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The Crazy Life - Trailer - Hacked GH2 Feature Film
  • This is the trailer for The Crazy Life. It's feature film being shot with hacked GH2.

  • 9 Replies sorted by
  • I'm wondering what is your audio setup for this film (which recorders? which micrphones? preamps, mixers, etc?)

    That monologue by that guy alone sounded very nice.

  • Nice one Matt :)

  • @soundgh2 Thanks. Was shot with a 50mm Lomo I got from a cool cat in UK. Great lens. Guessing it will be used in 70% of shots for feature film.

    @kronstadt Thanks. The audio of opening monologue was done with an Audio Technica AT899 lavalier microphone. We connected it directly to a Roland R-05 recorder. We recorded at 24/96. No mixer was used.

    This film is extremely low budget, so I've been really searching for ways to keep audio and video quality high but keep costs low. What I like about this audio setup is that we can attach the recorder to the actors like a wireless pack. The R-05 is really that small and light. I'm using a $5 Blackberry phone leather belt clip holder to attach the R-05 to the actor. So we do not do any monitoring while recording the scenes. I've done pretty extensive testing with this setup...and I've never had a bad recording. But since we're not monitoring, I check the takes we liked to make sure the audio was recorded without any pops, errors, etc. So we save money here, by not having to hire a separate sound man. Really just a budget issue.

    The other audio (dialogue, as well as the singing part of the songs) was actually recorded on an iPhone 3G using the built-in voice memo app. Not ideal...but I just happen to have some really creative people getting inspired and singing songs at 2 in the morning...and they don't have they just recorded into the iPhone and emailed the song. So that was 16/44.1, but in the end, it sounded pretty good once blended with and composed musical part of song in GarageBand. Will probably be going to Logic Pro for bulk of films music composing.

    We're doing a few low cost solutions for equipment to save as much as we can. I'm building the mics' "lav cage" out of clothing buttons and adhesive tape, that will ensure that as we conceal the lav mic under the actors' shirts, that it doesn't rustle against the clothing. Should cost $4 each. Also needed a set of handles to steady the cam for handheld shots. Made those for $3 with parts from home depot. With our older vintage lenses (Lomos), we had issue that they have no threads on use of ND filters would normally require use of matte box, which along with rails, can cost $300-500 easily. So for this I just carefully gaffe taped step up rings to the lens, leaving us with 77mm threads, which let us use filters, and we purchased a cheap screw on rubber foldable hood to reduce glare.

    We're doing everything we can to cut all our equipment costs as close to zero as we can get it. The only thing we'll end up having to pay a significant cost will be paying our local actors something reasonable for their time and dedication as well as feeding them proper meals as we shoot. I estimate we'll need about $3000 for that and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to hopefully raise those funds.

  • @matt_gh2 thanks for replying, and good luck with the Kickstarter fundraising ! (I think you should post the link to Kickstarter page on PVand see if Vitaly can make it a sticky post for a day).

    I like the spirit and thinking with which you are pursuing your project: conncetrate the resources on the production itself, rather than the gear... Do more with what you've got, and just go ahead and do it! Great!

    Re audio setup: that's very interesting setup because I experimented with lavaliers plugged directly to on-body Zoom H1. Glad to see that it's working out fine for you, but I'm a bit too paranoid about sound these days, so instead,I'm opting for boomed hypercardoids (for internals) and boomed shotgun (for externals) plugged directly into a low self-noise recorder. But as there are many shots which are not close-ups, I think I might reconsider lav-to-recorder option. It's just that I never found a lav that sounded so "rich" as a boomed hypercardoid. Plus, good lavs are always expensive,especially when you need a set of 2 or 3.

    I'm also interested what are you doing with the lighting that falls from the left side of the actor? Are you using a softbox, a difuser or bouncing the light? What I like in that shot is that it is not "glittering" the skin-tones as the direct hard-light would do.

  • @kronstadt That's a good idea - once the kickstarter is prepared and ready I will check with Vitaly.

    Yeah, keeping it small but doing it with quality is the idea for us. Our scenes/sets are small and intimate, with maybe just the cameraman and the two actors in the scene.

    The lighting for that scene was done with 2 very cheap LED 160s. The $35 ones you get on ebay. A minus green sheet was applied to them. The light to the left was on a stand that was jacked up to the ceiling, at 8 ft high. It was to the left of the camera and equal distance from camera to actor. No diffusion or softbox or bouncing was used. It had a dimmer, so that was adjusted. The 2nd light was to the right of the camera and behind the actor, and positioned on the floor, literally 2 inches off the floor. Minus green and dimmer used here. In editing, I added 3 blue lights, 1 from the left and 2 from the right.

    Hope my explanation makes sense. Let me know if not and I'll do a quick sketch and email if that would be helpful.

    I didn't really love the cheap LEDs as they left a green cast that I had to get rid of in editing. I've recently bought 2 of the 312AS that Vitaly got for special price on They're awesome. Totally worth it and they attach to my existing light stands so I'm gonna be using them as we shoot the film.


  • @kronstadt The issue you mention of non-close-up shots having trouble with booms was a factor in deciding to go with lavs. I hear you on cost for lavs, but I'd say our setup is reasonably priced at $200 for AT899 Lav and $200 for Roland R-05 recorder. But I'm curious, what boom mics do you like to use for obtaining a "rich" sound?

  • @matt_gh2 if I went for lavs unmonitored plugged directly into the on-body recorder, I would go with the Tram TR-50 or the little known OST801. But lavs always sound like lavs - to my ear, they are not as rich and dramatic as boomed mics.

    For boomed option my low-budget movie setup is really simple: shotgun plugged directly (with a good XLR cable) into a low self-noise recorder. So far my recorder is Zoom H1, but I'm thinking of upgrading to Roland H-26 or a second hand Fostex FR-2.

    For boomed Shotgun option (mostly external shots) I would go with Sennheiser 416 (if I could afford it), or Rode NTG-3 (if you are on a budget and if your recorder can produce phantom power), and I quite like the sound of NTG-2 (quite warm and rich, although the hiss is slightly more audible then the first two). I also like the sound of those ultra-cheap Chinese mics ($17 on eBay) in Tele mode - the noise-to-sound is pretty okey - if you are prepared to do a lot of hiss-cleaning in post -- it gives a very 1970s movies kinda sound, which I like for my style. But try not to use boomed shotguns for internal dialogue recording - they pick up a lot of room echo (reverb) which is almost impossible to get rid of in post.

    For boomed mics for internal dialogues (on a low budget), I would go with a hypercardoid Oktava MK-012 with Michael Joly mod. Nice thread here

    In contemporary Hollywood movies 90% of what you hear is ADR - recorded again in post, so shotgun sound is used as a reference. If you can afford ADR in a controlled studio environment, then great (!) - I can't afford that, so I try to go with mostly on-location sound. A boomed shotgun can easily pick up clean acceptable audio from 3-5 feet away (mid-shots). There are also some tricks that one can use for dialogues in wide shots, like mixing the sound from a closely recorded shot or ADR, since you can't really see exact mouse movements in a wide shot. Sound is a tricky business.

  • @kronstadt Thanks for advice. I have a Sennheiser ME66. I'll be testing that (and AT899) for foley and ambient. If I dont get results that are exactly what I want, I'll start looking at the mics you mentioned here. Thanks

  • I think that 90% figure is considerably off. In the words of Karl Lohninger... "(adr) is much less common that people think."