Some sound advice. Shame I wasn’t listening…

This clip illustrates very well how NOT to record sound. During shooting for the Great Fen Spitfire Excavation film we went along to a meeting of the volunteer archaeologists. They were cleaning Spitfire parts in a barn.

I decided to grab some fairly informal comments from the team and started asking them questions. The interviews themselves were great, as you will see.

Unfortunately, my sound recording technique was less than great. I really didn’t want to put radio mics on the speakers. That would have made them a lot more self-conscious. So I trusted my ‘shotgun’ mic across the cleaning tables, where the cleaning was being done.

The idea of a shotgun mic is that it is very directional and cuts sound that isn’t originating within its very narrow field. You only have to listen to the interview with Sue to hear that the washing and scraping going on just below my camera is far too intrusive to allow me to use the clips in the final film.

Producer Louise was not impressed and I learned an embarrassing lesson. Sorry Louise, sorry Sue.

About the author: martyn

Film-maker interested in opportunities to create documentaries and factual story-telling on film. Also writer and stills photographer.

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