This past June I took part in the Connecticut Film Industry Training Program's Sound Department. It was one of those things I have been "trying" to do for the past several years but couldn't come around to doing it for one reason or another. Well, this year, I finally got my CT driver's license, and everything lined up perfectly for me to finally take part in this prestigious program.

For those who don't know, the CT FITP is similar to NY Film Academy's 4 week program but with more specified and realistic departments of training rather than overall filmmaking and directing. I took this program not to learn sound for film and television, but to enhance my skills, particularly at mixing and to learn plenty more ins and outs that I should have but did not know yet after working in sound in the Industry for the past 2 years. They say learning never ends, we are always a student and I certainly was, learning so many things in my 4 weeks in the program. It was helpful to experiment, ask "dumb questions" and try things I didn't think would work, since I couldn't get fired, just get better.

We shot a short film the final week of the program which was nice to finally work with all departments and practice micing up real actors. Micing people up seems to be every sound person's weakness but I learned a lot of that during this program because it's really one of those things, you can't just read or be told how to do it, you actually have to see how to do it and practice.

The program was more rewarding than I thought it would be; I only participated to get better at what I do, but I made plenty of good connections and got some work from the program that I wouldn't have ever gotten if I did not participate this year.

The day after the program ended, I worked on a CT based feature film as the 2nd Unit Sound Mixer / Boom Operator. The Director and DP loved to do long scenes with 1 shot on steadicam a lot, which is cool, but makes my job difficult when I'm booming and mixing at the same time. The most difficult scene I had to do was a car interior with 3 people in it while driving. I stashed 2 wireless lavs on the ceiling between both actors and I also stashed a hypercardiod shotgun mic down below by the stick out of the shots and ran that cable around the sides and under mats to the back of the truck where I mixed the levels. I did not like the fact that the omni lavs picked up so much of the car rumble with dialogue but I did like the placement and pickup pattern of the hypercardiod because it was able to get everyone's dialogue somewhat evenly; I just had to be real quick on mixing their levels.

The other tough scene I did was with 3 characters talking beside a car with a steadicam and no additional coverage for this scene. Shadows and reflections were my biggest challenge since I could not get the mic in as close as I wanted on some lines, but was able to take advantage of perspective in this scene as one character runs away from the other two and yells back at them. This scene, I just boomed it entirely, although the neighbourhood noise was the one thing I had trouble controlling. Feel free to take a listen:

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