Explore: Media

Boom Operator/Sound Supervisor

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My name is Dean W and I am a sound supervisor, boom operator on Emmerdale.


The supervisor side of it is where you, well in the village you’re sat in a van with a mixing desk and you control all the audio that comes in and goes to the tracks that’s recorded.


I’ve been working on Emmerdale permanently for about, I think it’s about five years now. Before that we used to be Yorkshire Television and we used to make lots of different programmes,


There’s a couple of advantages we’ve got, working purely on Emmerdale, and that is something like work/life balance, which for me is amazing because I’ve got five children and I get, I have every Friday off, so I manage to go to assemblies with the kids and, you know, well the ones in primary school anyway and, you know, you get to spend the day, day to day, as you would be at home, which is really nice cos when we were Yorkshire Television, I used to work six-day weeks.


School wasn’t the best place for me to be really, when I was a teenager, cos academically things just didn’t interest me, apart from say physics, science, physics and then and sport. But my mum, from me being very young, was disabled so she had a back injury, so there was quite a hard time. I think when I was seven my mum became disabled and that was quite difficult because me and my brother were pulled out of school and we had to go on the road with my dad, cos my mum lived in hospital for about 18 months.
01:45 So that might have been where I got my idea of school being boring because I was out on the road with my dad, so we kind of missed out on a bit of education. Although, my dad was very good at self-teaching, you know, he didn’t give us, it wasn’t an easy ride cos he made us do work, but what his idea of school work was possibly different to what the school would be.
02:12 After school I went into college and did media production at college at Hull College. I did work at Morrisons in the warehouse and occasionally the warehouse staff used to have to come out and help stack shelves when people, when they were short in different departments and I was actually studying at university at the time and I’m there stacking some shelves and an old teacher walked past, in fact it was my old form tutor and he came past and he was, oh Dean, lovely to see you, oh it’s nice to see that you’ve got a job, you know, you’re doing all right, little, and I was like, yeah this is my part-time student job and he was like, oh you’re a student, what are you doing? I said, oh I’m studying media and he was like, really, where at? I said, at university and he was, you’re at uni, you’re at uni? I was like, yeah, I’m at uni, surprise and but, you know, they were really supportive when they found out but I think surprised would be the key word there.
03:17 There was one time at college, one of our tutors did a day out to Yorkshire TV and at the time I was 16 and our whole class went in a minibus over to Yorkshire TV and we spent the day there and we had a good tour and it was, oh it was everyone, there was about 30 or 40 of us in the class and we were just like walking round gob-smacked, seeing all these stars. Used to walk down the corridors and it was just laden with photographs of work that had been done at Yorkshire TV and you probably can’t imagine how much had been done there.
03:56 And we ended up going into studio four and there was the Countdown set and we were all just like uh, it’s Countdown! And we ended up going up the gantry steps and we all stopped and the guy showing us round was telling us about all the set and what they do, because in them days they used to have that set, build it, pull it out over the weekend, put another set in, you’d shoot something there and then that’d go and you’d bring another one and how busy it was and I remember stopping and looking down over the Countdown set and just thinking, I’m going to work here one day.
04:31 And up to five years ago, I was the last sound supervisor to mix Countdown at Yorkshire TV. So from that moment of standing there and saying, I am going to work here one day and having that determination and the gall to go for it, to end up mixing it and being the supervisor on it. It’s and it’s just like a dream come true.
04:55 End of Dean W


Dean really enjoyed sport at school and says that it was sport that got him through school. After school he went to college to study media production. It was here that he went on a trip to the Countdown set, which sparked his decision to work in television. He enjoys the job security of working on a long running series and feels that the regular hours give him the perfect work life balance.

More information about TV, video and audio engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

100%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? TV, video and audio engineers service and repair domestic television, video and audio appliances.
Entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades or an equivalent qualification such as an Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQ Level II. Training is provided off- and on-the-job and may be supplemented by short courses delivered by manufacturers. NVQs/SVQs in Domestic Appliance Engineering are available at Level 3.
  • Examines equipment and observes reception to determine nature of defect;
  • Uses electronic testing equipment to diagnose faults and check voltages and resistance;
  • Dismantles equipment and repairs or replaces faulty components or wiring;
  • Re-assembles equipment, tests for correct functioning and makes any necessary further adjustments;
  • Carries out service tasks such as cleaning and insulation testing according to schedule.
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Broadcasting 1201
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