I'm referring to questions like How to make an actor cry.
The audio equivalent would be "How do I get a vocalist to have that voice-cracking sad sound?", which would be off-topic here and on-topic at Musical Practice and Performance.

This is very different than asking about how to add tears digitally or something like that. The audio equivalent of that question, "What effects can I use to make a song sound sad", probably would be on-topic here.

Now this would be pretty clear to me except for that fact that while updating the FAQ for the video merger Robert also removed the section stating that musical performance questions were off-topic, so I'm confused about audio performance questions as well as video.

So I guess my question has multiple parts:

  1. Are music performance questions on topic?
  2. Are "video performance" (acting) questions on topic?
  3. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are different, why the inconsistency?

And if that's still not clear, here's a graphical representation of my question:

Questions on-topic at AVP

                     Audio       Video    
                |            |            |  
    Performance |     ?      |      ?     |  
                | (Music.SE) |            |
                |            |            |
    Production  |  On-Topic  |  On-Topic  |
                |            |            |

2 Answers 2


Seems to me that we need a separate Acting.SE or a Filmmaking.SE site if we're going to separate music from audio production. I've always understood that this site was supposed to be about the technical aspects (the "production" side) of audio back when it was audio-only, and now that there's video as well, I would expect the same for video.

So, no acting questions, no screenwriting, that sort of thing. Speaking as an audio production hobbyist, I'd somewhat resent having those questions here if similar audio questions aren't considered on-topic.

But I'm not stuck on this perspective - I'm just one person and there's a whole community here that I'd like to hear from!

  • I could almost see Music.SE evolving into Performance.SE and including actors, except that directors and producers would be the odd people out since they're not performers, and not technicians - which would be extremely odd, since they're the very people who'll be asking production questions. Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 5:49
  • @Clint I'd say anybody who's asking production questions should (hopefully!) feel at home here on AVP. :) Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 6:01
  • Even though the title "producer" means subtly different things in the audio and film/video worlds, there's common enough ground that we can see them as approximately the same. In neither audio nor video worlds is the word "production" used to indicate anything less than the complete process of creation, and it's never used to describe solely the technological means of creation. To use the general Stack Exchange guideline, I can't imagine producers being turned off by performance questions any more than by microphone or camera questions. Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 6:44
  • I have to agree here. Admittedly, I'm an audio guy, but I fail to see how getting an actor to cry falls into video production. It's no different than asking how to get a particular performance out of a musician. That site exists elsewhere.
    – JoshP
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 0:59
  • @ClintTorres, I can see your position here, and it's definitely not a bad one. Your argument rests, however, on your assertion that "the word 'production' [is] used to indicate [nothing] less than the complete process of creation..." I'm not sure that that's true. I don't think it has to involve the complete process. It's picking nits for sure, but here I am thinking acting doesn't fit, and I think that's the place at which I diverge. I think that's why it doesn't fit. Production is not necessarily all-encompassing. It can be only the technical part.
    – JoshP
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 1:17

I've been puzzling over How can I make an actor cry? too, but mostly because I don't think it's very high quality, since it treats the talent like a prop, and not a willing collaborator.

Taking a cue from the rebelsguide forums and dreaming a little about what kind of ecosystem we can build here, I want to see strong representation from:

  • Planning (Scripting, music, storyboarding)
  • Camera, sound, and lighting (hardware, workflows)
  • Shooting, Directing
  • Special Effects (compositing, sound effects, technique)
  • Editing (music, sound processing, motion graphics, codecs, technique)
  • Onlining (Color correction, mastering, encoding)
  • Distribution (web, studios, four-walls)

I think a good reason to have asymmetry between music performance and film performance questions being relevant to avp, is because there's probably never going to be an Acting.SE or Directing.SE to fill the role that Music.SE does for audio.

Audio is just another cog in the gears when it comes to production. It's probably the most important cog, but my point is that film and video production are necessarily large-scale collaborations, while audio production (or any other single production discipline) is more individualized.

There's almost an identical question we're going to have to answer when we get to whether or not screenwriting questions are more relevant to avp than to Writers.SE. Story development for novels is fundamentally different than story development for the screen, and I don't see a lot of non-novel technique questions, or even script formatting questions, on Writers.SE. Also, rewriting is all but guaranteed during the process of shot design, storyboarding, and production, but rewrites will never happen when a someone gets to page 42 in your novel.

Like I said in a comment at Video & Film Production? I'm happiest when there's no distinction between the technical and storytelling aspects of filmmaking.

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