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Tyler Calder Spotlight

2018 Film & Digital Media Studies (B.S.) Graduate

What Are You Doing Professionally Now?

I am working primarily as a boom operator for narrative films, features, and shorts. I mixed a few shorts this year and a feature last October.

How did you get your job?

I get my gigs by talking to my friends in the sound community. When there's an opening they pass it along my way.

On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

As a boom operator, I coordinate with the sound mixer at the beginning of the day to unload and prepare his cart and other equipment. I usually have a separate wireless rig that enables me to freely move onto set. It includes a transmitter to send the signal from my boom pole to the mixer and a receiver for talkback so the mixer can talk to me. Once I have the rig set up, I focus on what the camera and lighting departments are preparing for the scene, which makes me understand where I can place the boom during the scene. It also is imperative that I watch a rehearsal to know the exact placement of actors.

What special advice would you give someone entering your field of work?

The most important thing is to come onto set with a grateful and humble attitude. If you think you're the smartest, best, most accomplished person around, people will pick up on that and not want to work with you again. That hard heart also prevents the potential for learning. There's always something new that you can be learning. If you get past your ego, you can learn something that'll get you hired on gigs in the future.

If you were in the position to hire new graduates, what would you look for in them?

I would look for the heart I previously mentioned. It's a privilege to work in such a cool (and profitable) industry and the people that take it for granted are usually the biggest jerks who will eventually fall behind those who appreciate their job and want to learn.

Was there anything specific that you learned while attending UNG that has been especially beneficial in your career?

The best part about film school is that the required shorts are extremely low budget. These are perfect for making mistakes and learning the craft. This allows you to learn the bases in a hopefully low-stress environment. Therefore, when bigger productions call, the bases are covered and now it's time to really buckle down to learn.

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