We have been learning about audio and the production process and the 5 main steps of a production. There is the finance then there is the Pre -Production then there is the production and then there is post production and distribution.
How does Pre-Production apply to audio?
The Pre-production of audio is very important stage for getting good quality audio and is generally overlooked. At first, you need to make sure your filming locations have good acoustics and that they aren’t really echoey unless you want to create that effect in which case you can always do that in Post-Production. You also need to consider if you have and ambient sound in your location. The next thing you want to consider is the clothing, Clothing can cause all sorts of problems when it comes to audio, for example, silky clothing won’t work with a lapel microphone so the best option would be to use a boom microphone. You also have to consider the direction of the actors and whether they are talking, shouting or whispering. Making a detailed plan of the audio can also help. This can be added to the storyboard or be an individual sound map. Investing in good audio equipment is a good idea as if the audio isn’t good quality it can take the viewer out of the story.
What are the elements that need to be considered?
The elements to be considered in audio are things like ambient sound and if you want some to help the viewer feel more immersed in the environment or if you don’t want any so the viewer can concentrate on what the actors are saying. Another element that needs to be considered is what microphone would be helpful for recording scene. Ambient sound needs to be considered when choosing the microphone and maybe you might use more than one microphone to record different things.
How do they link which the other stages of the production process?
If the acoustics in the location aren’t up to what the director wants then they might have to use ADR (automated dialogue replacement) to re-record the audio later in a better environment like a recording studio. This can take a lot of time and money to do and effect Post-Production. Another problem is ambient sound as it can ruin the overall sound of the film. If ambient sound isn’t taken into consideration in pre -production then they would have to remove the frequency of it in post-production. This can change the dynamics of the dialogue which makes the audio sound wrong and off as parts of it are removed. Not using the correct microphone or not properly measuring the audio levels affect the post-production stage and effect the overall film. If the audio was too quiet or loud they would either re-record the scene or use ADR or turn it up or down in post production. The problem with changing the volume after it has been recorded is that you either get background noise or distortion.
For this task, we were asked to record a business proposal set in a restaurant environment. The reason we were asked to do this is so that we could practice the pre-production of audio. The first thing we had to do is discuss what type of environment we wanted to record it in. In our case, we wanted a quiet place. We then had to find a location that fitted our criteria. We then evaluated the location and wrote a document recording things like floor and wall material so we could work out if the acoustics were right. This document can be downloaded by clicking here. After we found a location and filled out documents such as a hazard perception document we then created a script which can be found here.
Caleb Ward. 2014. 5 Tips for Planning Your Audio in Pre-Production. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/audio-preproduction/. [Accessed 22 February 2017].