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|By Stacey K. Black|
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In this episode, we have a character who basically screams her entire dialogue. When reading the script, I knew it would be funny, but I had no idea just how funny her screams of shock and outright terror would actually be. In the interview room, she was loud, but in the parking garage, where sound bounces all around the concrete, she was ear-splitting. Being a singer, Erica Piccininni knew how to protect her voice, but as listeners, we could only protect our ears by plugging them. Suffice it to say, she had some VOLUME.
Production Sound Mixer Walt Anderson has the job of controlling the recording of dialogue, ambient noise, and yes, screams, and our boom operators use microphones that are so sensitive, they can literally hear a pin drop, and that phrase became a cliche' for a reason folks: it's the truth. On top of that, they all wear headphones to cancel out surrounding noise, so.... that means Erica's screams were traveling unhindered from her mouth right into the brains of our Sound Department. I interviewed a couple of the guys in that department (it will be posted Thursday), and got some inside info from Walt about how he protects his boom operators remotely, from just such a loud character, and other sound nightmares.
The boom guys have to be contortionists at times because of the way this show is lit. Cinematographer David Harp lights for a scene, not just a shot, so boom shadows can be an issue. Seriously, just finding prime real estate close enough to the set can get heavy sometimes. You can usually find our boom operators standing on very tall ladders, or on some elaborately built scaffolding, in a completely different room, fully extending their boom poles into the set from ceiling level.
All of this just to make sure they don't miss a single "Thank you!"
Stacey has been burnin' hair on Hollywood TV and Film sets since 1996. Her credits include "The Stepfather," "Nip/Tuck," "EZ Streets," "Running With Scissors," "Providence," and of course, TNT's "The Closer," where she is enjoying Season 5 as the Department Head Hair Stylist. She also enjoys making music and movies. And pizza.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer/speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc.