Tuesday, June 2, 2009

MEET THE CREW: Boom Operator Sam Edens

Sam & Sam: Samantha Iles with Sam Edens

Sam Edens is one of the most amiable fellows you could ever hope to meet. Friendly, funny, and always entertaining—having him on the Ghosts Don't Exist team throughout the aggressive 15-day shoot was a very good thing for us all.

He's unquestionably one of the first folks you'd notice on set. Tall, rangy, and with a long ponytail and goatee—at first glance, he may look more like the "outlaw biker" archetype he actually portrayed in a 2003 episode of The F.B.I. Files on The Discovery Channel. But from your first conversation with this easygoing gentleman, you'll know you're in very good company—and in for a fun ride. Fittingly, on Day 1 of filming, it was Sam who showed up with the Ghostbusters shirt. GDE was officially off to a great start.

But Sam did much more than simply keep the troops in good spirits; he held—literally—one of the most crucial filmmaking responsibilities on set. The boom mic.

Working in tandem with sound recordist Billy Britt, Sam's job was to pick up the key voices and sounds in every scene. Indoors, outdoors... sometimes in uncomfortably close quarters. It's often a thankless job, and one of the most grueling. But we certainly appreciate Sam's skill and effort on this film. Because make no mistake—what you'll ultimately hear in the movie is due in very large part to Sam Edens.

One of the great things about working with Sam, aside from his wit and wisdom, is his unwavering demeanor. Cool under fire doesn't begin to describe it. Whether it was bad weather or ungodly hours, Sam never lost his affability. He helped create and foster a stress-free environment on sets that could've easily turned into anything but.

Sam can always find a way to lighten a moment, bring a smile, and set everyone around him at ease—including Redskins' great Chris Cooley, waiting a bit tentatively for an alternate take during his screen debut:

Sam is a lot more than a boom operator. He's a talented screenwriter and actor who has appeared in a number of productions, including The Patriot and John Adams; and has portrayed such surprisingly cleancut historical figures as Alexander Hamilton and Sir Isaac Newton, respectively.

And you thought he was just another outlaw biker. ;)

Sam on the set of The Patriot with Jason Isaacs—the diabolical Col. Tavington

Sam as Sir Isaac Newton in The Science Channel's 100 Greatest Discoveries

On the set of HBO's John Adams

Sam as Alexander Hamilton in The Discovery Channel's Weapons Masters

On top of it all, Sam is a heck of a musician. One of the great memories many of us will take from the GDE experience is that of Sam, Ed Mantell, and Gavin Peretti breaking out in their freeform jam sessions at the end of each day. Sam's bass, Ed's guitar, and Gavin's vocals were a welcome sound, signaling another day closer to the completion of the film.

Check out Sam's MySpace page, as well as that of his freestyle group, 13 Foot Drift. You'll be glad you did.

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