Shooting A Small Short With No Boom

I was on set Saturday morning shooting a short film for Charlie Harmony with one big challenge, no boom. 

So, I took care of production sound along with help from Jazmin Ortiz. We didn't have any official permits, it was really a quick shoot with concise and fast shots and few takes. Because of this, our crew was very minimal, and I decided not to go with the conventional boom mic. I didn't want to attract anymore attention that we may possibly get with our already large camera and tripod. 

Ok, if I didn't have a boom, then what did I use? You don't see any microphones in the pictures, no mixers or wireless packs! What the heck man?! 

I used a modified system that I use for my work at the radio station. I have a lavalier microphone called the Rode SmartLAV+ that connects directly to your phone.  

This is the Rode SmartLAV+

This is the Rode SmartLAV+

But wait! There's a clip and windscreen there, how did you hide it?! The Lavs were mounted on the skin under the actors' clothes. 

I get it, you still have more questions. How did I mount it on the skin and avoid minimal clothes noise? 

Rode has this nifty little mounting system called the invisLav. It's a small piece of skin safe silicon with two holes for a Lav and a back up Lav. The invisLav comes with some pre-cut skin safe tape, but I ran through them all on the last shoot I was on. 

To mount the invisLav onto the skin I went out and bought some double sided toupee tape. If you've never been bald and had to wear a toupee, this tape is a skin safe tape that is meant to keep a wig from falling off the wearer's head. It also doubles as the perfect mounting tape for your actors. It may feel flimsy at first, but it doesn't act like regular tape, once it touches skin, that mount is going no where. 

And finally the app that used to record. While I usually use Rode's "Reporter" app for work, and it works just fine, I was locked at only 16-bit WAV files. So for this shoot, I used Shure's "Motiv" recording app. It has a much cleaner interface as well as the ability to record 48kHz at 24-bit. 

That's it! I hope you learned something! 

If you have questions you can message me at anyone of my social media links!