Case Study: Leaf Filter Commercial
Recording Sound for a Leaf Filter “Fall Leaves” Campaign
Leaf Filter has been a fantastic reoccurring client and always enjoy working with them! The “Fall Leaves” campaign we shot at the beginning of November 2023 is a particularly great example of high quality work with a fully staffed sound department.
Importance of Working With A Boom Operator
In the realm of scripted content like commercials or films, having a dedicated boom operator is crucial for ensuring top-notch quality. Attempting to handle both booming and mixing simultaneously divides attention and compromises results on both ends. It’s akin to a Director of Photography or Camera Operator pulling their own focus instead of having a dedicated 1st Assistant Camera. A dedicated boom operator also increases the efficiency of the sound department, enabling us to keep pace with fully staffed camera and G&E departments while delivering superior work. Effective communication between the mixer and boom operator is vital. In this case, my boom op had a private wireless IFB, allowing us to discuss critical details such as talking in frame lines from my video feed or to give realtime feedback on wiring while listening to how lavaliers sound. The success of my Boom Op Stew on this shoot was evident, as the entire commercial spot’s production sound came exclusively from the boom mic, delivering significantly better results compared to relying heavily on wireless lavaliers. Simply put, having a boom operator leads to improved efficiency, higher quality work, and an enhanced client experience.
Camera & Editorial Support
In the sound department, our role often extends to supporting the camera department and post-production with additional equipment that facilitates easier sync and editing workflows. For this shoot, I utilized an Ambient ACN-CL master clock connected to my recorder to continuously wirelessly rejam the sync box on the camera as well as the timecode slate. Shooting on an Arri Alexa 35, which can self-genlock based on incoming timecode made drift between audio and video impossible. Additionally, wirelessly feeding reference audio to the camera streamlines the editing process, allowing the editor to work with reference audio and sync only the footage that makes the final cut.
IFBs for Clients
Enabling the director, producer, teleprompter operator, script supervisor, and clients to hear the mix isn’t just about creating a positive client experience; it’s essential for them to understand what’s happening on set. When video village is distant from the shooting location or when working outdoors with minimal sound reflection, it becomes challenging for these key individuals to hear the talent’s delivery. This is where wireless IFBs play a crucial role, providing support for those who need to hear and approve performances, ensuring confidence in the captured content.
High Gain Directional Antennas
RF performance always comes with challenges, especially when working outdoors. Having high gain direction antennas helps optimize the noise floor performance of the recievers as well as increase the reliability of reception at greater distances compared to whip antenas. This ensures consistently reliable performance while keeping the cart conveniently stationed out of the way next to video village throughout the shoot.