There is a Dutch saying, “regeren is vooruitzien”. Which basicly means, if you look and plan for the future, you are one step ahead.
Its inevitable we will be having some new rules when we go back on set. And, as a 1st AC I feel its my job to at least present the producer and dop some technical solutions.
I would love to start working with a headset system. But we don’t use it here. Any recommendations?
And, I think
we can provide some solutions when it comes to video.
Like Teradek, they have some interesting products.
But, im sure there is more, but I just don’t know about it.
So, help me out here, what can we do, to go back on set and stick to the rules.
I'm using my headset-set from Ear Tec for some time. It's the best "discovery" in a while.
The communication is super clear and open all the time both (all) ways. You can "kill" your mic by rotating it up so you will not be heard. You really create a super nice communication bubble in your department and you can whisper and still be heard.
I have a set of three but you can get more linked for sure. Usually it's DP, Focus and 2nd. This, in The Netherlands, goes well since the DP operated most of the (all the) time. If a grip (crane or dolly) move is crucial the 2nd hands it off to the grip.
You want to have this ;).
I've been looking at getting a set of EarTec UltraLite headsets. Full duplex with easy setup for up to 5 headsets, and slightly more complicated setup for up to 16 people. They run around £180 per headset so not cheap but similar to a decent walkie.
For distributed video, I think systems like the teradek serve could be invaluable. No more crowding round one 17" monitor when everyone can bring it up on their phone. Only going to the big monitor when critical.
Don't have any experience in the use of this kind of headsets, always worked with regular walkies. Why would you opt for the EarTec? What are the advantages? ...
I used the EarTec system on a short film a few weeks back. The main advantage for me was hands-free talking. Also the sound quality is far better than regular walkies. The only downside I think is battery life and range compared to a walkie system. But I should mention I didn't really test the range of the EarTec system.
Range is about 500m line of site. I've used them several streets away from each other and still worked great.
Battery I'd say is roughly the same as a cheaper walkie. You'd want a full set of extra batteries so you could swap at lunch.
Being able to whisper down the mic and still be heard clearly is invaluable.
There are other duplex brands but they're either more cumbersome or way more expensive as they're for military or construction purposes. A Swatcom multicom system runs a little cheaper but the headsets aren't as nice and you have a cable from the headset to a belt pack. The Eartecs are all in one.
Some time back I was working as a 2nd AC on set with Goof de Koning (DP) and Roeland Bentvelzen (1st AC) and we used the Eartec UltraLite Headsets.
It was pretty nice to be able to have an open mic conversation at times you couldn't really be able to get close to one another in person. If you don't want to talk, just turn the microphone to an upwards position to turn it off. I think you are able to connect 4 headsets simultaneously without any extra hub and 7 headsets with an extra hub, but that's what CineSupport advertises (we used 3 at once at the time).
CineSupport is a Dutch distributor for the Eartec headsets, worth to take a look at them!
Keep up the good work!