July 27, 2020

Get Rid of Boom Mics from Your Talking Heads

How do you shoot beautiful, wide interviews without including your boom mic and C-stand in the frame?

When shooting an interview subject or any kind of talking head, you know you want to capture amazing audio while also framing your subject in a flattering way. But certain shots will probably include your boom mic peeking down, or maybe part of a boom pole or C-stand.

There are a couple of really easy solutions to this problem! Sidney Diongzon provided a couple in his recent video. Check it out below!

Get rid of that pesky boom

One super-simple fix is simply getting your shot set up the way you want. Place your mic as close to the subject as possible without it being fully visible. Usually, about a foot or 18 inches is perfect.

Then all you have to do is use your camera's zoom to frame the shot until the microphone is no longer visible.

This is the set-up most productions opt for.

If you want to get slightly fancier or use a wider shot, you can try a second option. Shoot your interview with the wide shot you desire. Once the interview is complete, let the subject exit the frame. Remove your boom mic and other visible gear.

Then shoot a clean plate, meaning an empty shot you can use for compositing. About a minute should work.

Drop your footage into Adobe Premiere Pro. Put the clean plate above the interview footage, then mask out the boom mic and stand. Feather the layer to make the plate look smooth.

Credit: Sidney Diongzon

Diongzon also recommends using Premiere plugins to give the shot some camera shake or wiggle, to make the shot look handheld and hide any small inconsistencies between the layers.

This set-up will work best if you're able to shoot in a controlled space, probably inside. On outdoor shoots, you won't be able to have consistent light for a full day of shooting and will have a heck of a time trying to match the plates with the interviews.

You might also opt for a lav mic if you don't want to mess with any of this! What's your preference?

What's next? Check out more tips for getting great sound!

Here are boom pole positions everyone should know. If you do use lav mics, here are tips for reducing noise. We also cover the basics of production sound and how to build a DIY boom    

Your Comment

4 Comments

The closer you can get the microphone to your subject the better. I’ve never recorded interviews but I have recorded music and I don’t have to worry about keeping the boom stand out of the shot, instead you have to make sure your stand isn’t vibrating and effecting your microphone. Shock mounts are a good remedy for this problem and are useful for both music and video work.

As for video I prefer lav mics since most of the work I do is for weddings. The vows tend to be the quietest part of the wedding ceremony but if you use a lav mic it captures that audio perfectly and I don’t have to rely on shotgun microphones mounted to my cameras for those intimate moments.

July 27, 2020 at 6:49PM, Edited July 27, 6:49PM

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Nick Straub
Wedding Photographer/Videographer
117

so great

July 28, 2020 at 2:44AM

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Phú Thọ 365
Phú Thọ 365 | Thông tin sản phẩm & dịch vụ tại Phú Thọ
279

hello

July 28, 2020 at 9:03AM

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Phú Thọ 365
Phú Thọ 365 | Thông tin sản phẩm & dịch vụ tại Phú Thọ
279

I use this trick all the time for removing other gear too, in theatrical scenes. Hiding lights ect.

August 2, 2020 at 5:24PM, Edited August 2, 5:24PM

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Jesse Yules
Director
372