Season of Thanks: Daniel Lerch

I was stuck with a big conundrum as I was ramping up the production for the film.  You see, the best sound guy that I know is Jon Malis, and well, he was behind the camera.

So I had to look outside my normal contacts to find somebody to work as a sound mixer/boom operator for the project.  And that is when Daniel Lerch came to save the day.

Daniel came to our production from Richmond, but from the first day he started to mesh well with the crew.  He quickly set me at ease and I was confident that I could leave the sound recording to him and stop worrying about it.

This might be old news to some of you, but for those of you that don’t know a lot about film production, the trick with working on 16mm film (or any actual film stock for that matter) is that there is literally no way to record sound onto the same media as the picture.  The film isn’t that different from what goes into an old still camera, it records a picture and that’s it.  You record the sound itself onto some separate system, in our case a digital recorder.  That’s actually the purpose of the slate or clapper at the beginning of each take.  It gives you something that is both visible and audible to tie together a specific second and sync the sound back up with the picture.

Having a good sound recordist is always vital to a movie’s success.  But when you’re on film it just becomes that much more important.  People will argue about this until the cows come home, but the audio is still 50% of the viewing experience, and bad sound ruins a film faster than almost anything else.  I’m a big believer that sound should be  a top priority on set, not just something you figure you’ll deal with in post-production.

I was so thankful to find Daniel and that he was able to come on board (very last minute too, we snagged him only a few days before production began).  It was a huge relief, and he did a fantastic job.

Photo by Katie Neff

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