Today, we're going to be given a brief glimpse into the much-fabled world of the boom operator. Hopefully, some of you out there will learn that the boom op is neither "that one person who keeps dropping some fuzzy phallic thing into my frame and ruining the shot", nor are they merely a "carbon-based stand" upon which you can drape equipment and derision.
In this interview panel by Mark Ulano, we learn that the boom op is more of an equal partner to the mixer, the "set ambassador" who assists with mic choice and coverage tactics, among many other things.
The Boom Operator is the Sound Department's eyes and ears on the set. Shot after shot he or she performs on the front-line, in the trenches of film sound production. The efficiency and timing of my decisions are very important factors in gaining the trust of the mixer you are working with. I believe that the boom Operator is to the mixer like the Camera Operator is to the Director of Photography.
Directors: "don't piss them off"
Actors: "don't piss them off"
Utility person: Well, if the shot calls for it "piss them off", but take them out for drinks later.
Additionally, they discuss the mystical nature of the utility sound person, which, due to shrinking budgets, is a rarely-glimpsed luxury outside of the big shows nowadays.
This is more of that real-world stuff, people. Read early and often.
Link, via perchman.com.
(P.S. According to his CV, Mark Ulano was production sound mixer on Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. How cool is that? :)