When I started working in audio there was a stark division of labor. The composer was usually the producer, but not always. There were SFX people who weren’t composers, and there were mixers who might do the SFX if it was a simple job, but their job was mostly to fix and enhance dialog. But mostly three camps – dialog, music and SFX.
The nightmare was that the composer would write cool music for a certain scene, and the SFX person would do something equally interesting – and using both was too much. Somewhere in the 90s three planets aligned. Budgets got cut, the internet meant we could ftp sound files, and composers could add digital audio to their sequencers. That was nothing new to me since I had been using a Synclavier for eight years. But it was a paradigm shift in the way you could bid a job – you could bid for the music, the dialog editing and enhancement, and the SFX part of the gig.
That gradually evolved into me getting work as a mixer – doing dialog and SFX and adding my music, or somebody else’s music.
Here are some recent projects.
In summer 2022 I did sound design and the stereo mix for this short film written and directed by Justin Burquist.
Here’s the IMDB credit page.
The movie opens with the detective arriving on scene and walking down a long hallway. No dialog for a while so it was great to be able to tease the impending tension without giving it away – and add that to the sounds you’d expect to hear like footsteps and machine noise.
Without giving it away, there’s a scene where the footage runs backwards. Things that have a distinctive sound “forwards” – like glass breaking – don’t necessarily register when played backwards. Time for the music – by Matt Gradala – to step in.
In summer 2017 I did sound design and the stereo mix for this short film written and directed by Eric Addison.
It’s the story of a kid’s first bike ride outside of his local neighborhood. He grows up that day.
I had most of the sounds I needed in various libraries, but I had to set up the Foley rig for a few of them – like when his bike’s license plate falls off and bounces on the pavement. Pie plate on a cement block mic’ed with a Neumann TLM 103.
In 2016 I did sound design and the stereo mix for this short film written and directed by Windy Marshall.
IMDB says “Grieving over the recent loss in her life, a rescue swimmer must decide if her own life is worth saving.” Let’s leave it at that.
A lot of it takes place in a bar, but the ambience of the bar, the other patrons, the static-filled weather broadcast on the Coast Guard radio and the severe weather outside the bar were all challenges.