Thinking about walkie talkies used on TV/movie film shootings, does anyone have what channels are assigned to what group? Example: Channel 1 film/production crew, Channel 2 Background. Channel 3 wardrobe. Channel 4 transport, etc.? I’m not seeking frequencies just job assignments. Thanks in advance!
It varies from production to production and from location to location. This is why radio channels are listed on each day’s Call Sheet.
In general in North America, Channel 1 is the main channel used by the 1stAD to communicate to and from the set.
Channel 2 is for longer communications between departments.
Channel 3 is transport.
Channel 4 is grips.
Channel 5 is lighting.
Channel 6 is locations.
Channel 7 is special effects.
Channel 8 is camera.
Costumes (not called wardrobe), hair, makeup, props, picture vehicles, first aid/craft service, medic, set decoration, etc. all monitor Channel 1.
Thank you so much for both the quick and complete explanation!
Do you work in California? If so, are you all using digital or analog radios for film work out of curiosity? UHF analog (specifically CP 200’s) are still be used here in the Atlanta-area of Georgia.
Not in California, but been in the business for over 30 years. Started out with Motorola HT series analog, but the M2 multi-pin connector was always problematic. Now we use primarily Motorola CP100d and CP200d, with the (much better) two-pin connector. We are on a province-wide trunking network, so our transport walkies are city-wide.
Most of us use the 2-wire or 1.5-wire surveillance headset and I keep a supply of replacement acoustic tubes in the gun truck because they crack with age or can get moisture in them that is difficult to remove. I end up replacing the acoustic tubes every six months or so. The secret is to get GOOD headsets, and avoid the Amazon or eBay ones. ($50 is the minimum I would spend for a good headset.)
I also replace the ear plug with the ear loops, sized to my ear. I use medium, right ear, but switch to left ear for a few days in every production. Ear loops are the greatest invention since two-way radios, and when I order parts, I get a dozen spare acoustic tubes and two dozen ear loops in various sizes that I hand out to crew when I see they are still wearing the ear plug that comes with the headset.
I second the earloops. I wear them with surveillance earpieces when I do video livestreams, some of them which last over two hours, and they are so comfortable I often forget they are in my ear. That is definitely not the case with the traditional mushroom tip style earplug, which I find uncomfortable to wear for even 5 minutes. I’ll take earloops over earplugs any day.