Duties of the Production Mixer

James on location

James on location

The main duty of the Sound Mixer on motion pictures and television is to record clear dialogue regardless of the location, doing whatever is required to facilitate that.

Pre-production.

  • Examine scripts and meet with Director to discuss technical requirements and vision.
  • Location scouts – visit both sets and practical locations to determine technical requirements.
  • Attend Production Meeting.

Preparation

  • Obtain/order equipment and expendable items.
  • Supervise and assist with load-in of sound department or shared department truck at vendors/suppliers.
  • Hire/book Sound Department personnel including Boom Operator and Utility person.

During Production

  • Supervise/assist with load out of truck. Depending on location/shooting schedule load in/out may occur daily or even more frequently.
  • Supervise/assist with set up of sound department equipment including running lengths of cable. Wrap and load equipment into truck at end of shoot day. With the exception of a TV series shot on a sound stage, this is generally repeated daily, or more, depending on the production schedule.
  • Move sound department set up around within location as needed.
  • Determine correct equipment to be used for each set up – eg boom microphone or wireless mics.
  • Supervise Boom Operator and Utility sound person.
  • Record and mix multiple channels of dialogue during shooting. Record room tone for each set/location. Occasionally capture wild lines or effects sounds as needed. Occasionally facilitate sound or music playback, and rarely live music recording.
  • Maintain headphones for key personnel (director, script supervisor, producers).
  • Keep accurate records of takes, and quality of takes for editing – note and alert director of any bad takes. Liaise with post production sound engineers as needed.
  • Documentary style, Reality TV style, Car filming require mobile sound mixer rig to follow the action.
  • Search out and rectify any sound problems such as noisy air conditioners or refrigerators.
  • Deliver raw sound on appropriate media as requested such as CD’s or hard drives.
Sound Cart

Sound Cart set up

During Wrap

  • Supervise and assist with load-out of sound department or shared department truck at vendors/suppliers.
  • Ensure any loss and damage claims from vendors investigated and expedited.

Other tasks

  • Produce accurate invoices and follow up on accounts receivable.
  • Maintain updated resume.

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