We tend to think of graveyards as pretty quiet (except when the zombies attack of course), but it turned out to be surprisingly noisy at night. Obviously a big factor was the constant drone of the generators we had running to power the equipment and RV. But there were also steady chirps and buzzing from the crickets and other insects, as well as a few yelps and calls from other unidentified wildlife.
An unexpected source of noise was the apartment complex that backs up to St. Lawrence Cemetery. Despite the cold, on both nights kids were outside playing and shouting; and their bedtime was not as early as we expected (or hoped), since the commotion went on past eleven. While we were happy to see the youth of America actually playing outside, we kind of wished they'd picked that weekend for TV time and video games.
Then there was the noise that kind of freaked us out – techno music. The music was thumping from the side of St. Lawrence that backs up to another cemetery. There are no bars or clubs or anything nearby, so obviously the ghosts were having a rave. The music faded away after a few minutes, but it came back in spurts several times. Someone finally realized that the Cooper River borders the cemeteries, and the music was from the party boats cruising up and down the river. While that’s a logical explanation for the music, we like the idea of raving ghosts better.
So with all that noise, both natural and unnatural, we presented a tough challenge for our sound mixer. Luckily we had Jack Kelehear on our team – he laughed in the face of all that commotion, and we were amazed at how clean the audio came out despite the noisy night. Jack has more than 25 years of sound experience doing audio mixing and composing and producing music for WIS TV and SCESC, and he owns Tongarten Audio Production. He worked on American Jihadist, a documentary that won the Grand Jury Prize at SlamDance and Best Documentary at the Charleston International Film Festival. Jack brought his lovely assistant/girlfriend Nancy to set, and she turned out to be a whiz at spotting continuity issues, so we were grateful to have both of them there that weekend.