RocketJump Film School’s Sound Gun Tutorials Share Snappy Tips for Quality Audio

by Karin Gottschalk1 Comment

Every so often I am reminded of how lucky we are that so many great indie moviemakers are so hugely motivated to share invaluable tips and sage advice about how they do it and you can too. RocketJump Film School is a damned fine example with their weekly-updated YouTube channel just over two months old and already brimming with fun, fast and inspirational short and longer-form tutorials, shorts and series episodes.

RocketJump Film School’s content collection so far covers the obvious fields of directing, cinematography, editing, sound and visual effects along with a more chatty, social-style podcast titled ‘RJFS Office Hours’. And more – do check out their LAPL Panel Series made in collaboration with LA Public Library. If LAPL is typical of LA libraries then I am raring to drop in some day soon.

Libraries. I have borrowed and purchased – mostly borrowed – my fair share of books on recording and editing audio for moviemaking over the years and most read as if they have been sitting unused on dusty shelves for decades.

There is probably one truly excellent book on all aspects of audio for moviemakers out there somewhere but I have yet to come across it. If any of you know its name, please share!

So many apparent options to recording audio for movies and still too little useful, practical information out there. RocketJump Film School’s Sound Gun series provides quick tips on some great techniques. Photograph made with Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens then processed with DxO OpticsPro, DxO FilmPack and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Styled by Carmel Morris. Microphones by Australian companies MyMyk and Røde.

So many apparent options for recording audio for movies and still too little useful, practical information out there until now. Photograph made with Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens then processed with DxO OpticsPro, DxO FilmPack and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Styled by Carmel Morris. Microphones by Australian companies MyMyk and Røde.

I haven’t seen much that informs and inspires on the Web either, whether written articles or videos. So I was grateful and amazed when planet5D.com publisher planetMitch pointed us writers to this tutorial series from the RocketJump crew. I hope they come up with more soon.

Karin's boom operating pro tip: invest in coiled XLR cables to keep them under control and out of the way onset. Remote Audio in Nashville makes a great little range including this one specifically for boom poles.

Karin's boom operating pro tip: invest in coiled XLR cables to keep them under control and out of the way on set. Remote Audio in Nashville makes a great little range including this one specifically for wrapping around boom poles.

The ‘How to Hold a Boom’ pro tip short is terrific coverage on how to get the best out of shotgun mics mounted on booms. Every moviemaker should carry a boom in my humble opinion, even when they are a solo operator with no assistants or sound people.

There are so many times when the only solution for isolating decent audio in a noisy location is a boomed directional mic as close to your subject as possible while still remaining out of frame.

Nobody said it is easy holding a boom while operating your camera but it can be done, especially if your boom is lightweight and your cable is under control – I use Remote Audio’s coiled audio cables and Røde’s Micro Boom Pole and carrying bag in conjunction with several different mics depicted adjacent.

 

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Sound Gun Series Ep #1: PRODUCTION SOUND

This is TUTORIAL #1 of the Sound Gun Series! Kevin walks us through the basics of getting good production sound and why it's important.

Sound Gun Series Ep #2: FOLEY

In this second installment of the Sound Gun Series, Kevin Senzaki explains why we record and use foley, and walks us through a basic introduction of how to capture and mix foley sounds well for your videos. This episode originally aired in December 2014 as part of our exclusive beta test series.

Sound Gun Ep #3: Sound Design

In our third installment of the Sound Gun series, Kevin Senzaki introduces the concept of creative Sound Design using the example of the Sound Gun itself.

Sound Gun Ep#4: SOUND MIXING

For the final installment of the Sound Gun series, Kevin Senzaki talks about what goes into creating a decent final mix, while Joey and Cherish argue over their sound mix battle station. PLUS, Kevin hands out one more extra credit assignment!

Pro Tip: HOW TO HOLD A BOOM

Kevin Senzaki brings us a quick pro tip on how to properly hold a boom pole and mic to get the best sound. (Yeah, we knew he was that weird when we hired him.)

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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