It is a huge cliché known among sound mixers that, prior to shooting, many directors will say at some point, "I really care about getting great sound." Then, as the show progresses, no effort whatsoever is extended to help the sound department fulfill that goal.
An analogy would be if the director told the cinematographer, "I really care about getting great looking shots," and then proceeded to choose a bland location and give the D.P. only five minutes to light each scene.
That's the kind of dilemma the sound crew is often up against. Getting really good location sound requires the cooperation of all departments. Just like the D.P. who, to do his best work, requires: 1) a strong design department; 2) a good grip and lighting crew and 3) sufficient time to bring the magic to life, the sound department needs similar cooperation and consideration.
Toward that end, a group of top sound mixers got together and created An Open Letter From Your Sound Department. This document is intended for producers, directors and any others concerned with a film's ultimate success. It carefully outlines what all departments can do to help improve location sound. It contains some big things and a lot of little things, but as we all know, a lot of little things add up.
It's a long letter ten pages. Whether it's worth your time to read it depends upon how important you consider sound to be. It also depends upon how large your ADR budget is. If you'd like to spend as little money as possible replacing bad location sound, then you owe it to your production to read and implement An Open Letter From Your Sound Department.
An Open Letter From Your Sound Department is presented here as a PDF document and is formatted for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to read "The Letter."
(To download, right click in Windows, or click and hold in Mac,
and choose "Save to Disk", "Save Target As...", "Save Link Target
As...", "Download Link Target", or other appropriate selection.)