Does anybody boom from camera angle on smaller budget projects? By doing this you are in a sense, mixing the voice in relation to the camera angle during filming. What I mean by this is that if the camera is a medium shot on two people talking placed to their left at say, a diagonal angle, would you ever in an indie budget, boom from the angle in a fixed position? The reasoning I have for this is that 1)This indie/small budget project may not have the money it takes to mix the dialogue so it sounds correct. With this method of booming the dialogue will be recorded in a way so that simulating EQ during a dialogue mix will not be necessary. 2) By doing this it adds a sense of realism to the dialogue in conjunction with the scene and camera angles in the scene?



Honestly, this is not a really good idea. First of all, off axis vocals sound awful, second what if the room is really noisy? There is not a change that you'll be able to fix that, especially if there is no post production budget. Furthermore, what if they hypothetically want to do a mix after not being satisfied with the sound... they'll have unusable dialogue tracks with no presence.

I'd turn down the job if there is no security about money for post. Whatever amount of effort you put into it, the soundtrack will not sound good in the end. By the way 'realism' doesn't exist in film, it's somewhere in between fantasy and hyper-realism.

Good luck!

  • +100 on "realism" not existing in film. But it only let me upvote once. Mar 21 '12 at 18:52
  • +100 on "realism" not existing in film x2. But it's outside for one and the vocals arent completley off axis. The microphone is still within the proper distance for clean sound and the aim is at the sphere from the chest. The only difference is the head will move and talk a little and the mic won't follow. I guess I'll find out eventually since I just did short film with this technique.
    – Chris
    Mar 21 '12 at 23:45
  • +100 on "realism" not existing in film x3! We are all liars trying to suspend and contort the perception of reality, to make it more entertaining for the audience. :D
    – user6513
    Mar 22 '12 at 15:07

Always try and get the mic as close as possible, you can artificially create the correct perspective later using worldisation.


Films aren't very natural or real! If you are booming at a certain distance you will probably pick up a lot of reflections, if we are dealing with indoors. Even if it is "natural", it can sound nasty in the end. I speak with not much experience but if the mic pattern is tight you will need to find the recording "sweet spot angle" and check if getting away too much from that will ruin your recordings. You also need to think about the final product. What is the intention with this dialogue? What do you want the audience to perceive it like? It is very important to keep in mind that microphones don't "hear" like we do.

There are other tricks that help to simulate distance and perspective angles. If you have the chance, you may read David Sonnenschein's "Sound Design" in which he writes specifically on this. If your P.O.V. is a bit far from this character speaking you can try to add some (on and off-screen) sounds relatively close to the P.O.V. with which you are indicating a sense of distance.

If you'll be recording indoors, it is worth watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYIGjLKJ0EM

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