Stage Productions

Within this week, we were focusing on Audio. Although, within audio, we looked at the pre-production of Audio.

There are 3 stages in film production:

  • Pre-Production
  • Production
  • Post-Production

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Silver Hook Studios, No Date

What is pre-production?

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K Vibe, 2016

Pre-production, is a stage in the media industry that involves planning which is a very important part in film productions because without it, the production and post-production will not become as effective.

How does pre production apply to audio?

  • Before recording something, you have to test the equipment to make sure that the levels are right. You find out which microphone you need to use for what specific recording
  • You go scouting to see if you need ambient sound, if you don’t want ambient sound etc… You have to see what the shot demands. If there is a shot of someone running for example, you have to know how they are moving, the type of footsteps which would suit the action.
  • You invest in audio equipments, so that you record in the best quality possible. You hire a professional boom operator/sound mixer.
  • The type of audio which needs to be recorded: Foley, Ambient Sound, Re-Recording if needed, Dialogues.
  • You would research in more depth of the location to use the right equipment for your chosen location

Storyboards

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Twisted Sifter, 2012

In this case, storyboards are important. They are not only important for visuals but they are also good for audio. You make a storyboard by considering the audio process into it, so for each shot, you would talk about the audio involved in it.

What are the elements that need to be considered?

Cost

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Noam Kroll, 2014

First of all, it should be a simple low-cost stage of audio production that helps save ( or at least betters spend) money and make better record. By making the production cheaper with better planning, this will definitely help in making a better production, rather than spending loads and not making good use of it.

Exchanging Ideas and performance

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Wallpapers Byte, No date

The only thing necessary for a successful preproduction are your instruments and a room where people can play music together and exchange ideas. In some cases it might involve several songs and performances coaching with the artists.

Taking Time

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DVE Store, No Date

You need to take your time. If you don’t you might press the wrong button without paying attention and not record at all. By taking your time, you will have more chance of making the recording better rather than to rush it.

Problems and Solutions

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Google, No Date

The problems that might occur if there are any and to try to find a solution to it. Having problems isn’t a bad thing, it would then mean that if you encounter a problem, you can find a way of solving it by doing something different. The production team will resolve it or remove the issue and replace it by something else so that there isn’t a major problem which could be much worse

Microphone Placement

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World Wide, No date

Microphone placement is an element that needs to be considered. If it is positioned to far away from the person, it will sound too quiet and people will not be able to hear it. If it is too close, there could be some form of distortion when speaking, which is a bit irritating to hear. It has to be placed correctly to avoid those problems. Not only that, it has to be positioned correctly depending on the microphone which is used. If it is a shotgun microphone for example, it has to be pointed straight at the person talking, not at a slight angle, where there is a risk of ambient sound to be picked up.

Planning

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Marc Breugelmans, 2016

To have some form of planning is crucial. Without it, there would not be any productions at all. It is always good to do some rough planning so that if an idea isn’t good, you can always change it and find another idea.

How do they link with the other stages of the production ?

They link to the other stages as good planning, would normally result is a good audio quality when recording things. It is a key element of every stage of a project’s timeline. From rough picture edits to temp sound mixes, all edits require great recordings. It will link to other stages because of the finance.

Production

How does Production apply to audio ?

  • It applies to audio, because you are using microphones. Without Microphones, you can’t record anything, unless if you use a Zoom Recorder, but that isn’t really the best equipment to use on its own.
  • When filming, you make sure that there is no one walking in the middle of where you are filming/recording, because there could be trip hazards.
  • You would have made sure that the levels are checked, so that when recording, there isn’t a risk of the sound to be distorted or too quiet.

Elements that need to be considered

Right Type of Microphone

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The Voice Over Voice, No Date

When recording, you have to make sure that you use the right microphone depending on the situation you are in. If you want background noises, then you would have an omnidirectional microphone, or a cardioid microphone. if you don’t want any ambient sound, so that you can add it separately later, a shotgun microphone would be very efficient.

Patience

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Things 2 See, No Date

Patience is very important when recording, you would probably have to take it a few times, especially if you have to record for a few minutes. Having a few recordings is a good initiative so that the editor in the Post Production part with the director, can choose which of those recorded, would be best suitable for the video/film.

Hazards whilst recording something

man-tripping

PWS Online, No Date

Whilst recording, there may be tripping hazards that are visible, especially when there is a whole crew on a set, and that someone is trying to record something, but there is a long cable that could make people trip. If for example you are using a long cable, but that the distance of recording someone is short, to make it safe, you can shorten it by rolling some of the cable so that it is not left loose on the floor.

How do they link with the other stages of the production ?

  • Tripping Hazards links to the Pre-Production planning as you have to fill in a health and safety sheet before the production, so if you know the kind of hazards that might occur.
  • In Pre-Production again, if you have planned for which microphones you need to use for which a specific situation in advance, then there shouldn’t be any problems when recording
  • If there was a problem of sound when recording, in the Post Production, there would always be a way of fixing it. They would use Sound Mixer, they could mask the sound with something, they can do many things to fix the problem.

Post Production

How does it apply to Audio?

  • You use sound effects to catch the reader’s attention, like in a Radio Play, where there is only sound.
  • You can add key frames on the timeline to fade the sound that you want or increase the sound depending on who is speaking, the situation in the audio etc…
  • In audio, there are foley sounds that can be recorded which are necessary for specific sounds within the audio. it is recorded during post production.

What are the elements that need to be considered?

Volume + Keyframes

audio-keyframes

Premium Beat, No Date

In Editing, you might need to increase the volume or decrease the volume depending on what is being said. This is where Keyframes comes in place, you can select certain parts which you want to sound to be lower than the other audio in the timeline or higher

Auto-Sync

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YouTube, 2010

Auto-Sync can be good for synching audio with videos, although this has to do more with the visuals than the audio, but can also be considered in audio editing.

Taking Time

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Wikipedia, No Date

Editing requires a lot of patience, as it can sometimes be frustrating. So if you do one step at a time methodically, you will find it easier rather than being frustrating when you made a mistake, and making it more difficult for you to carry on.

Choosing the right Editor

Without an editor, you can’t edit anything. So you would have to hire someone with the skills of completing a project properly and on time

How do they link to the other stages of Production?

  • They link to the other stages, because with a good planning, and good recording, when it comes to the post production, you have a chance of making something really good.
  • It also links to the other 2 stages especially when it comes to ‘repair’ some of the mistakes that have happened in terms of sound. If there was a problem with the volume during the production for example, during the post production process, the editor, sound mixer etc… can solve those problems.

Planning and Documentation

Planning and Documentation is very important because it, there would not be a production in the first place. During the pre-production, you would have to have those following forms of Planning and Documentation to hopefully prevent any issues.

Meeting and Hiring Crew – This is to search for people who will do the best job for your production. It has to be someone suitable to what you do and not just chose your best friend to do the job, because he/she might do his own version of the part of the production not follow the director and producer.

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Bride vs Groom, No Date

Health and Safety – Making sure that what you do is safe and suitable for everyone. Also to make sure that wherever you record is safe without any tripping hazards

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Film Sourcing, No date

Budgets – You would find costs of the equipments/items you need for the production, which would usually be on a daily rate. You would search for the best one, but the cheapest as well and you would only rent for certain days.

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Aslam Basheer, 2016

Contacts and Details – If for example someone is arriving late, having their contact detail will be beneficial so that you can contact them.

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Swimming, No Date

Time Planning – You have to make sure that you plan for when you will shoot or record, which will be the next one. You would have to use your time correctly.

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Write On MJK, 2014

Scheduling Shoot Days – This is very important as part of the time planning because by scheduling your days to when you will do the job, you will then know exactly at which time of the day you are recording.

schedule

JFK Beat, No date

Task – ‘The Proposal’

In this task, we had to produce a short radio play called ‘The Proposal. It is a scene set in a restaurant which involves 2 different people, in which one of the characters is proposing to the other. As part of the Pre-Production, we had to write a script to know what we will say. We also to know the applicable equipments which are available for us and use the microphone which would be suitable for me and the group.

For the script was to try to make it so that the proposal doesn’t work the way it was meant to be. We thought of doing it in a way to do it with some sense of humour. This is what the script looks like:

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Before doing the production itself, we had to plan our mini-project, using the documents which we were told about within our lesson. The relevant documents for our audio practical was for Location equipment and health& safety.

Pre-Production

Location

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While filling these 2 sheets, we scouted some locations to see which place would be the best to record the dialogues. After scouting quite a few areas. we managed to find on big corridor, in which when we spoke, there was no echoes, which was a very good thing, because hearing echoes would not make it great when listening to it. As you can see in this sheet, we had to note down what the potential risks would be when recording, what the source of power would be, the props we would need, the public interference and any additional location information. This is a very important part of the planning process, because without filling this sheet, there will be no proof that the area that was chosen would be good for filming/recording.

Health & Safety

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Filling the Risk Assessment Hazard Checklist is very important as part of the Health and Safety part within the pre-production. For our practical task, we ticked some of the hazards that could occur/appear while we recorded. Although, there were none of the hazards that were in what we are doing as we are just recording ours in college.

Sound Effects List

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As well as the documentation we had to fill, we also thought of listing all the sound effects we needed so that when we use it for the editing, we would know which ones are needed to be recorded, and which ones need to be downloaded. By doing this, we would be saving time for finding sound effects, in which some might be difficult to do, so there would not be too much difficulty in thinking that the ones which we can’t record, would certainly be found on the internet.

Equipments

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We thought of making the list of equipments that we needed for the task so that there is an evidence of what we are using and the reason to why we are using this specific equipment.

Production

In the production, we went to record, and we actually checked different locations to see which one would be better to use. The Microphone we used was the shotgun microphone, so that no background noise is being picked up and that the voice is very clear. We firstly went to one of the corridors of Block A within the college. After approximately 2 recordings, we thought that it was not a good idea to record here, as there was too many people passing, which was quite annoying to hear especially for Sara, as she was recording it. So we changed the location and went inside a room where there wasn’t a lot of echo, even though people passed, but we waited for it. The quality of the recording in this room, was thought to be better. As well as recording our dialogues, we also did the sound effects. ( The sound effects you hear in my video, are actually all downloaded on the internet as there were some minor problems with our sound effects, so me and my group were not able to use them)

Post Production

For the post production, I decided to make mine dramatic in some ways so that people feel that the person was bit the ring, feels upset. So I thought of adding a sad music at the last quarter of the story to give that sadness feeling. For the sound effects, I downloaded them all from FreeSound, which is quite a good website to use when finding sounds. For example, for when the cheesecake arrives, I thought of choosing the sound of a wheel chair rolling that sounds like a trolley that is rolling to make people hear and think, that the trolley with the cheesecake is coming. Towards the end, when Kyle becomes upset after finding out that the ring was inside the cheesecake, because we could not have the sound of someone crying, I downloaded a crying sound that would be close to Kyle’s cry, to show that he is deeply upset with what just happened. This was followed from the chair being dragged and the walking away from the table.

Because it is based in a restaurant, I clearly had to include the background sound of a restaurant, to make people feel that the 2 characters as well as the waiter, is in a restaurant, although in the video, you can’t really hear it as there is the sound effects, the dialogue, the music which masks the restaurant sound. I also added keyframes at some point in the video to fade in the peaceful music and to bring in the emotional music to when Kyle finds out that the ring was in the cheesecake, so that there was not a sudden change in the music.

Here is the final product of ‘The Proposal’:

The Proposal, ( LeFrenchBlog, 2017)

Conclusion + What I would improve on next time

In my opinion, I think that my final product turned out how I wanted it to be. Because of the good planning and communication within my group, we were able to record the dialogues really well, without too much background noise. I thought that the pre-production and production went really well, there were not too many problems which we have encountered along the way. So when you listen to it, you can’t hear any Ambient Sounds. The post-production went well as well, I was able to know where to put each sentence of the dialogue, where to put the sound effects etc… I thought the sound effects, the writing during the video and the music, worked really well together to make a decent Radio Play.

Things I could improve on for future projects

  • When saying the dialogues, to have a bit more enthusiasm when speaking. Their voices from what they are meant to say are not always that good. For example, when Kyle is upset, he should talk as if he was really upset, so that the audience knows that he is upset about something.
  • To make the ambient sound a bit louder, so that people can think of where it could be happening.
  • Not adding any texts during the play and add sound effects instead as this is meant to be something to be listened to, and not watched

Social Media Report

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