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How do I shoot a Walky Talky scene?


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Im sure there are many ways to do this... I guess its preference. How would you guys and gals shoot a walky talky scene?

 

Example, If only the main character is seen talking. The person he is talking to is never shown on camera. Would you record a high quality voiceover separately from the unseen person and edit the audio in post for the effect? Or would you actually have them talk through it during the scene?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

(Note) Im shooting this soon.

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  • Sustaining Member

And long as the actors don't overlap the dialogue, there's no reason to not record the real sound coming out of the walkie -- you can always replace it later in post for more control in the mix, just be sure to record the voice directly as well, not through a speaker (either at the same time on a separate mic and track if the mixer can do that or as a wild track later.)

 

But you can also do it like how most phone call scenes are shot, just have someone read the off-camera lines for the actor and then record the reverse side of the conversation later.

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I sometimes need some type of confirmation of how professionals do it so I don't have a problem later. I'll take this advice and try to do both and learn from the experience (never know when I'll have to do it again). I have no idea how it would come out so I thought it was best to ask.

thanks for the tip.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Sustaining Member

As a general rule, nothing picked up by a microphone from a loudspeaker is actually going to sound much like the "real world" version when heard through the cinema or TV sound system.

As David says, you generally get the best results by making a "clean" recording of the person speaking with a high quality boom or body-worn microphone, and simultaneously making an "ambient" recording of the same audio coming out of the loudspeaker, capturing the room reverberation and so on.
Mixing those together in Post will then give an on-screen rendition which sounds much more convincing.

 

The same principle applies with rock concerts and similar situations. An audio feed from an on-camera microphone mixed with "clean" feed from the mixing desk gives pretty convincing results; neither signal on its own sounds any good.

 

I can't emphasize enough the importance of good sound in your productions. Good sound is often what makes all the difference between an amateurish production, and one that looks like it might have been done by professionals using amateur equipment.

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