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Every production on television or in film requires a strong sound team to make sure that every voice meant to be heard is heard clearly, and at the right volume.
Boom operators work under the instruction of production sound mixers and other heads of the sound department, in recording clear and good quality dialogue for film or television. Having crystal clear sound and dialogue is important for conveying information through the screen, from actors or presenters.
Boom operators can work in production or post-production, with their main duty being to hold the long boom arm, with the recognisable soft fluffy head. Sometimes the boom arm must be held steadily by hand, and other times it can be operated using a dolly-mount (wheels). It is an important job, requiring good physical strength and stamina, potentially having to hold the boom arm for long periods of time.
Boom operators often work with the same production sound mixer for a number of productions, assisting with each project and working together to make sure that the best quality sound can be achieved.
After several years of assisting the sound mixers and with a good track record, boom operators may then be offered the opportunity to take on more supervisory roles, moving up the ranks.