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Shelly Wen Talks Run-and-Gun Boom Gear

Production sound mixer Shelly Wen discusses her work on feature films and commercials.

Production sound mixer Shelly Wen
Production sound mixer Shelly Wen.

Los Angeles, CA (November 1, 2022)—Production sound mixer Shelly Wen has been using Lectrosonics wireless gear since earning her MFA in filmmaking from the Los Angeles campus of New York Film Academy, working steadily on feature films and commercials to build her reputation and career.

A native of Lanzhou in northwest China, Wen attended the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, where she earned a baccalaureate in filmmaking, afterwards moving to LA to continue her education. Her toolbox of equipment currently includes SMQV dual-battery, SMWB wideband and HMa plug-on transmitters, SRc dual-channel slot mount and UCR411a compact receivers as well as some hardworking legacy UM400a beltpack transmitters and SRb5P dual-channel slot mount receivers.

One of her favorite acquisitions has been the HMa plug-on transmitter, noting it’s “like a small brick. It’s very durable and its batteries last six to eight hours, but they’re also easy to change.”

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She likes to use the HMa on her boom mic. On a recent narrative drama feature shoot, where the production team was constantly on the move from place to place along a trail — she likened it to hiking — having a wireless boom saved a lot of time that otherwise would’ve been spent wrangling cables, and so the sound crew could keep pace moving with the rest of the crew. Now the HMa is her #1 way to go on the boom.

Wen recounted a scene shot on a very hot summer day inside an upper floor of an old LA building that had no elevator. She worked from the ground floor while her boom op worked the scene on the floors some 100 to 150 feet above. She explained, “My audio was perfect and clear, even with a passive antenna system.”

Wen’s future projects include more commercial shoots for Gatorade and other national brands, and she plans to invest in some new Lectrosonics digital systems — probably based around the latest Lectrosonics DCR or DSR receivers, she says.