I watched the excellent documentary, Catfish. The sound was done by Coll Anderson.

There's debate as to whether or not it is real. I wonder if we can tell from the sound if it is or not.

[spoiler alert]

When they are meeting the family, which supposedly do not know that they are filming, they all sound decently miked. This means (I think) that they would either see a boom or have had a radio mic put onto them...

Any thoughts?

ps: this is an after thought, I would need to watch it again to make sure.

  • I know the ending already. Is it worth it to watch it anyway? Did any of you know the ending before seeing it?
    – Utopia
    Mar 17, 2011 at 19:24
  • @utopia I had no idea what it was about , no one would tell me. Its better like that. But I still recommend it. It's super good. Mar 17, 2011 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


I haven't seen this one, but I work on documentaries and am replacing sound ALL THE TIME!

I try to stick with the actual sounds that were recorded, or at least cut in a clean version of a sound from what we're actually hearing, but it's not uncommon to have producers/directors ask for the sound to be changed for more impact or "realism." It can be very strange at times.

  • For sure, it's scary how much gets foleyed in documentaries. Mar 15, 2011 at 7:03
  • @Andrew - I think the biggest problem is that many directors/producers have been conditioned by Hollywood films and television just as much as the average viewer. They're concept of what something should sound like just doesn't match with the reality of the sound. It's weird how easily some of them succumb to that. Mar 15, 2011 at 21:17

I have yet to watch it but a lot of "documentaries" and reality based productions are in fact staged.

They also could have dubbed everything with ADR? Although I think that is probably not too cost effective if you ask me.

edit: I am watching it right now and it seems the set-up is the following: -One lavalier mic, under Nev's shirt. -The camera built-in Microphone..

With this you should be able to pick up voice that is relatively close quite decently.

  • I was also thinking that the lav for the woman might be on Nev, but I seem to remember quite some distance between them at some point. When I have some time, I want to go through it and watch it more critically. Thanks for the input. Mar 15, 2011 at 7:05

The initial meeting, before they go back to the car to grab more equipment doesn't sound too great. I think after the initial introduction they would have been miked in some way. As for real/fake, I think it's a bit of both. Either way, it's one of the most enjoyable films I've seen for years.

  • When the movie started and they are in the office, it sounded very raw. But as the movie went on, I either got used to it or it got better. I remember the moment you mention, but I can't remember the quality. I also found it to be such a good movie. Super entertaining! Mar 15, 2011 at 7:08

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