Renee Zellweger - Judy Garland, bizarre mic choice.

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
Anyone else seen the publicity shots for the Biopic, showing 'Judy Garland' singing into a ........... British Grampian DP4 (or DP-8 - can't see the switch) microphone? Never a good mic, these were omni, had absolutely no warmth whatsoever, no proximity effect and a 'classic' mic that never ever cut it. I have one here sitting in it's original box and it would be the last microphone you'd ever give to somebody who belted - a microgrill mesh, and very horrible on plosive breath. Surely, somebody should have never picked a British microphone from the 70s for somebody like Judy Garland - the US must have had far better mics - which of course they did with the Shure 565, which dated I think from 1959/60.

Once volumes on stage went up, omni were out - and Grampian fell out of favour and went bust!

How strange nobody thought to feature an American microphone from the right era!
Renee-Zellweger-Judy-Garland-Movie-First-Image-Tom-Lorenzo-Site.jpg
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Oh that one! It's the old broken mic the photographer keeps in his studio.

It's probable that the cable with the rare 2-flat pin connector is worth more than the mic.
 

dvdhawk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
@paulears Keep calm and ... something, something, something.

After a couple minutes of cyber sleuthing, it seems the visual reference they were trying to recreate is from a 1964 performance in London. At a glance, (IF any of these related photos are accurate), I'd say the microphone actually used in 1964 doesn't quite match the DP4 in the modern-day promo photo.

All in all, I'd give the props department high marks for using a mic that is plausible at the very least, (a British mic available throughout the 60s and 70s). But most importantly, it looks cool on camera without being obtrusive or distracting to anyone other than a few of us who would even bother to look at the mic. Now let's just hope the lip sync is flawless and that there aren't any continuity errors.

In any case, "suspension of disbelief" at some level is going to be essential to your enjoyment of this film and virtually any other.
 

dvdhawk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
That sounds like an excellent idea, but you might first edit this thread to hide your contempt for it. They'll google it to do some research and find you listing all of its 'very horrible' traits.
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
I should invent a new terminology for the things.

Wonderful open sound - just like singing into a mic from three feet away sounds on any other mic

Tailored Frequency Response - ideal for sticking through ancient column speakers using 6" elliptical speakers that don't like bass.

Custom designed connector - so don't get any ideas about ever being able to find one if you lose the cable.

Anti-too loud design - prevents you turning the volume up loud enough to damage the 6" elliptical speakers (see above), and of course also prevents anyone more than a few rows back hearing you.

Anti-Table roll-off device - a genuine bit of good design that stops them rolling off a flat surface! The only positive point the things had!
 

DonnyThompson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Location
Akron/Cleveland, OH
I've done the same thing, Paul...
Watching a period piece movie, scenes set in a recording studio, or on a stage, and noticing things that nobody else would ever pick up on - or care about. I can't remember the movie now, but it was set in the early 70's, and in one scene a singer was in a studio, and the camera did a shot from the control room, showing an SSL G Series console.
Me: "That's not right!"
Alicia: "What's not right?"
Me: "This movie is set in the early 70's and that's an SSL console - and it's an E-Series!!! C'mon!! That console didn't come out for another 9 years!!!!..."
Alicia: "Honey it's just a movie."
Me: "But...but...
Alicia: "Calm down, honey".
Me: "I can't! They're wrong! They're lying! THEY'RE LIARS!!!"
Alicia: "Okay honey, well you should let them know, then. Write them one of your famous grumpy old curmudgeon emails. I'm sure they'll see the error of their ways and re-shoot that entire scene."
Me: "Damned straight! I'm gonna write them right now!" ( Being totally serious)
Alicia: "Okay honey, Good luck with that."

It simply can't he helped.
It's one of the many curses to our craft. ;)
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
In the UK we call this anorak behaviour.

One of my favourite 1970s TV programmes - Yes Minister, and Yes Prime Minister we one of the BBCs best programmes - still repeated every time our Government messes up, and commended by our old Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as amazingly true to life. In one, the MPO was in the BBC radio studio being interviewed - and the engineer was using - a 1960s lighting control - covered in lovely old knobs.
 

dvdhawk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
I've done the same thing, Paul...
Watching a period piece movie, scenes set in a recording studio, or on a stage, and noticing things that nobody else would ever pick up on - or care about. I can't remember the movie now, but it was set in the early 70's, and in one scene a singer was in a studio, and the camera did a shot from the control room, showing an SSL G Series console.
Me: "That's not right!"
Alicia: "What's not right?"
Me: "This movie is set in the early 70's and that's an SSL console - and it's an E-Series!!! C'mon!! That console didn't come out for another 9 years!!!!..."
Alicia: "Honey it's just a movie."
Me: "But...but...
Alicia: "Calm down, honey".
Me: "I can't! They're wrong! They're lying! THEY'RE LIARS!!!"
Alicia: "Okay honey, well you should let them know, then. Write them one of your famous grumpy old curmudgeon emails. I'm sure they'll see the error of their ways and re-shoot that entire scene."
Me: "Damned straight! I'm gonna write them right now!" ( Being totally serious)
Alicia: "Okay honey, Good luck with that."

It simply can't he helped.
It's one of the many curses to our craft. ;)

Nerd world problems.

"Honey, for all I know Ray Charles DID drive himself to the studio in a Tesla Roadster, but I can GUARANTEE you he did NOT sit down at an SSL E-Series when he got there in 1972!!"
 

jon wayre

Registered
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Location
London
Anyone else seen the publicity shots for the Biopic, showing 'Judy Garland' singing into a ........... British Grampian DP4 (or DP-8 - can't see the switch) microphone? Never a good mic, these were omni, had absolutely no warmth whatsoever, no proximity effect and a 'classic' mic that never ever cut it. I have one here sitting in it's original box and it would be the last microphone you'd ever give to somebody who belted - a microgrill mesh, and very horrible on plosive breath. Surely, somebody should have never picked a British microphone from the 70s for somebody like Judy Garland - the US must have had far better mics - which of course they did with the Shure 565, which dated I think from 1959/60.

Once volumes on stage went up, omni were out - and Grampian fell out of favour and went bust!

How strange nobody thought to feature an American microphone from the right era!
View attachment 18111



Hello all, just to say " THIS IS NOT MY FAULT " I worked on this film and was originally supplied reference shots of Judy in which she was using a Electro Voice 635A. I supplied one of these for the shoot, along with a Shure Unidyne 545 that was also used in a different picture. I was then told that the scene was supposed to be in London in a night club and it was as if they were just using the clubs internal P.A system . I arrived at Pinewood studios with a box full of period UK stage mics that I had managed to cobble together the day before and the director picked out the Grampian as he liked the look. What a lot of people don't understand about making a film is that sometimes you spend weeks searching for correct pieces of vintage equipment and on the day of filming they might not fit into the directors vision of the scene and so they will grab say headphones that you have for an Airline pilot in a different scene and use those as studio headphones simply because he likes the way they look. Then I get people coming up to me and saying " I saw that film you did the other day, those headphones were wrong and they wouldn't have used one of those tape recorders in 1958 " .
 

jon wayre

Registered
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Location
London
@paulears Keep calm and ... something, something, something.

After a couple minutes of cyber sleuthing, it seems the visual reference they were trying to recreate is from a 1964 performance in London. At a glance, (IF any of these related photos are accurate), I'd say the microphone actually used in 1964 doesn't quite match the DP4 in the modern-day promo photo.

All in all, I'd give the props department high marks for using a mic that is plausible at the very least, (a British mic available throughout the 60s and 70s). But most importantly, it looks cool on camera without being obtrusive or distracting to anyone other than a few of us who would even bother to look at the mic. Now let's just hope the lip sync is flawless and that there aren't any continuity errors.

In any case, "suspension of disbelief" at some level is going to be essential to your enjoyment of this film and virtually any other.



Hello all, just to say " THIS IS NOT MY FAULT " I worked on this film and was originally supplied reference shots of Judy in which she was using a Electro Voice 635A. I supplied one of these for the shoot, along with a Shure Unidyne 545 that was also used in a different picture. I was then told that the scene was supposed to be in London in a night club and it was as if they were just using the clubs internal P.A system . I arrived at Pinewood studios with a box full of period UK stage mics that I had managed to cobble together the day before and the director picked out the Grampian as he liked the look. What a lot of people don't understand about making a film is that sometimes you spend weeks searching for correct pieces of vintage equipment and on the day of filming they might not fit into the directors vision of the scene and so they will grab say headphones that you have for an Airline pilot in a different scene and use those as studio headphones simply because he likes the way they look. Then I get people coming up to me and saying " I saw that film you did the other day, those headphones were wrong and they wouldn't have used one of those tape recorders in 1958 " .
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
Ha! Great - I've worked with a few Directors like that. With all those mics, he liked the look of the Grampian! Actually my real pet hate in movies is where the actors use radios. Magic radios that let the Goodies hear the baddies, yet the baddies don't hear the goodies, and even more magical, when somebody is using a radio to tell everyone they only have 30 seconds left before they die, the goody interrupts him. (Bruce willis at the Nakatomi tower when his radio also seems to talk to the police, but the police can't hear the baddies?????)

Anyway - nice to read the post and see the trials and tribulations of movie realism vs art.
 
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