As series producer of the second series of Channel 5’s Big Body Squad, I was keen to tackle some of the sound recording issues we had encountered in the first series.
Due to the nature of the series, most filming scenarios would not have allowed for a full crew, even if we had had the budget for one, which we didn’t, so our AP’s had to look after sound recording for us.
Filming inside ambulances and busy hospitals poses challenges for even the most experienced sound recordist, though, so to help the AP’s capture the best sound possible, I asked Dorothy to come in and give them a recording master class based on her years of extensive location experience. The time and money spent on this paid massive dividends on the ground, as the AP’s were far more confident about getting the right sound and working with the self shooting PD’s to achieve that, in the edit, where more material was useable, and in the dub, where less time had to be spent on the mix than in series 1.
I would always now want Dorothy in for a day to supplement any basic technical training AP’s or other members of the team may have had – even then, very experienced PD’s commented that they had learned a lot from their time with her.
Her massive experience, warm personality, skills as a trainer and deep understanding of her subject all come together to help all of the team understand the task ahead of them and give them the skills and confidence to tackle that task more successfully than they would have otherwise been able to.
IWC was formed in 2004, and we’ve been making a huge range of hit TV programmes out of our Glasgow and London offices ever since. We are driven by a passion for great ideas, vivid storytelling, and working with the best teams to deliver our vision to the screen.
Our better-known brands include Location, Location, Location (now in its 18th series), Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing, Big Body Squad, Lost Kingdoms, Brave New World and Making Faces.
I have known Dorothy for longer than we both would want to admit. We worked together as an ob doc team on many programmes for the BBC and she is especially good with nervous participants and sensitive situations.
Most recently Dorothy has trained two researchers for me to record sound for a long running BBC series following farmers lives in Scotland. In a one day course she gave them the skills and confidence to work in the field in very challenging situations and deliver broadcast quality sound.
Dorothy is a born teacher, she is a real people person and brings enthusiasm and professionalism in a abundance to any teaching or filming job she is doing.
Either as a trainer or as a recordist I have no compunction in unreservedly recommending Dorothy. She is a consummate professional who brings that elusive vital spark to anything she does.
Dorothy is one of the most accomplished sound recordists I have ever worked with. Her training methods are easy to understand and hugely helpful – when it comes to picking up the key elements of sound recording – from working with radio mics, to mastering the challenges of boom recording.
Essentially her method is a one stop shop for better production sound.’
Dorothy trained two of our researchers on location sound. We are currently filming for an observational documentary series where the teams are made up of self-shooting PD and researchers who also record sound. The researchers were completely new to using radio mics and 3 channel mixers, but after a day with Dorothy they felt confident operating the kit and more importantly were able to trouble-shoot. Prior to the training she was also able to advise on the best sound set up for our production.
Dorothy was very thorough and covered everything they needed to know and was very patient and was able to answer all questions thrown at her. She is a brilliant trainer and I have already recommended her to train teams who are planning to copy our set up.
Dorothy is a fantastic trainer and her sound course was incredibly useful. She created a really relaxed and friendly environment to learn in and tailored the contents of her course to suit the situation. I felt like I could ask any question, no matter how basic, and got lots of practical, hands-on experience. I would highly recommend her as a trainer.
As a shooter, I know that being responsible for clean sound whilst also operating a camera can prove to be a challenge, especially when you’re out on your own. It’s easy to think you’re setting up sound correctly, or to dismiss it as something you can work out at the time but this inevitably leads to problems.
When I met Dorothy, I’d been struggling with issues like peaking and muffled sound, coping with unexpected noises on location and difficulties setting up my audio channels.
When Dorothy told me she ran sound courses I was keen to give it a go and I certainly wasn’t sorry. Dorothy has a way of explaining things that makes sense! There were many eureka moments and it made me realise how useful a basic knowledge of sound can be – and how much time and pain it would have saved me if I’d done the course in my first year of shooting.
Whether you’re just starting out as a shooter or have been a PD for several years, I would absolutely recommend Dorothy’s sound course.
Dorothy is a brilliant trainer. After a single day’s training I had everything I needed to record location sound. She was very thorough and patiently explained everything. An AP is required to be a jack of all trades and Dorothy’s training has travelled with me from job to job. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
‘Dot is a great instructor. Well worth the spend.’