When it comes to Sound Mixers, pleasing production is two-fold. You have to look presentable and be fast, mobile and unobtrusive, says Grant A. Waters, a key player in sound for high-profile productions from reality programs like TNTs Life Flight and A&Es Duck Dynasty to film/documentary productions like The Vegas Story and more. Key to many of my most recent productions is a new acquisition from Petrol Bags, the Large Lightweight Audio Bag (PS617). Petrol Bags is part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.
Recently, Waters wrangled sound for a new program from the creators of Duck Dynasty called Pig Men. Like Duck Dynasty, this new reality series follows the lives of people who have a very different and interesting lifestyle, Waters explains. These men own property outside of Waco, Texas, and they hunt pigs.
Reality like this is always a challenge, he explains. We have to capture our shots fast in one take, and be ready for unusual events. We had a sequence recently with one of our characters who drives a limousine. There are no seats in the back, so normally, a sound mixer would put his gear in the trunk and mix from a follow car. But, if Id done that and something went wrong, well, Id get the blame.
However, with the new Petrol Large Lightweight Audio Bag, I got in the large trunk, lay down with the bag positioned next to me, extended my favorite K-Tek 10-foot boom pole and mixed from the perfect place, he says. I love the size and configuration of this new bag. The bigger zipper flap over a huge long pocket allows me to use it for anything. I can pack my mixers, wireless, cords, expendables and more, and still be able to reach them quickly.
Because it is not as wide as other bags, its good for my lower back, he adds. It sticks out less. My lower back doesnt hurt anymore, and I can work longer.
And, it might sound silly, but it always looks brand new. Ive done everything from chasing rattlesnakes to working with dogs! Ive also done a project called Life Flight where we get in helicopters and follow emergency medics. Ive had blood, dirt and a lot of other things on this bag, and it all washes off easily. It may sound foolish, but thats really important, especially when you are going after the higher profile jobs. If you show up with a battered and dirty set-up, producers will think twice about hiring you. Show up clean and trim and they feel you can handle the job.
The Large Lightweight Audio Bag is optimally designed for soundmen who use the Sound Devices 664 mixer, with or without the CL6 Controller. There is a convenient bottom opening for quick and easy access, full access for connector cables in both the front and rear compartments, and the bag can handle up to eight wireless receiver/transmitters.
Pig Men will begin airing late 2013. Petrol Bags newest audio bag has also recently helped Waters on the third season of Rattlesnake Republic, Dogs Best Friend for Oasis network and Life Flight, for TNT.