Location sound work always presents unique challenges, but for the crew tasked with capturing the sights and sounds of many of our planet’s most beautiful—and remote—fishing destinations, the job becomes even more demanding.
Such is the case for George Clark, Executive Producer of HOOKED on the Fly, a new sport fishing program that will air on the Sportsman Channel come December 29th. The show’s production crew routinely encounters extreme weather conditions that pose serious threats to their electronic equipment, but when it comes to capturing audio, their wireless microphone systems from Lectrosonics deliver in a big way.
Clark, who initially started his career as a Ph.D. biological scientist and went on to work at many of the world’s most revered research institutes such as the Smithsonian Institution, received his MFA in film from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and has been entrenched in the entertainment business ever since.
He has worked extensively in both television and film and started his career with the made-for-television movie Stolen Innocence, on CBS. Similarly, the police drama anthology FBI: The Untold Stories for ABC is another of his many successes.
For HOOKED on the Fly, Clark directs, writes, edits, and even mans the camera in addition to his work as location sound engineer.
Hosted by Christopher P. Travis, who is also the show’s Co-Executive Producer, HOOKED on the Fly’s mission is to experience nature, adventure, and promote conservation as seen through the lens of fly-fishing.
“We capture the soul, art, science, and magic of fly-fishing,” says Clark. “This is the most challenging type of work a filmmaker is likely to encounter. The show takes viewers to many of the most beautiful places on Earth, where we meet people involved in the conservation of these wonderful resources.
“Viewers learn all about the nature of the habitat and the people involved—not only in the fishing, but also in the protection of these places. The very nature of this work places several daunting demands of the equipment we use.”
Clark’s current Lectrosonics equipment arsenal includes two MM400 water resistant, Digital Hybrid Wireless® miniature transmitters and two UCR100 beltpack receivers.
The 4-channel system is routinely used for two channels of background (or ambient) sounds, a microphone for host Chris Travis, plus another microphone for either a guide, interviewee, or personality fisherman.
“We’re planning on purchasing another MM400 and UCR100,” reports Clark, “as the fifth channel will enable us to accommodate a guide, guest, and host simultaneously.”
When queried about those features and characteristics of his Lectrosonics equipment that made it particularly well suited for this project, Clark emphasized Lectrosonics’ robust build quality, exceptional range, and sound quality.
“As a show about fishing,” explained Clark, “we’re around water all the time—and not just the rivers or lakes where the fish are. We routinely encounter rain and other weather conditions that typically push electronics to their limits.
“We’ve found the compact form factor and water resistant design of the MM400’s to be exceptional. Both the transmitters and the receivers are solidly built and the range of the systems is terrific.”
“We film all over the world in many challenging climates and locales,” Clark continued. “Not once have we encountered a single issue—even during extreme rain conditions. It’s quite common for us to be filming on a long lens with multiple cameras and I’ve found the range of the Lectrosonics wireless system to be exceptional.”
The show’s premiere episode, The Last Wild River in California, which takes place along the Oregon – California border in January, is one such example of the challenging conditions Clark puts his gear through. Clark reports that the crew filmed in 15-20 degree weather where it rained for ten straight days, along with sleet and snow.
“We had one camera a good 200-300 yards from the subject and another closer in,” notes Clark. “The rain was like a steady sheet of water and through it all; we had perfect audio without any failures.”
In addition to his equipment’s stellar performance attributes, Clark was also quick to point out that he considers Lectrosonics’ customer/technical support services to be first class.
“Lectrosonics is extremely responsive to their customers,” says Clark. “They’ve been very helpful with frequency coordination and have provided excellent advice regarding backup equipment.
“I can honestly say that if a prospective customer wants the most reliable, lightweight, and compact system they can count on for serious production, I can’t think of any other wireless equipment that comes close to Lectrosonics. This equipment offers solid performance and is quite cost effective. For me, that spells value.”
HOOKED on the Fly