Wow wow wow! One thing shocks me horribly:
"Is it just a case of before every single take we start recording video (hitting record at exactly the same time - him on his camera, me on my DAT), and audio and shout "TAKE 5" and then line up the audio and video in Post production?"
Don't shout, voice is not transient enough. Clap with your hands at least, if not a clapperboard, but make sure the clapperboard is on camera. In post, you'll then sync the peak (clap) in the audio file with the frame where the two hands (or sticks) hit each other. Also, whatever you use as your clapping machine, it should ideally stay closed after the clap and not rebound, otherwise there might be no frame, in your video, of the two clapping things touching. There might be a frame just before and just after (when it's not fully closed) and this makes syncing harder. If your clapping device remains closed after the contact, then you'll have a clean visible clap to sync your audio to.
Second, I'm no authority in this discipline, but the 1/4 inch jack vs XLR thing shouldn't make much difference. A TRS jack offers the same balancing as an 3-pin XLR.
Now booming (cause a boom should be your main mic, radio mics as a backup if you're lucky enough to have any). From the Latin booma, boomae, boomorum...
- Ideally you'll boom from the top down rather than the bottom up. That way your mic is further away from the chest and closer to the mouth and you get less low freqs from the chest.
- Try to point your mic not at the mouth directly, but rather about 6/8 inches down on the projection axis. Give the lows enough space to get formed.
- !WARNING! If you're shooting a CU but the scene also requires a wider shot, you don't want to get your mic any closer during the CU take than you'll be able to get it in the wider shot. Otherwise you'll create an huge change in perspective (really close vs quite far) in the audio for the same scene. You'll curse your fool self in post. !WARNING! Nathan disagrees and has a valuable reason (cf. his post further down).
I'll edit this as it comes to me! Feel free to ask questions :)
- I assume you'll be the only audio guy there. And if the shoot is not too long or too intense, you'll likely remember what take was what and you'll know your material when postprod time comes. But don't take any bet, try to keep track of each take using a Sound Report. A sound report tracks, in a table, each take by providing sensible info: **scene/take number**, **file name** (if appropriate), **comments** (f*or this one I'd like somebody else to take over as I've never had the chance to write anything interesting there...*)
- Regular backups could save your butt (twice a day if possible).
- If you're recording in noisy environments (city traffic, air con...), do wild lines with the actors. Find a spot around where you are that's quieter (but that still have the sonic character of the actual set) and record your actors without the camera, without moving. This saves you from doing ADR, and it's already matched to the audio from the takes since it's the same recording environment.
You also might want to check out John Purcell's Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures, cause all that changes from what you did before is that you'll be working with production sound this time. So document yourself properly on these, and I recommend John's book, but as I said I'm not an authority, so you might feel reassured if I say that many people do recommend it ;)
I just remembered that Iain McGregor keeps telling me to clap at the start and at the end of the take to optimize your chances if ever your devices were to go out of sync!