Guerrilla filmmaking uses super low or no budget methods to make quality (oftentimes low quality) films. This is the method that spawned such indie classics as El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez) and Pi (Darren Aronofsky). One tool essential to making one of these quality films is the microphone and its portable support, the Boom Pole.
Everyone can imagine in their head the poor guys that have to walk around a film set, their arms above their heads for hours at end holding a ridiculously long pole with some kind of furry animal at the end. This is the Boom Operator, the furry animal is the dead-cat containing the microphone, and that stick is the boom. A really good boom pole can cost upwards of $1,000. Now granted, this is a 36 footer carbon fiber job but even the lower end poles can be expensive. A midget sized 4.5 footer aluminum pole costs about $70.00 and decent starter pole can punch a $185.00 hole in your wallet... Yes, there are some deals out there, but who cares when you could make your own 12 to 16 footer for under $30.00?!
Build a functional boompole for under $30.00.
additional screws (optional)
Step 1: Materials
You need to purchase:
(1) Painter's pole - Look for something around or over 10 feet. 12 - 16 feet is good. Remember though, don't get some huge indestructible pole because some poor sap will have to hold it. Make sure it's light enough to hold but heavy enough not to bend. Expect to pay around $15.00 - $20.00. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less...
(1) Extension piece - This is kind of hard to describe. I used a roller extension and cut off the arms for the rollers however there are several other types. You can usually find these right next to the poles. They simply screw onto the end of the extension and are used to actually mount the brushes. Expect to pay about $5.00 - $10.00.
(1) 3/8" screw - This is used to hold your microphone on the pole. This is the industry standard for all tripods, mic-stands, boom poles. Expect to pay about $0.05.