Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Poles Aplenty for Frugal Mic Adapter


When doing research for my last Frugal Filmmaker episode (Painter's Pole Mic Adapter), I came across several poles that were very good candidates to use with said adapter. The adapter lets you easily attach a mic to your basic painter pole thread (you know, the really coarse one), giving you a quick boom pole whenever you need one. These pole types didn't really get time in the episode, so I thought I'd run them down here, giving all the basic stats and cost.

Broom / Mop Handle (free-$5).
If you have a broom or mop in your possession, then all you have to do is unscrew the head, attach your adapter, and your done. If you don't have one of these you can easily pick them up anywhere, including your local Dollar Tree. While these are very cheap to acquire, they also don't extend, giving you a shorter length in which to reach your actor's lips.

Fixed length Extension pole ($5-10)
These are basically a more robust broom handle, found in the paint section of whatever store you choose. They are sturdy wood or aluminum and don't collapse. Like the broom handle, they are only one length, but are affordable and strong. Make sure you have the space to transport it and you'll be fine.

Two-section Extension Pole ($12-20)
These stand at about 5', but can extend to another 4' to give you greater distance to stand out of frame and record dialogue. I've got the Wal-Mart pole and I really like it, especially the "twist and lock" control over the sections which is much faster and convenient than traditional screw collets that take more time and break easily.

Three-Section Extention Pole ($20-30)
These poles give you the greatest reach (12') and collapse to the smallest size (4'). The most familiar of these is the Bayco light bulb changer kit, found in most hardware stores. Just unscrew the pole from the bulb changing hardware, and you're ready to add the adapter. This yellow metal pole is very recognizable in DIY circles for the great length, small size and "twist and lock" functionality. There is a cheaper version ($16) at Wal-Mart, but it feels flimsy and has plastic collets instead of the twist locks (boo!)

One of these poles should fit your adapter needs. If you have no money and don't need much length, snake the broom handle from your kitchen pantry. If you want better reach, but don't have a lot of money, go for the two-section model at Wal-Mart. If you want the best pole that fits all needs, get the Bayco. It's a great one, and the $20 probably won't kill you.

1 comment:

Greg Zeng said...

Selfie sticks, adapted from smartphones?

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