Boom operator of Oscar-nominated short film The Silent Child reveals how got him the gig

Sebastian Levy Polat is one of the crew members that director Chris Overton found through for Oscar-nominated short film The Silent Child. Sebastian – who took boom operator duties on the project after graduating from the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) – has gone on to act as sound recordist for a string of productions since. Here he tells Mandy News about getting the gig through Mandy Crew and his experience on the project.

2nd February 2018
/ By Sebastian Levy Polat

The Silent Child sound recordist SEBASTIANLEVYPOLAT

Working on The Silent Child was a very spontaneous thing. I was contacted through one or two days before the film shoot. The plot really caught my attention as it is actually a film for a real cause and the writer and star was a recognised actress. However, I had been working for no pay jobs for a while and was a bit tired of not being recognised for my work and this one was a bit too far. But the team said they would cover all my expenses, so I jumped on board. And I could not be any happier for that decision.

The shoot of The Silent Child was the best experience I've had since I started working in the film industry. All the crew were super welcoming and we bonded pretty quickly. I could already see the film achieving great things, right from the start. You could see how both the actors and all the crew were 100% committed to giving the best of themselves, and I think that was what drove the project towards having such a strong response from the public and helped it accomplish what it was meant to accomplish – getting people closer to the reality that some children in the deaf community have to deal with. There were also some deaf people assisting the shoot. It was a unique experience.

I was called to work as the boom operator and assist the sound recordist, which was a nice challenge as I was still in my first few months of work after I graduated from SAE. I got to learn quite a few tricks from the sound recordist. Even after the film was done we kept in contact and kept working together.

Working on The Silent Child opened many doors for me, having met a crew of people that have been in the industry for quite a while. It presented me with many more opportunities to keep working with them on many other productions.

Personally, I don't think I can highlight a single event, the whole shoot was just a unique and amazing experience. We basically lived together for that whole week, where we shot the film and also learned some sign language.

I am enormously proud that The Silent Child has been nominated for an Oscar and I must praise the team-work and huge effort from everyone who worked on it, especially Rachel and Chris who never stopped pushing to bring out the best work from everyone to get The Silent Child this far.

The Silent Child gaffer Neal Parsons has also detailed his experience working on the project – find out about his story here.

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