As the year winds down…

Happy Thanksgiving! Me? I’m thankful that I’m not in tech with this flu.

Thoughts, based on recent events in Toxic Bag Land. Names have been changed or excluded to protect…well, me, really.

• Being sick during tech week sucks.

• A no-budget film shoot can be great fun, wrap early and yield fantastic results if the director is prepared and the actors have rehearsed and come in knowing their lines.

• When a director doesn’t listen to his/her designers, it can lead to a really hellish tech week, or an entire scene backed against a wall at the last minute, or an actor getting injured. You hire the specialists for a reason, folks.

• Dragging in “volunteer” voice talent to save money on hiring a pro, and then spending hours beating that volunteer up doing take after take does not actually save you any money, nor does it often result in a product you can be proud of.

• If you’re going to not pay attention when I show you how to set up the gear, don’t just immediately look at me blankly and ask what my “backup plan” is when you hook it up wrong and fry the computer on opening night. My “backup plan” was for you to not destroy the rig, dumbass.

• Sound designers and costume designers really need to work together where microphones are going to be involved. This applies to theater and to film. The collaboration worked out pretty well on one production this year, not so well on another.

• You can’t ADR live theater. See above point.

• Collaborating over the internet can work really well, but there’s nothing like sitting in a room with another human being and just cranking stuff out. Horace and Jasper of the experimental band Phil Who Just Adores Backgammon got most of an album done over a long weekend last month (I told you I’d changed the names).

• At some point, a project will be less about how good your stuff sounds, and more about how quickly you can crank out something that sounds good. Which is a great reason to learn those computer shortcuts and make sure your studio is set up in an efficient and ergonomic way.

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About toxicbag

Toxic Bag Productions, Inc. provides sound effects and music for independent films, animated shorts, theatrical productions, dance performances, podcasts and video games. They work out of their studio on the north side of Chicago.

Posted on November 29, 2009, in Random Ness Monster and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “If you’re going to not pay attention when I show you how to set up the gear, don’t just immediately look at me blankly and ask what my “backup plan” is when you hook it up wrong and fry the computer on opening night. My “backup plan” was for you to not destroy the rig, dumbass.”

    shut.up.
    this did NOT happen again….did it???

  2. Let’s just say “recent” is a relative term where that one is concerned. So…no, it didn’t happen again.

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