I was booked on a shoot recently where there would be a group of people having a discussion. The producer wasn't sure exactly how many people, but assured me they would only need 3 wireless lavs for key speakers. This set off some red flags for me, so I brought some extra mics just in case...
The shoot turned out to be an unscripted round table discussion with the conversation being distributed pretty evenly among up to EIGHT people! For the best sound, this ideally would have been a situation where each person wore their own mic... but I didn't have that. I had 4 wireless lavs and 3 booms. With the gear that I brought, I hid a lav mic between each pair of people at the table, and hung three booms overhead. This gave the editor plenty of sources to pull from to get the best sound we could and it turned out pretty good!
Dave Burt is a career audio engineer and is currently working as a freelance Production Sound Mixer.