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« Update On The Condition Of Brenna's Hair (and yes - the robe) | Main | A Short List of Mildly Annoying Moments When Living in a Foreign Country (Poland) »

I'm a Professional Sound Man, Don't Try This at Home

Wielickza Salt Mine photo from websiteYesterday we went to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It's astonishing. We walked down 400 wooden steps just to start the tour of this vast underground mine that began operating 700 years ago, and 400 more steps during the tour. The whole thing is a little like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in a salt mine -- an awesome combination of history and camp. Maybe the cast-offs from Madame Tussauds or Macy's discarded mannequins were given new lives as salt mine workers with the actual tools used 500 years ago. The reliefs, chandeliers, and statues, all carved out of salt by miners, were beautiful, and inspiring.Pirates of the Caribbean photo by Joe Penniston

Alas, I'm not here to tell you about the museum tour. If you're interested you can get a far more accurate picture from Wielickza's own website. I'm here to tell you about the video segment we tried to shoot at the museum.

We are traveling Europe with enough electronic gear to fill a Yugo so that we can document this journey of ours, and I carry half of it on my back most days. After finishing the two hour long mine tour we decided our guide was so funny and charming that we asked her to shoot a little interview segment with us, telling us some facts about the mine. This was a sort-of-big-deal to us, because it was the first time we'd ever done this, and the first time Brenna ever played the role of interviewer. Brenna and Kate, the guide, were wonderful. I got several minutes of Kate telling Brenna about the history of the mine and that her father was a miner for 25 years. I was picturing how I was going to inter cut the interview with the mine tour footage I'd just shot. It was going to be a Vimeo tour de force. You'll never get to hear it though, because the mic on my video camera wasn't plugged in all the way. Yeah, that's right, I've been a sound guy for 22 years, have three Emmy nominations to my credit, and of course I screwed up the audio. I couldn't have had the video settings fouled up or have terrible lighting -- I had to screw up the sound. That's a confidence booster for you.

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Reader Comments (10)

Well Bob, with so many years of doing a great job with sound I guess you were due a screw up sooner or later but what a bummer. Looking forward to seeing you.


Aug 14, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterMOM

Dude! ...
Maybe it was time for this sabbatical after all! :-)
That is the kind of mistake I'm supposed to make .. not you!

Good to know other's suffer the same "You've got to be kidding me!" experiences that I do.

Great story though .. will be fun to dub (pretty much) anything we want to the video later!


Aug 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterYo Lama

It's a sign. You haven't been away from work long enough and your brain was rebelling. Selfishly, I want you to try again at your next stop. I enjoy this blog so much; I want to see more.

Aug 14, 2009 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterLima

I conducted video interviews with a lavolier mic on the subject. I wore headphones and could hear beautifully. Unfortunately, what went onto the tape was the mic on the camera. Don't know how that happened. Heard a story that Jessie Jackson told a crew interviewing him that a little red light on the sound box should be on. They didn't believe him. He graciously came back and re-did the interview.

Aug 14, 2009 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

You are an idiot

Aug 15, 2009 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered Commenternoho1960

@ everyone EXCEPT noho1960 -- Thanks for the supportive understanding of what a painful experience this was for me.

@ noho1960 -- I know you are, but what am I?


Aug 15, 2009 at 12:26 AM | Registered CommenterBob Redpath

Sometimes, if you want to know you just gotta be there!

Aug 15, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Hey Bob,
You can just loop it in post!

Aug 19, 2009 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterRiz


Aug 25, 2009 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDarleen

BLESS YOUR HEART, BOB!!! I Love You anyway, and you will never make that mistake again! And hey .. at least it did not cost anyone millions of dollars. : )

Sep 9, 2009 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

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