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Video Shooter Second Edition Storytelling With HD Cameras

Video Shooter Second Edition Storytelling With HD Cameras

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Published by Luis Bond

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Published by: Luis Bond on Jul 20, 2012
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08/15/2013

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In writing a script, we weed out unnecessary scenes and dialog. In composing
a scene, we frame out elements that are potentially distracting or not relevant;
and in recording sound, we also stay true to our mantra to exclude, exclude,
and exclude. By moving a mic closer to the subject or otherwise excluding
extraneous sounds, the soundman is saying to his audience, “Listen to this!
This sound is important! This dialog matters to the audio story!”

For most shooters, a substantial investment in audio gear would appear to be
illogical. After all, we are concerned primarily with our images, and good-quality
audio seems like something that ought to just happen, like the changing of the
seasons or day turning to night. Of course, recording proper audio is no fluke,
and most of us realize that superior sound and superior images go hand in hand.
As visual storytellers, we understand that a good mixer, cables, and microphone
are in every way as essential to the shooter’s craft as a camera, lens, and tripod.

It is understandable that camera manufacturers would focus almost exclusively
on video because we shooters tend to pay scant attention to a camera’s audio
section. Beyond the issues of distortion and poor frequency response, noise can
be a significant problem when recording audio directly into the camera. The

CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 10

The Audio Story

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Video Shooter: Storytelling with HD Cameras

246

gain controls in low-cost camcorders are often the source of static
or buzzing, so shooters should make it a habit not to set these
pots above 50%. Poor quality cables, jacks, and adapter plugs are
also major noise contributors. Don’t scrimp in this area of cables
and connectors if you can avoid it. For the news and documen-
tary shooter tending to operate alone, the recording of crisp, clean
audio can be a particular challenge that requires utmost focus and
attention; and, of course, the appropriate professional gear.

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