The Definitive Guide to Operating a Boom Mic Like a Pro
Few jobs on set are as under-appreciated as the person (or people) operating the boom mic. Not only can it be physically strenuous over the course of a 14+ hour day, but operating a boom also takes a whole lot of technique and skill in order for production sound to be its very best. Luckily, the fine folks over at Videomaker have put together a video that demystifies the subtle art of operating a boom like a pro. Check it out.
This tutorial covers everything from how to set up, hold, and direct a boom pole to how to select the proper microphone for different acoustic environments. So sit back, put your learning hats on, and get ready for a crash course in boom operating:
The key takeaway from this video is that, just like the other technical aspects of filmmaking, operating a boom mic is a wildly varied skill that takes an intimate knowledge of both the proper technique and the available tools in order to get the best results on a consistent basis. Through practicing and perfecting your methods of mic selection/placement, cable management, and through having an innate sense of the cinematographer's frame, the boom operator can gather top-notch production sound in just about any situation.
Another thing to mention is that boom poles with internal cabling are the devil in this writer's humble opinion (although I've admittedly only used cheaper variations). While practical, the internal elements of these poles can create some truly baffling audio artifacts when the pole is moved around in the slightest. From what I've heard, the higher priced poles manage to avoid this mishap, but a solid, stripped down pole wrapped in cable will always do the job just as well.
What do you guys think of the boom information presented in this video? Do you have any boom pole tips or microphone preferences of your own? Let us know down in the comments!