The Film Production course at AUB is known for matching students up with their natural specialisms. How far into your studies were you when you realised you wanted to work in sound? When I first applied to the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, as it was then, I knew nothing about sound and originally applied as an editor. I was told that all seven places were taken but they suggested that I try sound. I wanted to get onto the course so much that I was prepared to basically change my whole career. I thought I’d have to compose and record music and had no idea about that stuff. I didn’t know anything about microphones or recorders and wasn’t the kid who loved to play with magnetic tape—some sound guys were mad about that kind of thing when they were growing up. In the edit, I always struggled to make something coherent out of the mess of sound that was recorded on location. It was a part of filmmaking that I knew least about and was least confident in.
YOU HAVE TO BE QUITE LOW-KEY AND HANDLE THINGS DELICATELY. YOU’RE NOT THE BIG NOISY DEPARTMENT —YOU’RE IN THE BACKGROUND —BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO GET THE RESULTS.
Did you grow to love it, then? Working with sound is actually a really gratifying creative role within a production. It did grow on me and it wasn’t long before I knew that I’d made the right choice. I had thought it might be a good future plan, kind-of instinctively, but genuinely didn’t know whether it was right for me until about the middle of the course. I started to go out and meet real sound recordists and go to sets. It was then that I thought, ‘Yeah, I’m quite fortunate that I picked this department.’ The course helped me hone my interest in location sound. I could have gone into post-production sound, but that involved sitting behind a computer, which I knew I didn’t want to do. I enjoyed it but not as much as actually working in the field. Location sound suits my approach to things. You have to be quite low-key and handle things delicately. You’re not the big noisy department—you’re in the background—but you still have to get the results. What is it about sound that appeals to you in particular?
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE