Sennheiser wireless hits with ‘run and gun’ maestro

Complex shoots and fast-changing camera setups mean that film and TV production sound crews need to be prepared to “run and gun” at a moment's notice. To meet that need, production sound mixer Coleman Metts has adopted Sennheiser RF transmitters and receivers, allowing instant private communication with his boom operators. His wireless communications setup uses SK 500 G2 bodypack microphone transmitters along with Evolution ew 300 IEM G2 personal monitor transmitters with EK 300 G2 bodypack receivers. His three-man production sound team includes a boom microphone man, plus a second boom, also known as a cable person.

Metts’ credits include the films "Bobby" and "Donnie Darko," along with network TV work for "Without a Trace," "Invasion" and "Bones."

Relying on cables runs the risk of getting them tangled with Stedicam operators or run over by the dolly and makes it difficult to adapt quickly to changes on the set, Metts said.

The Sennheiser RF setup proved to be a lifesaver on one recent shoot, he said, where both audio and picture were recorded to hard disk recorder systems. "The production used so much of my equipment that the only way I could talk back to my boom operators at all was with the Sennheiser wireless system. It was a very complex show, so that really saved me, as I had no more cables and it allowed me to stay in touch with my guys discreetly."

According to Metts, the Sennheiser system is robust enough to withstand the punishing production sound environment and relatively dense RF spectrum of Los Angeles.

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