How to Approach A Talent To Place a Lav Mic On Their Shirt Like A Pro

Mar 13, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

How to Approach A Talent To Place a Lav Mic On Their Shirt Like A Pro

Mar 13, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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If you are shooting a video with someone who is not accustomed to getting videos that part where you attach a Lavalier mic to their clothes can be kinda awkward. If you are wiring up an actor, there is a good chance they did this before and they maybe even done this enough time to help you. But with documentaries or interviews it may be your talent’s first time where someone approaches them to run a cable through their shirt.

If you do it wrong (and there is definitely a wrong way of doing this) not only you look like a PITA you may also take from your talents confidence which you want to be high for the actual interview.

The Location Crew came up with a short 10 minutes tutorial that explains how to do this right. Interestingly enough, an important part of the process is not even related to connecting a microphone, it is connected to gaining your talent’s trust and breaking that personal barrier to make them feel comfy.

There are some valuable tips in the video like:

  • Don’t use your index finger, use your thumb when pointing at the talent’s body
  • Keep a good eye contact (even though you may be looking for somewhere on your talent’s body to place the mic)
  • Be very clear about what you are going to do and why you are doing it
  • Don’t approach with your gear at first. All that gear can be pretty intimidating + when you go to fetch your gear, the talent has some time to freshen up.

The video is part of a larger Camera Audio Simplified course which you can get here for $150.

[Camera Audio Simplified online course – Class 10 via no film school]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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9 responses to “How to Approach A Talent To Place a Lav Mic On Their Shirt Like A Pro”

  1. Geoff Stickle Avatar
    Geoff Stickle

    I’m sorry but under no circumstances do I run a mic under a female’s top! It’s wrong on so many levels.

  2. countervail Avatar
    countervail

    If I were a woman and had just met a fellow explaining how he would put a microphone on me, I think I would find it uncomfortable for him to be touching me, especially putting his thumb between my breasts, during the explanation of how he will apply the mic. I know there is touching during the application, but is touch prior to that appropriate? Am I too sensitive on this point?

  3. Loontytick Avatar
    Loontytick

    I’ve seen TV cameramen mic interviewees with lavs many, many times. I’ve never seen them touch the people as much as this guy does.

    Generally, the norm seems to be showing how it works by pointing to spots on *your own body* (gets rid of the touching issue, let’s the person actually see where you’re pointing. Then, the step of threading the cord through is done by the person wearing the shirt while the camera person supervises. The pro does everything else (clipping it in place, plugging it in, putting the pack sound the back) but nobody’s hand goes up a stranger’s shirt.

  4. Touchman Avatar
    Touchman

    This is so wrong! If someone would have touched me like this – it was sexual harrasmant. Period. You might wanna watch yourself dude.

  5. Sound Advice Avatar
    Sound Advice

    In 35 years I’ve attached literally thousands of mics to talent. I never placed my hands under a woman’s or man’s blouse or shirt or touched or pointed at a person’s body. One goes up to talent and requests the talent run the cable behind their blouse or shirt in front or back as required, points to their own body areas as to attachment and then The A-2 clips the mic on the outer clothing article, under a scarf or tie or places it in the hair and plugs the mic into the transmitter. Done! No touching. No Strum and Drang, No creepy “eye contact” just a quick word with the talent and go away.
    This guy also has trouble communicating. His ten minute video tut could have been 3 minutes. He keeps repeating himself which might indicate that he’s pretty uncomfortable with all this in general.

  6. Jack Avatar
    Jack

    Really, is there no common sense left in the world anymore…

  7. yeps Avatar
    yeps

    What the hell? Creppy guy…
    I would never poke around with my thumb that way especialy not on her breast.

    I would explain the person ON MY SELF how the cable should be attached. Then I give it to them and let them put it under the shirt -> I always turn away or leave the room, depending on the person and the outfit. After that I ask them to make some adjustment, or ask if it would be okay if I would do it. At this point point I touch nothing but the Microphone.
    No creepy staring, no touch on the shoulder to make someone “comfortable”. Wtf.

  8. Spaceman Avatar
    Spaceman

    They should re-title this video ” How NOT to place a mic on talent…. EVER!”
    Seriously , this professional sound man mustn’t get many gigs . Creepy!

    1. Sound Advice Avatar
      Sound Advice

      @ Spaceman – You give him much to much credit calling him “professional.”