One of my recent gigs in 2017 was doing EPK on Greenleaf, one of the biggest scripted shows on OWN. For those who may not know, EPK stands for Electronic Press Kit which typically consists of behind the scenes footage and sit-down interviews with actors and/or crew from the film or show. I love doing this type of work as you get to help capture the magic that is film-making and show the fans the insides of their favorite shows and movies. Plus it is a great way to meet other crew members or catch up with other sound folks you haven’t seen in a while or have yet to meet. Every job is a networking opportunity and you should do your best to make new connections and be a likeable person to everyone you meet.
For this job, gear was minimal as all that was needed was one wireless lav, one boom set up for interviews and BTS audio capture, one hardline breakaway cable to camera and one wireless camera hop for the second camera. I was able to bring my own gear on and I was the following: Sound Devices 633 6-channel compact mixer/recorder, Lectrosonics SRb dual channel receivers, Lectro SMQV wireless transmitter with a Sanken COS-11 Lav, UM400a Transmitters and SRb receiver for camera send, a remote audio breakaway cable for the static camera, and a Sennheiser MKH416 Shotgun Mic. I was also using an Ambient Tiny Lock-it for easy jamming of Timecode to cameras.
Not only did I get my equipment on this gig, I was able to hire on my good friend, Dave Chapiro, who provided all of the camera equipment. He is a phenomenal Director of Photography and a great camera man. Not to mention hilarious and always fun to work with. Sorry bout your Cowboys, buddy! Another great addition whom I have worked with in the past is Luc Bonneson, local Atlanta Gaffer to the stars. He provided all of the lights and grip equipment for the interview setup and had it looking absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the final project, Luc. You guys kicked butt like always.
The space we set up in was a little tricky as it was a huge empty stage with nothing in it to absorb any reflections. And boy were there reflections, especially with the deeper voiced gentlemen. Solution? We set up in a corner of the room with the talent facing the corner. In front of them, we hung furniture pads to diffuse the bounce the might occur from the walls. This helped quite a bit and while there was still a little reverberation, it was very manageable and should be easy to work with in post.
We interviewed cast and crew from the show; everybody was great. Super professional, down to earth, and thankful for the opportunity. There’s some great talent on that show. Between interviews we would pop onto set and try to get some of the actual filming of the show, from setting up shots, to when they say “Cut!” Sometimes it can be awkward as you don’t want to be in anybody ways while they are filming but at the same time you have to try to get decent audio with just a boom. That can be challenging when you’re trapped in a corner and all the action is on the other side of the room. All you can do is extend your boom as far as possible without casting any shadows or being in anybody’s way. Sounds simple right? Just try to get what you can in those situations. More likely than not its B-roll.
After two days of interviews and getting in people’s way, that was a wrap on that leg of EPK for Greenleaf. There is some talk of future BTS shotos later in the season and heaps of praise are showered on us for being an amazing crew. It was fun, exciting, and fulfilling. We packed up and were on our merry way.
Check back next time when I go to the Falcons Training Facility for a sit down interview with Matt Ryan and Erin Andrews for the upcoming NFC Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers. Until then, go find some adventure!!
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