Not exactly a sound design question but pretty relevant all the same, so here goes...Yesterday I was at a wedding here in France and quite a few of the guests were working in the sound department for the film and television industry. I got chatting to most of them and there seemed to be a general consensus that our sector is suffering a lot in term s of budget. Many of them were working as boom ops, sound recordists, mixers and some in more editing / post prod roles. All of them seemed to be suffering from losing work due to budgets being cut. I heard over and over again people complaining that quality audio capture was being sacrificed in order to lower the money spent on a production. Everyone seemed to think that the demise of the boom op / mixer was becoming a severe problem and that on many smaller productions it is now the cameraman who is now also capturing audio.
Now I'm sure most of you will agree with me that to capture quality audio you need someone dedicated to do exactly that, someone who is skilled and knowledgeable in their field. I know that traditionally sound departments have somewhat struggled to play an important role when compared to the visual side of a production but with budgets being cut here there and everywhere, are we seeing a comeback of the darker days when sound was pushed to one side?
Many of you are working on big-budget features where, I'm sure these types of cutbacks have not really occurred, but I was wondering if any of you have noticed similar patterns where you work? Is this problem a localized one or are we seeing this across a broader context? I haven't been in France for that long and was thinking to start working as a sound recordist as well as editing / post prod but now I'm wondering if this side of the industry has much future?
I'd love to hear any thoughts you have.