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jonathan chiles

Doing sound taking a toll on your body??

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I always wonder, why the industry hardly comes up with concepts of backpacks with light remote interfaces, wrist-, shoulderstrap- or even boom-mounted. Instead, they bring us more and more tracks/weight in the vendors tray style bag. Obviously, total weight would even grow a bit, but most of it could be loaded in a backpack with a belt, bringing most of the weight to the hips without pulling ones shoulders forward.

There is a funny photo in their product-pdf.. Sounddevices already went in a good direction with CL-Wifi and CL-8, but not all the way to remote the 788t in a workable manner. However, they suggest a 12-input-box recording box to our bellies. >:( There will be producers soon, who demand, you'd run with this behind a bunch of reality-talents. I'm not saying it isn't a well designed machine. I just don't see this practical for bag-style jobs.

Except bag weight, booming does quite a bit stress to your back. Especially, when the ceiling is lower than the boom needs to be, there is no place to rest the boom horizontally and the crew needs ages until the "action" call.

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I work out a lot, when I can. I see it as if I make myself stronger the weight will be less of an issue and I'd be less likely to injure myself on a shoot. But being careful, as to not injure myself in the gym.

I have found lots of core body exercises work a treat and really help prevent doing my back in (swiss ball). And timing of working out so I dont ruin my body before my next job - which is difficult to do though when things come in last minute. If I know I'm likely to not work for a while (i.e. Christmas) I'll really chuck more weight around and do some higher risk exercises to build up overall strength (dead lifts, squats, clean and jerk etc...)

I like the gym and also like the physical element of working in sound/ booming - beats being stuck at a desk which I believe is probably worse for your physical wellbeing and health than using your body in your work. But I'm 25, so ask me again when I'm 50!

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I was looking after adults with learning disabilities for 7 years before I took up sound as a career and after catching someone who weighed 18 stone by slipping on a wet floor I permanently hurt my back and after a full day wearing nomad I am in some distress.

I am only 26 the future looks somewhat painful

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All of you reality guys filling your bags with as much crap as possible are going to have short, painfully ending careers.

Some of the images I see and what people are doing are just idiotic. I hope the young bag people have good medical coverage.

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My sister is really into yoga and has been working with me to insure that I maintain good posture. Building up strength is not as important as learning how to stand in a relaxed neutral posture, with minimal strain on the lower back. As much as I detest them stylistically a fanny pack is really the best option for gear. And only carry what you need absolutely need. Everything else goes into a backpack.

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All of you reality guys filling your bags with as much crap as possible are going to have short, painfully ending careers.

Some of the images I see and what people are doing are just idiotic. I hope the young bag people have good medical coverage.

Absolutely. Most painful gig (though it was painful in other ways too) I've had so far was on a reality show. HS-P82, giant block battery thingy, eight wireless (I tried to boom at first but that was reaaally pushing it). I ached.

In any case, though, my feet and back are in constant pain nowadays. I've learned that lying down with feet elevated for half an hour helps (don't sleep this way though as it caused me some major cramping in the middle of the night). Not sure what to do about my back. Sleep on the floor?

Just too many goddamn receivers, man. But I also have to carry my little tapes and things.... 788's much lighter than that cumbersome HS-P82. Long live Sound Devices. Memory foam helps.

Sawrab

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Yes. I do mostly doc & doc-style work, and I'm fortunate that most of my gigs don't require more than 3 wires. However, there have been weeks of running (yes, running) around with a Nomad and 3x 411s that have taken me some time to recover. And I'm under 30. So I've been doing what I can, strengthening my core, massage, posture work, etc. The most important factor seems to be good rest. If I can sleep 8 hours, stretch before & after work, AND more importantly take days off, I can maintain physical health.

One of my good friends & someone who brought me up in the business is a guy who is now paying for bag work, after multiple surgeries & years of recovery he has had to remake himself as a cart-based soundie and a writer. It's tough. He has told me many times to live by his example. I encourage all of you to do the same, and think of the health of your back as a long-term investment, maybe the most important you can make.

Good health & long life to all!

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A lot of the reason I own a Nomad was an abusive bag doc job I did with my Fusion, 5 411 Rxs and whatever else in a PEGZ3. In hindsight, I probably could have just gotten some SRa RXs, or Zaxcom QRX100Qs and a lightweight bag. The Fusion itself is only 5lbs.

For me booming with a heavy bag is when things get ugly. I have done shows that require running with a bag. That I can pretty much handle, but I do run marathons and half marathons. I also row, which helps keep lots of things strong. There is the whole, the more I work, the less I exercise problem, but I try. Fortunately I have not had a work related injury, though some days I am really worn out. I do appreciate that most of our gear is getting a lot lighter. I would love to be doing more cart work, but there doesn't seem to be as much of that around here.

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For me booming with a heavy bag is when things get ugly.

I've been doing yoga throughout the day, sneaking in a pose or two in between re-lights and such, trying to get rest and keep clean-burning fuels in my body, and trail-running on off days.

But I got into this gig waaay late in the game and I'm going to have to seriously figure out how to not OMB, it's just too painful.

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I've been doing yoga throughout the day, sneaking in a pose or two in between re-lights and such, trying to get rest and keep clean-burning fuels in my body, and trail-running on off days.

But I got into this gig waaay late in the game and I'm going to have to seriously figure out how to not OMB, it's just too painful.

I need to get back into yoga. I personally do much better in a class than on my own. Not only does it strengthen and stretch, it would clear my head like nothing else. I definitely slept better when I was regularly doing yoga. While I don't practice yoga now, I regularly do a few yoga stretches that are really effective.

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I need to get into yoga. My main exercise other than hiking and some hand weights to keep my arms in shape, has been 16 oz curls...

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I worked a long day of booming the other day with the boom extended out pretty long for much of our shooting.  We were shooting pretty wide for most shots and near the 11th hour my hands started to get tired, cramping up a bit, and lose a bit of feeling as the longer takes wore on.  It has been a week now and one of my hands has been numb/tingling ever since.  It basically goes from my thumb straight down my arm to my shoulder.  Other places on my arm and hand have feeling.  I'm curious, has anybody else had experiences with this?  I've contacted my doctor and I'm waiting to hear back, but I'm just wondering if this happens to any body else.

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You might have a crick in your neck that is squeezing a nerve.  Our booming stances can lock us into weird positions that do funny things to our spines.

Find the best chiropractor you can afford  (their skill levels vary crazily) and get him or her to check you out.

 

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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Spinal alignment came to my mind as well Shawn.

I've added weekly Chiro appointments to my Yoga (at my skill level it's really just stretching), and it may be worth it to get some postural retraining from a Chiro. My guy is good (Santa Clarita Valley), believes in rehab rather than maintenance, and thinks our "booming" is the absolute worst job to have (which oddly fills me with pride somehow...lol).

I wa having ocassional numbness and tingling too.

Best

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I actually seem to get into better shape when I do long traveling stints with a bag.  I make sure to wake up in the morning, do a short high intensity run (run really fast until my lazy butt decides to stop and do something different - at least it gets the blood flowing), lift some weights, sit-ups, back exercises, nothing extreme, just 30-40 minutes or so, then repeat the same thing in the evening, but slightly different muscles and swim instead of run.  A hotel rack and early to bed / early to rise routine without too much alcohol or heavy meals, seems to do my body good.

 

The body in excellent shape should be able to load around 60 to 100 pounds+ of gear on a daily basis if you specifically train for it.  We aren't professional athletes of course, but a little bit of training as part of your regular routine will help a lot to acclimating your body to handling long haul days with a 15 to 25pound bag, which is probably closer to the norm of what most of us are dealing with.

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Yoga helps me a lot. I have noticed my posture and the way I carry my bag is much healthier since starting yoga. I am supporting the weight with my core and not my back, as much. Still, I could use some more strength in my arms, that's for sure.

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Does mental health count? I've spent 20 years nearly in post.. It's taken in its toll, can be extremely long hours meeting demands of clients.

I also used to moonlight a bit until a bought of depression woke me up and I changed my lifestyle.

I now regularly exercise, and I have even started cycling up to 100km on a weekend, plus I ride into work a fair bit too.

Chasing a dollar can certainly take its toll on our health.

Look after yourselves.. Life isn't all about money.

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