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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Talent is a Reality

When it comes to reality shows, there's a fine line between professional actors and people reacting to a camera on the street. The cast is generally used to the micing process, and while it might've taken them a few times to get used to it, they at least come into it with the right mindset of, "OK, so it's gonna just be like this everytime." But when other friends or guests are part of the action, it can sometimes be a different story.
I've definitely found you have to take a careful approach when micing people that have never even so much as been around a camera. Some people, men and women alike, are completely comfortable with some stranger sticking his hands up their shirt. Others...not so much. I find it very important to kinda feel out the person's persona, so to speak. I always try to explain what I'm going to put where and how I plan on getting there. The typical response is, "Go for it. You gotta do whatcha gotta do." Although sometimes they are a bit more hesitant, in which case I'll say, "Does that work for you?" They might wan to run the wire up or down themselves, which is fine with me, but I never let them take over and try to adhere the mic themselves. You're just asking for trouble if you do that.

When I'm using a vampire clip, I always try to remind them that it's very sharp. That way they don't try to take it off themselves and possibly damage the mic or prick them their finger (both of which have happened regardless of what you tell them).

Sometimes the process can be a bit awkward, specifically for the women. So long as you're being the professional that you are, there should be no problems. It's easy when you get to deal with a professional actor. They're very used to the process and what needs to happen. Other "real people" can still be a bit finicky. I'm sure it's easier on a female sound mixer or A2. I don't know any, but I'd love to hear from their experiences. At the end of the day, if you show them respect, you'll get it right back. 


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