Watch: How to Make Your Boom Mic Disappear Using a Little Magic in Post
The boom mic got in the shot again? But that was the best take!
We're all familiar with the frustration of getting a great performance from your actors only to find out later that, damn it, they boom got in the shot! It's so aggrivating, because everything else about the take—the timing, the delivery, the camera movement and focus—was absolutely perfect, but your stupid boom mic just had to dip down into the top of the frame and ruin everything.
But don't despair, because you might actually be able to salvage an otherwise unusable shot afterall. In this video, filmmaker and former executive producer of Indy Mogul Griffin Hammond shows you a really easy post-production technique that will allow you to not only hide boom mics that float into the frame, but to also purposefully put your mic in the shot, right next to your actor, for better quality sound. Check it out below:
Many of you might be familiar with this technique already and have used it for quick and easy VFX gags. However, as Hammond demonstrates in the video, it can totally be used for more practical cinematic applications as well.
All you have to do is go into your NLE, stack a duplicate of your clip on top of the original in the timeline, find a section of the duplicate that doesn't contain the boom mic, and then draw a mask around the offending mic in the original. You can also add some feathering if you need to hide any visible seams.
The thing is—it may not work as well or as easily with a moving frame. If there's a lot of camera/subject movement in your shot, you're going to have to go through the whole keyframe/mapping rigmarole, and that's only if this technique is even doable. However, if you captured your shot on a steady tripod, you can perform this little trick work without a whole lot of work. Hell, you can even put your sound recordist right in the frame for better audio quality if you want.
And there you go—a quick tip that could help you make pesky mics disappear in an otherwise perfect shot!