Saturday, February 11, 2012

We were playing in the pocket by the end of the set.

A wonderful way to spend August and September- recording and editing 11 jazz concerts around San Francisco. "People In Plazas" was a discretionary budget project that I had been wanting to do for a while. This past July, the FY projections finally looked solid enough that I was given a green light.

Each concert was awarded 21 man-hours for production: three crew members for a half day, then eight hours of editing, and one hour of closed captioning. These productions had to have conservative zone-play camera operators who could keep their heads in the game for a full 60 minutes. That's a bit more of a sports analogy than I'm usually comfortable with, but that was the situation during these weeks.

The wide shot was a lock-down camera that recorded four channels of audio. The audio operator did a live mix-down on a three channel Shure feeding channels 1 and 2 on the camera. Channels 3 and 4 on the camera were direct feeds of audio from the bass and snare drums, which didn't need much babysitting during the show.

As the coach, I had to cut a few people from the roster. I gave camera ops a detailed explanation of what I wanted. If they didn't do it, I showed them their video and repeated what I was after. When they failed again, they were cut from the team. I'm sorry, but we're only doing 11 of these and I have been waiting years to see this project approved.

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