Here in Germany, many production sound mixers in film get booked directly by production companies. They often bring along their boom operator of choice. They seldom offer rookie trainig or internships. As this system makes it very difficult for a newbie to get paid work, I was wondering if you had any strategies to share. I would also like to know how the system in your country works, with special interest for USA and Australia. Thanks in advance!
Not sure of the system in other countries, but here in the UK more often or not there are 3 members in the Sound Dept; Mixer, Boom Op and Sound Assistant. The assistant is basically a rookie boom op who routes cables, sorts maintenance, hands out headsets to director etc, but also gets experience on the pole grabbing "off lines" and dialogue that the boom op can't get to. Once you are experienced and trusted by the mixer he could ask you to boom for him if his other boom op can't make a shoot for whatever reason.
You can get into an assistant role by possibly applying for a runner role at the production company and getting pally with the sound dept and show your keen ;)
I am not primary a boom operator, but this is how i got the first projects: (in Germany)
I went to a small movie production company and talked with them. i asked if i could go to some sets for free to learn recording. Then they showed me how to boom 1-2 days and form that on i was the boom opertator for a lot of productions.
So my advice, get in touch with small startup movie production companys.
another thing that i figuered out -> small EB-Teams from "galileo" etc. have mostly one guy who wants to become a camera man. and mostly he needs to boom first. so if you get in touch with those eb teams you could get some jobs too on the long run.