"We've been filming documentaries for sixteen years. For ten of those years, we've paid a great deal of attention to sound. Silent films are great, but when you hear people talking, the wind blowing, clothes rustling or seagulls squawking, they become much more interesting.
Many people ask us, "How do you record the sound? It's so clear and detailed."
"We use different recording sources," we reply. We have a wearable clip-on wireless microphone, a shotgun interview microphone, and a mobile recorder. Allow me to talk about the latter in more detail.
Two years ago, we held in our hands a small (smaller than a smartphone!) Olympus LS-P4 recorder. Honestly, I was a little skeptical in the beginning. The size doesn't really inspire confidence, but after my first product trials, I've always ended up having it in my pocket when out in the field.
Its small size means you can leave the recorder anywhere (from our experience filming weddings):
- in the wedding arch to record the vows of the newlyweds
- on the bride's make-up table in the morning when they're doing her make-up (the bride discusses the most interesting things with the stylist, of course)
- in the groom's pocket
We're especially pleased with the integrated use of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera together with the recorder as a shotgun microphone. You can record sound and back it up for safety or connect directly to the camera. In bad weather, a wind shield helps (we call it a dead cat!)
Talking about the weather, as wedding videographers we are facing all different kinds of conditions when filming – one of the circumstances you cannot plan right? – and the constantly changing lighting conditions. No problem for the E-M1 Mark II with the so-called log shooting. No more loss of details in shadows or highlight blowouts and thus, no more losing capturing great spontaneous scenes which are always popping up at wedding ceremonies. We are also relying on the OM-D system thanks to the compact size equaling limited weight. We are shooting many hours daily and at the end of the day, or better said, end of the night (we Russians love to celebrate bigtime!), we are always happy not having to carry with us bulky and heavy equipment.
We often shoot love stories—short films with a script based on the newlyweds' real story. There is nearly always dialogue in these films. Since it's almost impossible to record the lines cleanly during the live take, we dub all the lines later. We'd be happy to do this in the studio, but budgets and time are generally limited, so we go into the dressing room where we find the best acoustics, place the LS-P4 on a tripod, and record our protagonists! No one would guess that it wasn't recorded in a studio.
At a recent wedding in Georgia, a large national choir unexpectedly (for us) came out to sing at the ceremony! We couldn't stand in one place and just record the choir. We needed to shoot it from different angles, but the singers also needed to be clearly heard on the film, so the large shotgun mic wouldn't work in this case. I took the LS-P4 from my pocket, put it on the grass right in front of the choir, and voilà.
All in all, when shooting weddings, which requires speed, mobility, aesthetics (it should be noted that the sound recorder is also very stylish), and high-quality sound, the perfect match of the OM-D camera with the LS-P4 is the perfect choice! I really like being able moving around freely, concentrating only on the very special moments to capture, the ceremony speeches, the endless emotion atmosphere, the happy voices of friends and relatives, with the confidence that I can rely on my equipment.
Author, Photographer & Videographer: Roman Khlustov