Erin Clarke

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Nothing more exciting than the film work I did in Costa Rica has happened since I last posted, though I did do post-production preparations (video transfer, audio syncing, and data consolidation) over the following few months.

Since then I
– have been working The Day Job™
– visited my family in Hawai’i last March, accompanied by a good friend
– brought home two new feline friends, Murphy in March, and Mickey in September
– participated in the 2011 World-Changing Writing Workshop
– have been learning to play ice hockey with my sister
– sent my car to the scrap yard
– have applied for various jobs
– halted my caffeine intake (none since 22 September) and re-established more healthful eating habits
– continue to struggle with my creative work, whether making time for it, wrestling with some aspect of the work itself, or finding ways to fund its development and production

It is every independent artist’s juggling act, at least in the early years of establishing oneself, to single-handedly manage the time and finances required not only to produce good work, but to send it out into the world, while also keeping oneself housed, clothed and fed. In this blogging gap I have also been doing core reflective work, identifying my values and articulating a mission statement for myself and my art, which is necessary to guide the decisions I make.

Toward the end of summer, I entered into a mutually supportive arrangement with a good friend (the same good friend who came to Hawai’i) in which we have weekly check-ins (on the phone at first, now by video chat) to discuss our goals, plans and related progress or challenges. I’m enormously grateful for this process because, as I have come to understand more deeply through it, I am easily distracted from my truer path in certain consistent ways, which has made my independent artist juggling act that much harder to perform. Having a friendly accountability partner helps me re-focus before I get too far off track, and choose more consciously which items to keep in motion and what to let go.


It’s hard to believe I’ve been here at Casa Elsa (between Quepos and Manuel Antonio) a week already. Along with the other crew, I arrived last Monday amid heavy rain that drenched the region for five days, causing sink holes, mud- and land-slides, road and bridge wash-outs, and which forced many central valley and Pacific coast residents out of their homes. Fortunately, we remained unharmed and did what could be done indoors to prepare. I didn’t get much beyond test recordings, however, as the weather made it difficult to gather any environmental sound other than that of heavy rain fall (and the rushing water of run-off). Highlights of the week were the mama three-toed sloth, baby clinging underside, and the various squirrel and capuchin monkeys that come to visit.

When the sun finally prevailed yesterday, we ventured out to check some other locations, a couple of which were quite spectacular. I spent today labeling and packing all the audio gear, which is housed in our lesser-humidity zone (AKA “the bodega”) along with other important equipment (to protect it from the mold that has appeared on various articles of clothing and baggage). In addition to location sound I’m also managing both audio and visual media, so I prepared various external hard drives and made copious notes about what’s going where and how it will be organized and named.

The cast arrived this evening and is settling in. I’m going over the script making notes about extra audio needed for each scene (ambient, foley). Soon we’ll all be caught up in a whirlwind shooting schedule.


In just over two days I’ll be boarding a plane for Costa Rica. I’ve checked off many an item on my To Do list, but a few things have been added and there’s still more to get done. Among other things, I tested the boom kit rented from Viztek and the Roland R-44 portable field recorder. On Tuesday I bought a new battery and RAM for my laptop. Today I also picked myself up a new 8GB USB flash drive and 4GB SD card for my still camera (a Pentax K10D that I’m bringing to shoot production stills with when I get a chance). I’m glad I’ll have a week before the actors arrive in which to further familiarize myself with new tools (while recording a breadth of specific location sounds).

Over the last few weeks I’ve been preparing for a month-long stint doing location sound for an independent feature film that will be shot in Costa Rica. This has involved familiarizing myself with the recording device, a Marantz PMD661, and several different mics.

While I’ve had various bits of training and experience in sound recording and mixing, it is not my most comfortable area of technical knowledge, so I’ve also been reading a bit, from my own library (Rabiger’s book ‘Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics‘ and Ascher & Pincus’ ‘Filmmaker’s Handbook‘) and from a few online resources, such as, where I found this inspiring article ‘On Being Creative‘ by Randy Thom.

From Twitter, Erin Clarke

Erin's Photos

Previous Posts