Boom Operator

What do Boom Operators do?

Boom Operators assist the production sound mixer on film and television sets, and operate the boom microphone, which is either hand held on a long arm or dolly mounted (on a moving platform). If radio or clip microphones are required, Boom Operators position them correctly around the set or location, or on actors' clothing. Boom Operators are responsible for positioning microphones so that sound mixers can capture the best quality dialogue and sound effects. If this is done well, a great deal of money can be saved by not having to re-record (post sync) the dialogue at a later stage in the film or television production. Boom Operators are also responsible for all the sound equipment, ensuring that it is in good working order, and carrying out minor repairs where necessary. Boom Operators begin work on the first day of principal photography, after reading the script several times, and familiarizing themselves with the characters and their lines of dialogue. Members of the sound department arrive half an hour before call time, in order to unload and set up all the sound equipment.

Boom Operators are given "sides" (small booklets of pages from the script that are to be shot each day), so that they can memorize all lines of dialogue and anticipate when to move the boom during filming. During the morning rehearsal with the director, director of photography and the actors, Boom Operators carefully note all planned camera movements and lighting requirements, so that they can ensure that the microphone does not accidentally fall into shot or cast shadows. Boom Operators are on set virtually all day, positioned with the camera crew, with whom they must develop good working relationships as they are often asked to move slightly because of lights or camera angles; Boom Operators may also make similar reciprocal requests. They finish work when the film wraps (is completed).

Boom Operators work on a freelance basis, and report directly to production sound mixers in production sound departments. They usually specialize in either film or television, but may also work on commercials. The hours are long and the work often involves long periods working away from home.

Boom Operators need a basic understanding of electronics. They should also have a good working knowledge of all sound recording equipment and microphones.

Key Skills include:
excellent aural skills
dexterity and agility
ability to anticipate
a good memory
good timing
precise attention to detail
diplomacy and sensitivity on set
knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures

There are 867 members with the job title Boom Operator on Media Match

Boom Operator jobs which have appeared on the Media Match jobs board:

Sound Mixer
Essex, MA
Sound Recordist
West Lake, TX
Audio Mixer
Seattle, WA

View all jobs on Media Match

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Job description sources include (but are not limited to), and wikipedia.