Where do I
start talking about sound for micro-budget movies? Umm,
its important. Really important. Really, Really, Really
important. 70 percent of how people react to movies is based
on sound. A movie's picture can be grainy, drifting in and
out of focus, and completely overexposed and it could be
called an artistic choice. There is no way a poorly cut
soundtrack that has changing room tone, too much reverberation,
and a HVAC hum could pass as an artistic choice. Sound is
held to a higher standard than picture. The importance of
sound is more true in micro-cinema where the production
quality might be suffering and filmmakers need every edge
possible so the audience discerns between a home video of
their trip to Mexico and your sexy spring break teenage
coming of age film. How can you increase the sound quality
in your micro-budget movie? Hopefully I can help.
first lets talk about buying audio equipment and budgeting.
How much did you spend buying that hot new digital camcorder?
How much for the lighting and grip equipment you have? What
about your new dual processor computer with a video editor
that does real-time effects? Now, how much can you spend
on good quality audio? Only a hundred bucks? Good quality
audio costs money. The good news is it doesn't cost as much
as good quality video, but it does cost something. As a
rule of thumb, plan on spending at least half of what your
video camera and picture equipment (grip, lights, tripod,
video monitor, etc.) cost. Whoa, that's like, a lot of money!
Yeah well, you might think about renting instead of buying,
but don't think you're going to get decent audio out of
a hundred dollar mic plugged directly into the camcorder.
I've talked to several people that bought three thousand
dollar camcorders, own a top of the line editing computer,
and then get surprised when they realize they have to spend
some money on audio equipment. I'm not suggesting throwing
money at the problem, but do budget accordingly. Want to
know how I think you should spend your money? Check out
back to the how-to of audio:
are three major components to a good micro budget soundtrack:
Sound Effects Recording
Music and Score
there is the Sound Sweetening,
Processing and Mixing stage.
I don't claim to be an expert and won't be able to provide
all the answersthere are hundred page textbooks on
the subject, I do have personal experience and hope to offer
a starting point so you can provide a better sounding picture
for your audience. Start by clicking on the Forward Arrow
to continue to Dialog Recording or just skip ahead to another