TORONTO, ON: Marc Pierce works in the commercial production industry in Toronto and normally assumes the role of 1st AC on the camera crew. GerrAudio linked up with Marc to get his feedback on a newly acquired Clear-Com DX340 wireless intercom system that he has been using on a few recent, high-profile commercial shoots. Here’s how it went:
GerrAudio: Prior to using the new DX340 system, how familiar were you with HME and Clear-Com?
Marc: I have been using various models of HME systems for years. They’re frequently deployed on shoots so that crew members and technicians can communicate with each other in quiet environments, and respond to directions being given by the Director of Photography. Lately, we have relied on our DX-system even more to allow for efficient communication while maintaining COVID-set safety protocols. Increased, constant communication between all team members is more prevalent than ever now that we have to maintain social distances from each other.
GerrAudio: Can you name some of the more recent projects you have used the DX340 on?
Marc: Recently, we have used our Clear-Com while shooting marketing commercials here in Toronto for Facebook, Planet Fitness, BMO Bank, TD Bank, Capital One Bank, McDonalds, Telus Mobility and Mark’s Work Warehouse… to name a few! We’re super busy these days which I am not complaining about.
GerrAudio: Why is it important to have 2-channels and full duplex capabilities on set?
Marc: In most cases, the DP (Director of Photography) uses three departments to achieve their vision: camera, grip and lighting. On all big sets, the primary focus for a DP is to get these three crews working efficiently in order to set the shoot up as quickly as possible. The DP needs to be able to openly speak to each of the three Department Heads, and usually, most actionable commands are made to the grip and lighting teams. The Camera team is the most important, but doesn’t communicate as regularly which is why having our own dedicated channel really helps us stay focused.
GerrAudio: Do you know why your team chose the DX340 specifically?
Marc: We love the fact that this is a ‘throw down’, 2-channel base station. We also weren’t interested in having beltpacs - the camera, grip and lighting teams prefer an all-in-one headset and everyone is familiar with HME/Clear-Com’s functionality and button configuration. On that note, I have used the DX300 in the past and the fact that you can link the new system with the older system to get additional full duplex users is pretty cool! Overall, the entire system is remarkably lightweight, compact and the casing seems to be made of a strong plastic.