How to Be a Boom Operator

Posted on July 18, 2007

  1. Bring a backpack.
  2. Get the sound cart off the grip truck. Go find a quiet spot and build the boom. Stuff all the extra cables and pre-amp inside the backpack. It will make moving around a lot easier.
  3. Find craft services and chill with the Sound Mixer as you wait for everyone to get setup.
  4. Watch rehearsals. Come up with a boom placement plan so it’s not in the shot, not in a reflection, and doesn’t cast a shadow. Sometimes you might have to go below the actors.
  5. Practice during rehearsals. The Sound Mixer might also record this, so make it good.
  6. You will get the feeling that you’re in everyone’s way, and you’re probably right. Don’t put up with people’s crap and ask them if they want a silent picture.
  7. Get used to standing around. There will be a lot of down time but because it takes too long to get everything setup, you can’t afford to go somewhere only to have the First AD yell, “we’re going for picture, boom in, slate in.”
  8. When they go for picture, point the boom at the person talking.
  9. Repeat throughout the day.

Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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1 Comment

  1. Jessica Stylus

    #3 sounds the most fun. I can;t see the picture!