DIY Boom Pole

DIY Boom Pole

The easiest and cheapest piece of filmmaking equipment I have ever made!

Boom poles will cost you anything from £80 to £200 depending on what material the pole is made of, its length, and if it has any advanced features like an internal XLR for what is essentially a long stick that holds a microphone. Filmmaking equipment is already an expensive niche so why does something so simple have to be so expensive?

Amazon Search Result for "Boom Pole" 2019
Amazon Search Result for “Boom Pole” 2019

My simple DIY solution is just a 2m broom pole and a 1/4 inch bolt. Total £10.25 broken down to £10 for the broom pole and 25p for the bolt.

Drill a hole at the top of the pole and put the bolt through, then attach your microphone holder onto it, and presto! One boom pole.

Problem, solution. THINK! I’ve seen students on my course fork out big bucks for a Rode Boom Pole only to try and sell it once they’re done with it, not knowing they could have saved all that money if they found another way of getting a boom pole in the first place.

Student Selling Boom Pole on Course FB Page
Student Selling Boom Pole on Course FB Page

Like a broken record I’m going to repeat my mantra on filmmaking equipment and the reason a lot of my gear is either DIY or second=hand. I follow two rules when it comes to growing my filmmaking arsenal; The Law of Diminishing Returns, and The Broken Hammer Analogy. The Law of Diminishing Returns is that the first £1000 you spend on equipment is going to do so much more for you than the 2nd £1000, or the 3rd £1000 and so on until you get to the 6th or 7th £1000 spent on equipment and it doesn’t do anything for you as you’ve already learnt so much from the very first instalment you invested. The Broken Hammer Analogy is taken from one of my favourite people Adam Savage, and it is so relevant it’s annoying when I see film students go against it, and the analogy is like this; go to a junk shop, thrift store, or charity shop and buy the cheapest, nastiest, and broken hammer there is. If you use that hammer every day on every project you do until it can be used no more, then you are entitled to purchase the fanciest new hammer there is. If you’ve only used the old hammer maybe a couple of times, then there is no reason for you to fork out on something expensive and fancy.

The boom pole is a prime example of the Broken Hammer Analogy – I am not a sound guy and never will be, I may only use my DIY Boom Pole a handful of times, therefore I have no reason to spend £80 and up on an actual Boom Pole. But if it turns out I use this DIY piece of kit at every shoot I go on, then I might be inclined to invest in something more professional – and thus the Law of Diminishing Returns then kicks in.

I’ve seen students purchase Drones, Gimbals, Boom Poles, Sliders, and all sorts of ‘unnecessary’ expensive filmmaking tools to only use them once or twice and shelve them indefinitely as they have no further use for them on a daily filming basis. They think “oh I NEED this expensive piece of gear therefore I MUST have it” without thinking how long they may use it for, what this investment will do for them in the long term, and if there are any alternatives. Identify your problem, find a solution, and THINK.

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