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Studio Hours for 1 hour tv episode
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
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🎧 10 years
Studio Hours for 1 hour tv episode

HI All

i'm looking for some advice on how long it might take on average to tracklay/mix a 1 hour tv show.

we generally to TV advertising but have been offered a job mixing 13 x 1 hour episodes for TV. can anyone give me a ballpark on how long it might take to do an hour?
our composers will also be doing the music so there won't be much intense sound design, just spot fx and mixing.

any help would be appreciated

cheers
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What genre is the show??
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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i'd describe it as documentary. it's for the discovery/national geographic channel with a fire fighter theme.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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DCI? Don't bid more than 3 days, that includes deliverables.

I assume its a 44 minute show. Give yourself 1 day to do all the editorial, 1 day to mix, and 1 day for viewing/fixes with the producers, and complete all deliverables.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Thank you. that gives me a great idea of how this could work.

DCI? i'm not sure what DCI is? is that something i need to know about?

cheers
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony73 ➑️
Thank you. that gives me a great idea of how this could work.

DCI? i'm not sure what DCI is? is that something i need to know about?

cheers
Discovery Channel Inc.

Get, read and understand minutely all the deliverables requirements before you agree to anything.

Philip Perkins
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philper ➑️
Get, read and understand minutely all the deliverables requirements before you agree to anything.
...and your fee/budget schedule. When the paid-hours are up; you're done mixing!
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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DCI

Discovery Communications Inc.

You have been offered? Have they given you a budget yet?? They have a pretty standard rate that they offer. That's why I mentioned keeping it under 3 days.

Let them make you the budget offer, you might underbid yourself. DCI has a set rate in mind, if you dont work around it, they walk somewhere else.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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FYI....For a Discovery show, you'll need to have the Dolby LM100 box or the Media Meter plug in. It will take you a little while to get used to mixing with it, particularly given Discovery's pretty strict audio level requirements, so you'd do well to get one ahead of time to get familiar with it.

13 episodes of work will be enough to pay for it (the plug in is actually pretty cheap, the box not so much), but it is something you'll need to budget for.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor ➑️
FYI....For a Discovery show, you'll need to have the Dolby LM100 box or the Media Meter plug in. It will take you a little while to get used to mixing with it, particularly given Discovery's pretty strict audio level requirements, so you'd do well to get one ahead of time to get familiar with it.

13 episodes of work will be enough to pay for it (the plug in is actually pretty cheap, the box not so much), but it is something you'll need to budget for.

Just wanted to echo this. Theres really no way around it, you will have to buy or rent one of the two.

And make sure you understand all of the deliverables. Make templates so you can layback everything in one pass, or two at most. The first episode or two will be the longest and hardest if you're not used to dealing with these.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Fajita's Avatar
 
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I can get you the Global Technical Specs... PM me.
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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UnderTow's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➑️
DCI? Don't bid more than 3 days, that includes deliverables.
Three days for a 45 minute show? Wow. I wish I had that kind of luxury!

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Tracklay and mix 3 days for a 45 min tv show?
Blimey, thats not a lot...

How would you use all that time?
One and a half day to fix the DX and add some FX and BG's?
4 hrs mix, 4hrs approval and fixes, 2 hrs to create the deliverables and 2 hrs to check them?

I'm fortunate that I dont have to do that kind of hit and run work.
For me a quick turnaround for a 43 min drama series is Three weeks of editing and three days mix.
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
kdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG ➑️
For me a quick turnaround for a 43 min drama series is Three weeks of editing and three days mix.
Thank you Erik for injecting reality into the growing US mindset of deliver faster than possible for less money than it costs to turn on the lights.

Eventually we'll be delivering 1 hour shows in 30 minutes.... oh, right, we already have that... it's called YouTube. ;-)
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Dallas Taylor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think it's nuts to throw out hard numbers without knowing anything about the program.

DCI doesn't have blanket/set hours/days for shows, even though it's easy to assume that. If they did, it would be documented. I was in-house at Discovery for 3 years. I mixed everything from simple 44min reversions in 8 hrs to 44min originals in 5-7 days. Rarely did I ever feel like I was working so hard/fast that I couldn't think straight. It depends on the needs, budget, & profile of the particular show -and- your mindset as a mixer (or person doing the bidding).. If you, or most likely the company you work for, works people like slaves for 12 hrs with no lunch, that's the way they will bid... and that's the way you'll work.. forever.. and ever... (until you go to a better company).

Typically, when you hear statements like "Discovery only allows 2 days for this mix" it usually means: the production company underbid on the project to begin with & they need to save $$ on you. -OR- you work for an Audio/Post House that is trying to make as much profit as they can (understandably.. it's a business), so they work you like a dog. The more middle-management involved, the more likely it is that you'll work crazy hours for very little pay. That's why I work for myself now
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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I'm with ErikG; to get through 30min of dialog clean up takes some time.
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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I never had Discovery or any other network tell me how many "days" I had to do a job. They told me what the budget, deliverables list and deadline was and it was up to me to decide how many days I would allow myself to work on the show.

Philip Perkins
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdm ➑️
Thank you Erik for injecting reality into the growing US mindset of deliver faster than possible for less money than it costs to turn on the lights.

Eventually we'll be delivering 1 hour shows in 30 minutes.... oh, right, we already have that... it's called YouTube. ;-)

Oh...you mean "Train 48" here in Canada!
Shooting finished 1:30 pm, edited by 5, airs at 7?
StateMaster - Encyclopedia: Train 48

And that was soooo 2004.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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A post house I visited recently in Venice is doing an hour long show from Discovery that they said from start to finish has a 3 day turnaround per episode.

If it were a sitcom or something, I could see that as being insane. But really most narrated Discovery shows will require what - some mild FX cutting, and mixing down on VO/music/delivered elements. Doesn't seem too bad.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
If it were a sitcom or something, I could see that as being insane. But really most narrated Discovery shows will require what - some mild FX cutting, and mixing down on VO/music/delivered elements. Doesn't seem too bad.
HAHAHHAHAHAHA!!!! Have you ever been given a Discovery show from a video editor???

Do you know how much dialog editing, and denoising has to be done??

I had a run of shows about Las Vegas, interviews shot in casinos, and the convention center.

Discovery is not known for being high budget, so the production companies doing these hire local crews. Some of the production dialog on vacation spot shows are far worse than run and gun reality shows.

As I stated earlier, 1 day editorai, 1 day mix, 1 day deliverables.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Dallas,

You might have worked "in-house" thats fine, but I read the budget contracts at "outside" production companies.
The post budgets were always the same. The only flexibility offered by DCI were travel, and production costs.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➑️
HAHAHHAHAHAHA!!!! Have you ever been given a Discovery show from a video editor???

Do you know how much dialog editing, and denoising has to be done??

I had a run of shows about Las Vegas, interviews shot in casinos, and the convention center.

Discovery is not known for being high budget, so the production companies doing these hire local crews. Some of the production dialog on vacation spot shows are far worse than run and gun reality shows.

As I stated earlier, 1 day editorai, 1 day mix, 1 day deliverables.
I don't personally have experience with delivery from Discovery, so really no I wouldn't know just how bad it could be. I just sort of expect what is delivered from a video editor to be bad on the dialog side, though. My point was it's at least not something that requires a foley pass, massive SFX cutting and extensive production dialog editing in a 3 day turnaround. I believe the show that this post house in particular was receiving was mainly VO without much production dialog.

Though, to be honest, sitcoms that require all of those passes I've heard regularly have a 5 day turnaround. 1/2 hr though.

I'm sure it's different for everyone in the end.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
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Cool

A question for all you folks who do DCI and similar shows...

How many people are editing/cleaning production sound, recording/editing VOs, cutting Sound FX, etc.?
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Though, to be honest, sitcoms that require all of those passes I've heard regularly have a 5 day turnaround. 1/2 hr though.
Sitcoms??

4 hours editorial, 3 hours to mix, 1 hour with the laugh guy. 2 hours viewing with producers.
The production audio is usually very good, and the line mix gets used, so its just smooth the edits, add some sfx, and music comes
in sync on a Protools drive from the composer.


Quote:
How many people are editing/cleaning production sound, recording/editing VOs, cutting Sound FX, etc.?
Me.



.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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[QUOTE=TVPostSound;4812797]HAHAHHAHAHAHA!!!! Have you ever been given a Discovery show from a video editor???

Do you know how much dialog editing, and denoising has to be done??/QUOTE]

More aptly: Have you ever been given a show from a video editor???

(you can leave out 'Discovery' and still be mostly-correct in that posting)

-Jeff, one of the many "I do most of the work on shows" guys.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah ➑️
More aptly: Have you ever been given a show from a video editor???

-Jeff, one of the many "I do most of the work on shows" guys.
Same here. I get the show from the editors and deliver the final product. No one else does anything to the sound. That is typical here in the Netherlands.

I am not talking drama. I am talking about reality, documentaries or anything like that. Typically a 45 min show will be finished in two days. Sometimes one day. And trust me, the sound quality coming in and the quality of the editing is all over the place.

Drama might get three or 4 days. 1 or two days for dialogue edit. 1 or two days for atmos, fx and mix.

You guys in the US have it very easy compared to here judging by what I read. Don't get me wrong. Things here can get pretty insane. The budgets are always too tight. And then the post houses here wonder why they can't find anyone that can get the job done on time and sounding good. Then again, it means they keep coming back to me.

Alistair
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow ➑️
Same here. I get the show from the editors and deliver the final product. No one else does anything to the sound. That is typical here in the Netherlands.

I am not talking drama. I am talking about reality, documentaries or anything like that. Typically a 45 min show will be finished in two days. Sometimes one day. And trust me, the sound quality coming in and the quality of the editing is all over the place.

Drama might get three or 4 days. 1 or two days for dialogue edit. 1 or two days for atmos, fx and mix.

You guys in the US have it very easy compared to here judging by what I read. Don't get me wrong. Things here can get pretty insane. The budgets are always too tight. And then the post houses here wonder why they can't find anyone that can get the job done on time and sounding good. Then again, it means they keep coming back to me.

Alistair
I would wager that most of what is seen on TV in the USA is done exactly the same way. Yes, big shows have larger crews and larger budgets, but the huge galaxy of smaller shows that take up most of the airtime across the channels are much lower-budget projects and probably have a single audio person working on them (if the audio isn't being done by the picture editor).

Philip Perkins
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 10 years
People (producers, mainly) just need to keep things like that in mind: if you want it done quick, you might need to have more people working on it at once. If you want it done cheap... If you want it done well...

The usual story. Things are getting worse and there isn't much we can do about it. The choices are basically work at the low rates or... let someone else have it.

Most folks paying the bills just don't seem to be happy very often with what they get in short-amounts of time. And if they DO 'get it', good for them.

I always tend to say "sure it can always be done..." because that's true.

-Jeff
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