China in the Houston City Limits

A group of Chinese Sinopec dignitaries arrived in Houston as part of a tour to visit the Addax Petroleum which they purchased in 2009. I was contracted to video the event so other members could watch the proceedings.

It was an extremely tight shoot and I had to shoot the room from just outside the door.  There was concern about customs and protocol which precluded placing wireless microphones on the speakers.  The cramped quarters were a blessing in disguise when it came to audio capture. The speakers were not that far away and I added my Sennheiser ME66/K6 – Super-Cardioid Short Shotgun Condenser Microphone to cover the area as best it could.  There were issues with the volume falloff shooting from the back of the room.  Raising recording levels amplified the nearby background noise of teacups and occupants of the room. My position also placed me next to the LCD projector fan with it’s noisy cooling fan. Even boundary mics would have been problematic as the conference table barely afforded room for tea cups, water bottles and program binders. There were plastic water bottles on the table which also worked against me since they were the thin wall types that would snap, crackle and pop every time they were picked up.  Nonetheless I was very impressed with the new audio filtering features in Final Cut X. It dialed down the hum, and reduced background noise. The normalizing filter and loudness adjustments cleaned it up to be presentable.After the meeting we went downstairs and took a photo of the group and headed over to the Hilton for a view of the Houston skyline.Side Note:

During the walk through, the night before we were given a “cheat sheet” for a few useful phrases in Chinese…

“Good morning”
Zhao Shang Hao

“Thank you”
Xie Xie
(pronounced Shay Shay – the only one I could really master and most useful)

“Welcome”
Huan Ying

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