What is your job role and what does that involve?
Production Sound Mixer – Responsible for recording/mixing live performances for film/tv.
As an HOD the PSM must construct a sound team including a boom operator (1st assistant), and a second assistant and/or trainee. He/She must also supply the necessary kit to service the job requirements. You must also anticipate sound issues related to the script/locations/action/shooting style.
The job gets more challenging each year as budgets get tighter, studios get less sound friendly and the need to radio mic all talent at all times increases.
What are a few of your career highlights so far?
Hard to say! So many good times 🙂 #IMDB
How did you start in the industry?
After doing a running job on a short film the recordist asked if I would boom for him on a 35mm CH4 short! With no previous experience I jumped in and learnt on the job, and continued with him for a couple of years.
What training have you had?
I did an HND in Electronic Music at Newcastle College, which has little relevance to the film industry but allowed me to understand acoustics and mic placement to some degree.
What key skills do you need for your job?
Perseverance is key as fresh energy is required for each day as you battle recurring issues. Also you will need to find solutions quickly as the dynamics of filming can quickly mess up any plans you may have had.
Is there anything that people should be aware of when pursuing this role?
It can be a struggle to gain a steady flow of work in the industry, and when you do long hours and the need to always turn up for work might no suit some people.
What do you look for when looking to hire a sound trainee?
Passion, the ability to learn quick and not repeat mistakes is a good start. Also the requirement to be able to get on with all sorts of people and not be intimidated is paramount.
What are your top tips?
If you want it, don’t give up!