People wanting everything without paying

Below is a posting from RAMPS:

“I’m going to be directing a low-budget ($50,000 to $100,000 total, not
counting equipment purchases and rentals) feature this coming summer.
I have the video side of the story covered with two RED One cameras
(and possibly three REDs!) and a bright young film school graduate DP.
What I DON’T have covered at all is the audio side of the ledger.

I’m looking to hire a very responsible individual to both build the
audio workflow into something completely workable AND capture first
rate cinema-quality sound on location. We will not be filming on sound
stages. We’ll be in a lot of unusual locations, some of which will be
challenging. I need someone who can put the audio side together with
great expertise and give me a really high-quality sound.  I’m looking
for someone who can make this production sound wonderful.  But. . .
there are other challenges, as well. . . read on.

I have some fine audio gear to work with, including a Sound Devices
442 mixer, two Schoeps CMC64s (stereo pair), and a carbon fiber boom
mounted Schoeps CMC641 with full Rycote protection. I also have two
Lectrosonics wireless systems (UM200C and UCR201) with Lectrosonic
M-150 and Countryman B6 microphones. The Countrymans can also operate
wired. I am willing to purchase additiional gear, such as a field
recorder (Sound Devices 744T), but will only do so if I am convinced
it’s necessary.

Okay. . . enough of the background. Here’s the question:

Are you, or can you recommend a great, truly expert sound recording
specialist that might be willing to work for 6 weeks this coming
summer for no more than $5000? I know the pay is ridiculously low, but
I’ll be breaking my budget at that. Since this is a family friendly
film, I’m looking for people are sympathetic to such a venture or, at
the very least, won’t be bringing a lot of baggage that might be
controversial on the set.  This is a 100% drug- and profanity-free
production. Most of the individuals involved in the project are
professing Christians.

So, basically, I’m looking for the moon: A truly superb audio
specialist who is willing to work on a feature for peanuts, who won’t
cause any problems.

The movie is being shot in Kansas.  Here is the one sentence synopsis:

“Painters is a poignant, G-rated, romantic comedy feature film that
follows the lives of two recent small-town college fine art graduates
and a successful, yet unfulfilled insurance professional during a
magical summer in ‘the big city.'”

Painters is set in the present day (with brief flashbacks) in rural
western Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

If you can recommend someone, please email their name and contact
information. If you can at least tell me where great, family-friendly,
low-cost audio specialists are known to congregrate, please email me
that information. If you think I’m dead meat and that no such thing
exists, well, please just be kind with your public posts.

Anyway, thank you very much for your help.


Stephen Pruitt, Ph.D.”

My response:

“Since all “Professional Location Sound Mixers/Recordist” own there own equipment, which we always prefer to use My advice would be to sell your equipment. Then you could offer a “Professional Dayrate/Equipment rental” and get a sound professional. Or offer to trade your gear for a sound mixer early in my career I would often work a low budget film for a smaller dayrate and get the production to purchase me a piece of equipment. Just remember bad location sound is much harder to fix than fixing a poorly lite scene and ADR is far more expensive than just paying a a good sound recordist. A skilled recordist is also an invaluable tool on a set where most people are “New” to the film industry. My advice to you would be to either pay more for a professional or ask around at your local film or audio school for a bright student.  You also say in your post, “I am willing to purchase additiional gear” That means you have more money you could spend on a sound mixer. At $5000.00 shooting 6 12 hour days a week (I am sure you will shoot closer to 14 hour days) that is  432 hours of work which works out to about $11.57 hour before taxes plus your going to need a hard disk recorder, and other gear. I think you need to reevaluate your approach here

1 thought on “People wanting everything without paying”

  1. two red cameras and not even $200/day for an experienced sound operator? shoot you film on good old hvx200 and record dynamite performances and audio… and you’ll have plenty left over for paying the audio guy.


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