A collection of heartfelt tributes from the men & women of the motion picture industry,

whose respect and admiration make our task of turning their little shadow puppet shows

into "talkies" a joy and a privledge.

This one courtesy UK Production Sound Mixer, Malcolm Davies, A.m.p.s.

A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a guy below.

He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The guy below replied, "You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees North latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees West longitude."

"You must be a Production Sound Mixer." said the balloonist.

"I am." replied the guy, "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is, I am still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help so far."

The guy below responded, "Then you must be a Producer.

"I am," replied the balloonist, "But how did you know?"

"Well," said the chap, "You don't know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault!"

Fade In.

Three peroxide-enhanced starlets are standing outside a Hollywood soundstage discussing their career prospects.

BAMBI: You know what? I'm going to fuck the Director and get a part in this picture.

CANDI: You don't know anything. I'm going to fuck the Producer and get parts in a lot of movies.

SANDI: You're both crazy. I'm gonna fuck the Soundman.

BAMBI & CANDI: (together in shock & horror) The SOUNDMAN?!?

SANDI: Sure. Everybody says, "FUCK SOUND!"

Fade to Black.

The Actor, Michael Caine (nee .Maurice Micklewhite), in his fabulous opus Michael Caine: Acting In Film discusses his technique for successfully standing in front of a camera and yapping someone elses's words for millions of dollars. In this memoir du cinema frommage, Mr. Caine is very careful to kiss the ass of just about everyone on the crew...

" Always tell everyone your first name...if you insist on being called Mr., Miss, or Ms., you might find hammers and lamps falling off the catwalk perilously close to your head."

" And always... be nice to the cameraman because he can make or break you. And of course when I say "be nice" I mean be cordial, say good morning nicely; I'm not advising you to bribe him or throw your clothes off and hurl yourself at him. But if you want to look really handsome or beautiful, good manners do help."

" I did a double take when I worked on a picture in Los Angeles and there was an electrician who looked just like Julie Christie. It was really strange to see this beautiful girl walking by, carrying a lamp, with great big muscles in her arms. Needless to say, she did a marvelous job."

" The first port of call is make-up and hairdressing - a department where everyone is trained to make you as happy and relaxed as possible. These guys are experts, so unless you're related to Max Factor it's best to let them get on with it."

" The electrician will scramble up on the catwalks to set the light so that there's no glint in your eye; you've got 70 or 80 people concentrating on getting your best face on that screen and helping you say the line right."

...everyone except the Sound Mixer:

" In the movies, (voice) projection isn't usually required. (Pay no attention to the sound technician; he always has a problem.)"

And Mr. Caine is very concerned about professionalism except when:

" I had to come up behind a guy and whisper, 'You're gonna die,' and then shoot him in the back. I forgot to say the line and fired the shot. The sound technician had full volume on his earphones, and the sound of the shot nearly burst his eardrums. He went away and took a lot of aspirin."

What a witty bon mot! Unfortunately he neglected to include the wacky story of how he might have nearly blinded the cameraman, or scarred the face of his once-beautiful co-star, or bankrupted the production company with his big hotel bills and flat, featureless performance...equally witty anecdotes of his madcap career-ending hijinks! What a card!

Acting in Film by Michael Caine ©1990 Applause Theatre Book Publishers All rights reserved. Selections used with derision.

Q: How do you tell how tall a Sound Mixer is?

A: I don't know. I ain't never seen one standing up.

ITEM: The International TeleVision Association (ITVA) Golden Reel Award has no category for Production Sound (only post sound.) The reason given is that none of these experienced professionals could come up with any criteria for judging.

I guess they only know it when they DON"T hear it.

a little love from the late lamented




Originally printed in FilmCrew Magazine, issue #2 1994. Reprinted with permission.

 Crew Position

  What They Do

  What They REALLY Do

What They WANT To Do


  Organize the whole show

  Sign checks & fire people


 Sound Mixer

 In charge of recording sound

 Hang out where the key light is going to be

 Shut the whole world the @#&$ up!

 Boom Operator

 Place mic via boom pole in optimal position

 Knock over grip stands & make shadows

 Finish reading the Times

Most of the chart is spot-on accurate (see Producer)

Whereas the portion regarding The Sound Dept....

for the full chart, Click Here: Well, What I Really Want to Do... by Dave Araki, Grip

or see Filmcrew .#2 March/April 1994

Here's One Only The Grip Dept. Could Love

Courtesy MD / DC area Grip / Electric Donny Aros

Q: Why do Sound Mixers only count to 2 ? (As in, "Test - 1 - 2 - Test - 1- 2")

A: Because you lift on "3"

Do you lift on "3," or is it, "3," and then lift?

Got a joke or other item of Sound Disrespect for NO RESPECT ALOUD?

Email: Respect@winstonsound.com