Alex Lewis – Sound

What Role did you aspire to at the beginning of your placement?

Before beginning my placement I knew that I wanted to work in film and television as a boom operator and possibly working as a sound mixer.

Do you aspire to a different role now?

Possibly, I really enjoy working on set and challenging myself as a boom operator. However I would like to equip myself with knowledge of mixing, as I have very little at the moment to aspire to that role.

Can you give a brief description of work carried out as a sound trainee, was your role the same on each production? Can you give examples?

Working on Wolfblood was very different to my previous experience from day one. We used wireless Sennheiser SKP 100 G3 Plug-on Transmitters instead of XLR cables, which was more efficient and quick. I was responsible for charging all batteries, handing out IEMs for checking dialogue, syncing Time code every morning and lunchtime. I also had to keep equipment clean and tidy, and stored in the right place. Working with the sound mixer, making sure they and their equipment was safe within the environment they were placed.

Working on I, Daniel Blake I was responsible for loading the pre-amp and transmitters every day, replacing batteries fresh every morning. Handing out IEMs, helping to raise antennas, placing the surround sound microphone on location, keeping cables tidy and adhering to health and safety.

The two productions were very different. Working on a Ken Loach films in terms of sound is extremely different to working within an established drama such as Ken liked to have “Live sound”; rather then actions being ran separate he liked to have the authentic live sound of SA’s, actions and atmos. Whilst working on Wolfblood it was a very controlled environment.

What have you learned, what has been most valuable?

What I’ve learnt is that I need to be friendly, reliable and prepared and always on top of everything, five steps ahead of my department. I know I’m still learning but I should have a rough idea of what is to happen next so I can help as much as I can. Working on Wolfblood gave me the confidence to be self-assured and to carry out jobs quickly whilst mindful of other departments. I, Daniel Blake helped me understand sound equipment more, whilst also giving me a chance to improve my professionalism.

What areas do you need to focus on next, or improve further through your training in order to become employment ready?

I think my knowledge of equipment has vastly improved, but I still need to work on my ability to communicate and work efficiently. I would like to improve my communicative skills and confidence so I can approach and help clip microphones to actors, and competently work with crew so I’m not wasting their time or getting in their way.

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