Audio, the oft looked over aspect of filmmaking, is indeed a difficult art to master. You can have the best professional in the booth during post, but if you didn't get a decent capture from the get go, there's little that can be done. Film Riot has uploaded a video dedicated to the microphone, which not only covers the basics of mic choice, placement, and accessories for beginners, but also gives a link to their video tutorial that shows you how to build your own boom pole for $25!
In the video, Ryan Connolly talks PROXiMITY, his short film that recently went live (you can check it out here), and the production audio that he used in the project. The overarching lesson: approach audio in the same way you would approach shooting. Ask yourself what your goals for recording audio are, what limitations your location has, what your budget will allow. Mics are like cameras (or any tools for that matter) in that there's no such thing as the "best mic", just the "best mic" for the job.
Connolly tries to teach you how to figure out what that is by talking about the difference between long and short shotgun mics, how to place one in order to optimize the sound, and how well different wind protectors, like a wind screens and blimps, protect against noise.
Also, if you've emptied your bank account purchasing an excellent and respectable mic and have nothing to mount it to, Film Riot has also provided a video tutorial that shows you how to build your own boom pole for $25. All you need is a PVC joint, a broom pole, and some rubber bands.
What do you think? Can you think of any DIY ideas for creating boom poles? What other helpful tips can you share about capturing audio? Let us know in the comments below!
Also -- Happy Holidays, No Film Schoolers!