Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Stranger than Fiction

We’re visiting the family this week for Thanksgiving.  Since the grandparents love to spend time with the kids, we thought we would take the chance to go see a movie.  We went to see Stranger than Fiction.  The movie was great with one exception.  In about every fourth camera angle, the boom mic was visible at the top of the screen.  It would bob around like a cork floating on water.  At first I thought it was a problem with the print of the film.  After it would happen repeatedly, only on medium-wide shots consisting of the actors talking to one-another, I was convinced it was the boom mic.  I can only imagine the filmmaker’s disappointment when the the film was developed and most scenes of the movie had this problem.  The movie was great, but  I was distracted through much of it.


7 responses

  1. Matthew

    Sounds more like the fault of the projectionist. More often than not, boom mics are recorded onto final prints but exist outside of the actual “live area” of the film. (This happens for various technical reasons mostly related to aspect ratios that you could Google.)

    The projectionist at the theater you went to probably was just poorly trained/didn’t care to make sure you were seeing the film as the filmmaker intended. Yet another reason to just rent from Netflix 🙂

    December 13, 2006 at 2:48 pm

  2. Yes, I would blame the projectionist. I didn’t see any boom mic when I saw the film here in Greensboro, NC.

    December 14, 2006 at 9:52 am

  3. I have had more views to my blog over this topic (searching on: Stranger than fiction mic) than anything else. I have a feeling then that there were many bad projectionists out there.

    December 14, 2006 at 10:55 am

  4. Sonja

    I went to see Stranger than Fiction last night and I couldn’t wait to get home and look this up on the internet. I was so distracted from the boom mic! At first I thought – “maybe it’s part of the movie”….I have never ever seen that happen! Wierd.

    December 31, 2006 at 1:31 pm

  5. Jokkis

    It HAS to be poor workmanship from the boom operator, and not the projectionist as suggested above. I just saw the movie at a Norwegian theater, and there’s just no(r) way so many people from different locations all suffered the same, deranged projectionist. Never seen anything like it before!

    Regardless; great movie 🙂

    January 9, 2007 at 3:36 pm

  6. .mel

    Just saw it today, the mic was there like you said about every 4th shot. sometime times you could see it bobbing around following the actors around the set, and often you could see two at a time. At one point at Ms Eiffel’s apartment on a wider shot I could see the whole mic and about 8 feet of the boom across the ceiling. I’ve spotted the boom mic in movies before, but this was ridiculous.

    January 30, 2007 at 11:57 pm

  7. I saw it too! It popped up in EVERY shot during the serious love talk between Will & Maggie. Then the projection fixed it after someone when out and complained. Quite odd!

    I thought widescreen movies were cropped at that aspect ratio but apparently the movie theater has to do the cropping & alignment.

    February 10, 2007 at 10:47 pm

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