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hartonjohn

Fisher boom exercises for beginners

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Hello all. My friend and I are both lucky to study sound design at the Savannah College of Art and Design and we have access to a Fisher boom, apparently one of few out east. We've set up a time with our department to be able to practice this niche skill twice a week for 2.5 hours each day and are looking for suggestions on good exercises to help home technique! Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

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hartonjohn, I just got home from a IA Local 695 training session at Fisher today but having said that, I'm not sure I can offer a lot of advice for someone who is "self-training" other than to do the obvious... work with the boom, get comfortable with it, set up a live mic and follow someone who is moving around slow and fast and facing different directions, etc.  We do a lot of things you won't be able to do on your own but just spending a few hours by yourself with the boom will probably go a long way to helping you get used to how it works.

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Laurence is correct about just using it till you don't have to think, you just do. Since you are at an arts college perhaps you can involve others from the camera crowd and drama dept. It would be closer to a real experience than chasing each other with a mic. They are great tools and I hope they find a place in the new media world we are entering.

CrewC

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HI John, I work on sitcoms here in Vancouver BC. and have done so for the past 5 years. Don't think I will ever go back to hand booming or mixing again. The first time I sat on a Fisher Boom I fell in love with it right away, yes it is very intimating at first learning to operate the controls but over time you don't  even think about it, it just happens. We shoot with four cameras all the time and have a live studio audience on Friday nights. Our page count is about 20 pages of script a day and scenes can run 5 or 6 pages but on average about 2 or 3. We run 2 Fisher 7 Booms with 26 FT. arms, quite often the other operator an I will do hand offs in the middle of a scene so the other boom can get to the far side of a set to get a different actor, it is magic to see two Fisher Booms at work with four cameras. The biggest problem with people I have trained is depth perception, especially when the mic is 26 ft. away from you. I ride the mic 2 or 3 inches above the top of frame of the wide shot. We will do 7 or 8 takes or more of every scene and after every take I ask myself "how can I improve that" Very important to have good people skills with the camera coordinator and director so you can dip into the wide shots as they should know when they need the wide shot. On the Fisher, I have a full size script 8x10 and I highlight  every actor in a different color, I'm always a line or two ahead in the script so I know my moves before hand, I have lots of room on the script to make notes, "head turn" "Loud, give head room" etc. Also on the Fisher is a monitor tray which holds my LCD high def. monitor. This give me a "quad" display, all four cameras in high def. on one screen and I look at it a lot to get my top of frame in the blocking and rehearsals and only a quick glance now and again when we are rolling and to help the other boom with dipping into the shot and shadows . We also have com on board so we can talk to each other or the mixer who is in a room in the back of the studio. I hope this information has been helpful to you. I will add a video I shot of a Fisher 7 at work from 2 years ago, I only had the go-pro for 2 days and there wasn't enough time to change setups and get enough footage to complete the video so it comes to a sudden end, but you will see one in action 

Good luck John

Phil "VE7KJR"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueoTsrKm424

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Wow Phil, I just read your post and watched your video. Well done! Thanks for sharing this insight into the Fisher Boom work world. I think there should definitely be more Fisher Booms everywhere, I have never worked and probably will never work with one unfortunately.

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Hi Phil,

 

what an amazing video. Thankyou for sharing.

 

Have you ever thought to do something newer with a bunch of GoPros?

 

I would be fascinated to set up a number of GoPros, one doing the shot back on the operator, one looking along the boom (maybe the operators headcam), and obviously one on or near the mic. Then to shoot a scene and allow us to hear the sound from that mic? Maybe then to sync them up and make a quad split!!

 

Wow - what a resource that would be!!!

 

Many thanks,

 

Simon B

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Thank you guys so much for the advice! Tonight is the practice slot so I guess we'll be taping off a maze to run through!

Bringing camera in is a little trickier but sounds like the perfect situation to work with. I think I might be suggesting we shoot the upcoming student projects indoors from now on just for the practice! Haha

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Great clip,

interestingly our machines are set up to operate the left hand...under, not over like in the clip...

just a wiring difference? Best fun ever running these machines

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Hi Gavin, 

I believe the left-handle position can be adjusted for either an under or over grip.  There is a rubber stopper that can be unscrewed to allow a disc to rotate around and then the stopper is replaced on the other side.

 

I just started doing a Fisher show and am still learning the ropes.  But it's a lot of fun and very interesting after working with the fishpole for ten years or so.

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Yes, you have it right, Jay, and it only takes a minute to swap out the way it's rigged.  The over-handed versus under-handed operation reflects personal preferences but also the history of the booms, with one being called "film style" and the other "tv style".  Boom ops often make their choice based on whether booms are being used on the floor or up in the greenbeds.

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I've always been interested in learning to use a Fisher boom.  How much does a Fisher 7 cost? What mic's are typically used on a fisher in sitcom/set shows? I want to convince a client that this would be a good setup to use in their new studio. I'm also looking for training resources if anyone knows of any online. Thanks!

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Local 695 does training for members but I'm not aware of any other training, whether online or IRL.  Call Fisher for rental prices because they discount heavily (3-day week, 3-week month, etc.)  Schoeps and 416's or something similar are common.

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