Watch as this commercial shows you how not to act on set as a boom operator

Jan 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Watch as this commercial shows you how not to act on set as a boom operator

Jan 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s funny how commercials have a way of completely escaping your memory, and then seem to resurface again every few years. This is one of them. Directed by Trevor Clarence, this 2009 ad for South African franchise of the restaurant chain Wimpy illustrates just how careful you need to be as a microphone boom operator, especially around delicate sets.

The commercial sees the film crew visiting a Mug Collector, who starts to walk us through the collection he’s been building up for 35 years. Suddenly, the microphone on the end of the boom pole gets caught up in the overhead fan and swung around the room, knocking all the mugs off the shelves.

The commercial was to promote a Wimpy mug giveaway across the South African franchise. It’s a promotion they seem to run annually, with a different theme each year. And while in this case, the commercial was pure fantasy and pretty funny, this kind of thing definitely does happen in the real world, too. And it’s not so amusing when it does.

In March 2017, a man smashed an expensive pumpkin sculpture after losing his orientation shooting a selfie in an infinity mirror room and stepped on one. In July of the same year, a woman destroyed $200,000 worth of art when shooting a selfie at an installation where pieces were mounted on pillars. She bumped one which created a domino effect, knocking over a bunch more.

Just remember, folks, spatial awareness is a thing.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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16 responses to “Watch as this commercial shows you how not to act on set as a boom operator”

  1. Collin McLaren Avatar
    Collin McLaren

    And this is why you use LAV mics and wireless transmitters.

  2. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
    Freelance cameraman China/HK

    100% staged…

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      I would be shocked if a commercial wasn’t scripted and staged. :)

      1. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
        Freelance cameraman China/HK

        I mean, the ad is for a South African franchise of the restaurant, and yes it’s staged.
        I meant that the boom action was also staged…
        (you hold a boom with both hands and a XLR is plugged with a lock, so no way it can fly this way…)

        1. ext237 Avatar
          ext237

          It’s a commercial. It’s scripted. Thats how commercial production works. I guess scripts, gags and prop stunts aren’t covered in Freelance Cameraman school? ?‍♂️?‍♂️

        2. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          Nobody’s denying the fact that it was staged, though.

    2. ext237 Avatar
      ext237

      It’s a commercial that is scripted. Thats how commercial production works. I guess scripts, gags and prop stunts aren’t covered in Freelance Cameraman school? ?‍♂️?‍♂️

    3. Whatdoyknow Avatar
      Whatdoyknow

      Maybe reading the headline etc would have been helpful, like manuals, also helpful, reckon you don’t read them either??

      1. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
        Freelance cameraman China/HK

        Way Way too much assumption here…

        “You can not be insulted. Your answers do it for you!”

      2. ext237 Avatar
        ext237

        I read it just fine, still obvious it was a skit/staged from the first 3 seconds into the video. Not sure why the “100% staged” has to be pointed out or tell people to “read the article”. Just chill out and enjoy it for what it is, laugh it up a little.

        The entire thing is supposed to be a funny skit to grab attention and bring home a marketing point. Why can’t DIYP authors post an article/video without you people dumping on it in comments? I read the article and I think it is great.

        But thanks for the Snarky suggestion about the manual. ?‍♂️

      3. ext237 Avatar
        ext237

        Sometimes I go to blogs that don’t have a comment section and get a little grumpy. And then I come to DIYP, a blog that posts decent content and interesting stories, and wish they didn’t have a comment section. It’s so full of useless messages from people just wanting to “have their say” on the matter, but nothing actually useful to contribute.

    4. God Avatar
      God

      It’s a fuc<ing commercial
      So offcourse it's staged

  3. Tudor Pantelimonescu Avatar
    Tudor Pantelimonescu

    The year 2000 ask his jok back!

  4. Dunja0712 Avatar
    Dunja0712

    I know it’s an ad and it’s staged, but I laughed so hard nevertheless! I think I watched it 5 times in a row :D

  5. yamamanama Avatar
    yamamanama

    That’s just 2020.

  6. kaiber Avatar
    kaiber

    if this actually happend i would feel so bad for him;(