What do Sound Assistants do?
On large scale productions, Sound Assistants may be called upon to operate the second boom, recording all off-camera lines of dialogue, i.e., lines spoken by characters who do not appear on screen. Sound Assistants usually work on a freelance basis with the same production sound mixer and boom operator. Most Sound Assistants work on both film and television productions, unless they work with a production sound mixer who works exclusively on feature films. The hours are long and the work often involves long periods working away from home.
What is the job?
Sound Assistants usually begin work on the first day of shooting, arriving on set half an hour before call time, with the rest of the sound crew. They help to unload the sound van, and working with the boom operator, check that all equipment is prepared and fully operational. During the director's rehearsals with the director of photography and actors, sound assistants must pay close attention in case they are required to move positional microphones, or assist the boom operator to plan for difficult shots.
Sound Assistants also help to lay carpet if required to stop any unwanted noise being picked up from the studio or location floor. When other members of the crew or guests visiting the set use headphones with audio receivers to check for dialogue continuity, it is the Sound Assistant's responsibility to ensure that they are in good working order, and that their batteries are fully charged. If there is unwanted noise during recording (talking, coughing, traffic, etc.), Sound Assistants are required to find the source of the problem and deal with it as quickly and tactfully as possible so that the shooting schedule is not disrupted.
Sound Assistants help the production sound mixer to attach clip microphones to actors' clothing. They also help the boom operator to negotiate cables on the studio floor during recording, and at the end of each shooting day, to ensure that all the sound discs containing the sound rushes are correctly packaged and labeled. They are employed until the end of the shoot, when they make sure that all equipment is carefully packed away and that any remaining sound paperwork is handed over to the production office.
On large scale productions where Sound Assistants are required to swing a second boom, sound trainees are usually employed to perform general running duties (making tea and coffee for the sound crew, helping with unpacking, cleaning and setting up all sound equipment, etc.). They also shadow the production sound mixer and boom operator, learning while gaining invaluable on the job experience.
There are 1584 members with the job title Sound Assistant on Media Match
Sound Assistant jobs which have appeared on the Media Match jobs board:
Louisville, KY (no/low paid/commission only)
South Pasadena, CA (no/low paid/commission only)
Job description sources include (but are not limited to) imdb.com, skillset.org and wikipedia.