i roughly place 6-8inch above overhead to get the quality speech from the actor. doesn't matter it visible in frame or not, later i will use adobe after effect to take out the microphone in the frame. how about u guys? how many inch you think is the limit and you don't go over that??

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO ADD COMMENT, WHEN I CLICK ADD COMMENT NOTHING CHANGE. nyway i didn't say i want to fix in post, i understand sound is important. i want to record quality sound in shooting too. if i bring the mic closer i know i can get quality sound. but let say in medium shot where the frame line is far away from actors head, if i put the mic outside the frame i am sure i cannot listen to actors voice clearly. so can i bring the mic close and make it visible in camera frame but later i use adobe after effect to take out mic, that's my question.

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    it sounds to me like you're the filmmaker, and trying to learn a few options for doing sound on set...which is commendable. i appreciate that fact as a sound professional. however, i don't know of ANY filmmakers who are willing to fix their visuals in post for audio reasons. as important as getting good production sound is, it is easier (and cheaper) to fix the audio in post. my suggestion would be to find someone local to your area, who works with sound, and start a conversation with them. you want the correct process for BOTH audio and visual, not just one. Jan 24 '12 at 16:43

The general rule is getting the boom as close as possible to the actors mouths WITHOUT getting the mic in the frame! Can't see many directors having the attitude of "it's ok we'll fix THAT in post". Definitely not an attitude i would think a boom op would have on set, unless he/she wanted a very short career in sound...


Who says the mic always has to be on a boom? On medium shots, I've hidden mics in planters, taped them onto the shoulder of actors facing the camera to pick up someone speaking behind them, mounted an MK41 on the front of someone who's back is to the camera to pick up the main character's lines who is speaking to him, hidden them in hats, placed them behind chess pieces, cups, books, anything in the frame big enough to cover it, the list goes on and on. It sometimes takes a lot of creativity to get good sound on medium shots but it can be done with a little bit of thought and cleverness, but never do it to the detriment of the shooting schedule, sometimes it's just easier and cheaper to ADR it, but I will add this to the rest of the great advice given on this topic:

Even if you tell yourself and the director you are going to just record ADR in post, ALWAYS get a guidetrack with even a far mic. It makes recording ADR much easier.

It seems like a no-brainer piece of advice, but you'd be surprised some of the projects that did not have any audio recorded at all "because it would be recorded later" and they expect it to be ADRed perfectly.


Yes I, for obvious reasons, completely agree with Andy. I've never ever heard of anyone saying they'll take the boom out in post, wasteful use of time and unnecessary. Get as close as you can, about 6-8 inches is fine. If it's a wide shot, do it MOS and then ask the director if they can do another shot for sound (unless you quality radio mics).


Unless you are making a mocumentry or it is specifically requests in say a scene with a news reporter NEVER NEVER NEVER let your mic show in frame, as a boom op your job is to check the frame first and check with cameraman to make sure this does not happen. As mentioned above it is a complete waste of time fixing something in post when there is no need. All mics are different, you can get nice and close with say a MKH 50 or obviously give more room if you have a long shotgun mic, as Shaun says listen and adjust accordingly.


If you are miking a properly framed close shot (in on an actor's face), than 6-8 inches is great...with the boom OUT of the frame. If it takes 2 more inches to stay out, give it. The sonic difference between 8 and 10 is going to be negligible.

Now, if you are talking about any angles other than those up close, you should ASSUME that you will be recreating the audio in post - ADR, foley, etc. A couple of ADR sessions are going to cost you far less time and energy and are going to give you a much better finished product than trying to "erase" a boom op from a scene! I don't care what special effects program you're using!

As far as technique goes, one important thing to remember (if you're running the boom) is to stay light on your feet. If the actor moves, you better be one step ahead of him. Consistency is key.


The only time I have seen it be acceptable to have a boom in the shot is when shooting green screen. Typically your video editing program allows you to create a trash mat that eliminates everything but your main subject. Otherwise, follow the advice previously given and get your boom out of the shot. Have you considered using a lavaliere?


If you are the filmmaker, then get a production sound recordist. They would be more than happy to help you without explaining the complex decision chain.

Otherwise get the mic as close as possible without it being in the part of the frame you want to use. That means either outside of the frame, or where the picture will be replaced with something else, and especially where in replacing the picture you won't encounter problems.

Most of the time you can have the microphone just out of the frame and still get good results. It's why these things are expensive. It also depends on the type of microphone (yeah, "it depends", i know). Lapel mics can get you close sounding results whilst being invisible, but they lack the atmosphere and roundness of sound of the boom mic. With wider shots you would have to get creative about making the mic invisible.

Boom ops take pride in knowing their craft, and it can be difficult and physically demanding. It's not easy and it's not advisable to be one if you're already into something else. So, if you are the filmmaker, then get a production sound recordist.


There is no rule, because there is no guideline that will work in every situation. Listen to what you're recording and adjust appropriately.

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