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Old October 12th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #16
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Welcome Jessie and good to hear that there is a new generation being trained to use fisher booms. I learned on mole richardson in 1980 and used fishers up until I copped out and went into post prod 1991.

I can still do it though as I was taught by the guys who invented TV when booms were the only option and lav mics didnt exist.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 02:24 AM   #17
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Welcome from me too, Jessie. Do I take it that you work chiefly in TV on multi camera shoots? It seems to me that that is the only place left not only where Fisher boom ops still flourish but also Lighting Directors who can light for them.

Boring story follows:

I was told by a boom op that he had been working on a feature film in Africa. The crew was staying in a good hotel and one evening after shooting the sound maintenance man decided to strip down and clean the boom as some grit had got in it and it was getting noisy. Stripping down went ok, but reassembly proved to be a challenge. He was scratching his head next to a partially complete boom in the hotel's main lobby (the only area big enough for working on the boom) when a guy came up and offered help. None other than Mr. Fisher himself, on holiday! Job done in short time. Now, that is LUCK.

Best wishes to yourself and all boom ops, Jess.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #18
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All very interesting responses, but boom operators are not a dying breed. There is lots of work as a boom operator. Independent films, Hollywood films, and even sporting events like you know, the NFL use them. Documentaries use them all the time for ENG where you have very small crews. What technology has replaced boom operators? Lav mics are great, but not for every situation. I have not worked a shoot on a film, commercial or documentary that didn't have a boom operator. However in most cases the boom op was also the mixer.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Randy Larioz View Post
All very interesting responses, but boom operators are not a dying breed. There is lots of work as a boom operator. Independent films, Hollywood films, and even sporting events like you know, the NFL use them.
Randy, the discussion here is about the MOUNTED boom system on a wheeled apparatus, not the handheld "dead cat on a stick".
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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Randy Larioz View Post
AI have not worked a shoot on a film, commercial or documentary that didn't have a boom operator. However in most cases the boom op was also the mixer.
When you have to both boom and mix, usually the resulting audio suffers. For run and gun and documentary shoots this is the norm. In fact, it's expected on reality TV shows. However, when working on larger projects you typically have a two person crew (if you're lucky you get a third). The boom op, is responsible for simply ensuring that the boom mic is placed correctly and there are no boom shadows. The boom op, not the mixer, typically takes part in walk throughs and making sure the mixer, who usually is not on-set, knows exactly what is going on. I have done both booming and mixing, and I have to tell you, I have a great deal of respect for people like Don Coufal who make booming look easy, because to do it right, it's not easy.

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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #21
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Sadly, in the gigs I get mixing and booming (even for narrative pieces) is expected and it is of course a major compromise. Recording 24 bit helps a lot, but in the end, there's still a fair amount of guesswork. All part of the ever downward spiral of quality I guess.
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