The boom pole is one of the most versatile ways to accurately and cleanly record good sound. It allows the operator to move the microphone around, following the talent’s moves, while still keeping it just out of the camera’s frame.
But what if the talent isn’t moving? What if this is an interview? What if, in addition to a lavalier mic, a boom is needed as a safety (or even primary) sound source? Should the boom operator stand there holding the pole for hours on end? Obviously that’s not the way to do it.
Rigging a mic is what you’d want to do. There are many ways to rig a mic, dangle it from a c-stand, from the cable (not great for the connector), clamp it to a grip head, but this could damage the finish of the mic, or the electronics themselves (definitely something you would not want to do). A favorite method of ours is to use a mic clip attached to a gorilla pod and attach it anywhere you want. Granted, you still may have issues with having your equipment show up in frame.
So don’t rig the mic, rig the boom pole. Sure, you can spend a minimum of $40 to purchase a boom pole holder that attaches to a grip head. It’s great, it holds your boom in place pretty well, and allows you to move the stand out of frame, extending your pole to get your mic where you want, but it seems a bit over priced for a bent piece of metal with a rubber sleeve, doesn’t it? (Welcome to the film industry).
Here’s something equally good, in fact, it’s almost exactly the same thing. Go to a sporting goods store, find the fishing section and take a look at the fishing rod holders. These work on the same principle as holding the boom pole in place, in fact some of them are built to the same specs! You can spend $10 on a cheaper one that is shaped and sized just like the $40 boom pole holder with the exception of the length and that it has a threaded end for mounting to clamps. This is good; you may want to screw the holder to a clamp if you don’t have a spare c-stand on hand. If the rubber causes the mount to slip, you can simply take a knife or sharp scissors and cut it shorter to give the grip head more metal to grab on to.
Congratulations, you just saved $30 and no one will even guess you’re using a holder designed for a fishing rod.