade industry.

Website: HT399.org

Motion Picture Editors Guild

The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) is a national labor organization currently representing over 7,200 freelance and staff post-production professionals. Ours is the world’s premiere craft guild that sets the standards for excellence in the post-production industry. The requirements to become a member of the Guild and placed on our Industry Experience Roster ensures the highest level of professionalism.

Website Editorsguild.com

Animation Guild

The Animation Guild is Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE). We are a labor organization that represents animation and visual effects artists. We do for our members what every labor organization does: negotiate wage minimums and working conditions, provide pension and health benefits (specifically through the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan) and act as an advocate for our members over disputes between employees and employers. Our goal is to provide a seamless cloak of benefits and the strength of a collective voice to our members across the animation industry. Our offices (see image below) are located at 1105 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank, California.

Website AnimationGuild.org

Motion Picture Sound Editors

The MPSE is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a wealth of knowledge from award winning professionals to a diverse group of individuals, youth and career professionals alike; mentoring and educating the community about the artistic merit and technical advancements in sound and music editing; providing scholarships and mentorship for the continuing advancement of motion picture sound in education; and helping to enhance the personal and professional lives of the men and women who practice this unique craft.

Website: MPSE.org

Watch “Cannibal: The Musical” – Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s first Musical

Before “South Park” and “Book of Mormon”, Trey Parker and Matt Stone made a musical for Troma about people eating Colorado explorers in 1993.

Trailer:

From Troma:

“Cannibal” is the true story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America — Alferd Packer. The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Prye as he awaits his execution. And his story goes like this: While searching for gold and love in the Colorado Territory, he and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs! Packer and his five wacky mining buddies sing and dance their ways into your heart…and then take a bite out of it! Cannibal! The Musical is Oklahoma meets Bloodsucking Freaks. Brought to you by the Troma Team and Trey Parker — the Rogers and Hammerstein of Horror!

Full Length Movie (Troma Promo at beginning)

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