In this Mantis Discussion, Janna R Lopez Räven came by to talk about Wiring Talent with Wardrobe. This can be a very delicate subject for some, because it can involve having to really stick up for your department. Janna and I had quite a bit to say about the wardrobe department. It can be a harmonious relationship built on trust, or it can be a bitter war or frustration when the two departments don’t work together the way they should. Lets go over a few things you should when wardrobe is being difficult that may help make the wiring process go easier and more understood.
When Wiring Talent the First Time
On day one of a big show, the last thing you need is to being wiring the talent and have an angry wardrobe worker come over and ask why we didn’t wait for them. We need to get something straight. It is our job to wire the talent. As much as we appreciate help from wardrobe, it is not their job to even be there, so if one comes up all upset, it is best to inform them that if they want to be present they need to show up when talent is brought to us. We will not wait and put our own department on ice.
We Have to Touch The Talent
It sounds rather explained, but in order to put a wire on an actor, we have to touch them. This means the wardrobe can adjust everything appropriately after we have the mics on the talent. “Last Looks” is always last!
It is our job as the sound representative wiring to ensure the microphone is placed in the right spot. Our goal is to do this without being too crazy, leaving the wardrobe looking messy. When placing mics on talent, put it on well, and make them look just as they stood BEFORE the wiring process. Wardrobe can get upset with you if you are making a mess of their work.
However, it is not cool when wardrobe makes remarks during the wiring process. “You better not mess my clothing up” is very unprofessional and happens way to many times. It is not our intention of messing anything up. It is part of the process, in which afterwards, they can go back to wardrobe and be “tidied up”. Respect the process.
It is NOT Ok to Touch Our Mics
If you place a microphone on talent, only to have it moved by a wardrobe personnel, you will feel rage. Utter rage. Do your best to stay calm and talk to the department head to see their approach. The goal is to speak to wardrobe calmly and amicably to inform them we are the ones that address microphone issues, including the ones on talent. They are not educated in the equipment. I have had wardrobe pull mics off actors because they thought they would save us time, or because they felt it was in a bad place, only to pull the head off the mic because they were not taught how to handle lavaliers properly. These microphones are expensive and don’t need to be ripped off a body.