Mariusz Glasbinski - Supervising Sound Editor
Sound Editor (Supervising Sound Editor).
Where are you currently employed?
I’m a freelancer, but work mostly at Sound One.
The Hottest State, The War.
Describe your job:
As a sound editor, I record, edit and place sound effects or music, and put them into sync with the picture. I create a sonic landscape, trying to make the film sound better both technically and dramatically.
How did you become interested in this line of work?
I’ve been always interested in abstract music, like the music of John Cage and Steve Reich. For years, I was working in music recording studios, recording music of different kinds. That’s where I started to experiment with sound––recording and using everyday sounds to create musical ambiences.
When I learned that this is basically what sound editors and sound designers are doing for film, the next logical step for me was to work in post-production.
Who gave you your first break?
Guild members Marlena Grzaslewicz and Ira Spiegel.
First union job?
My first union job as an assistant was on Nancy Savoca’s film 24 Hour Woman in 1998. I was an apprentice on my first Ken Burns movie, Lewis and Clark (1997).
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
Off the Map (2003), because the whole movie happens in New Mexico in a very quiet and removed environment. I could only play with nature, and director Campbell Scott wanted things very quiet to show the isolation from the real world. So I had to play with a limited amount of details like squeaks, creaks, birds or insects, and carefully place them in the right spots; it was a lot of work, very challenging, but very satisfying in the end. I think that sometimes it’s easier to do a busy movie with a vast range of different sound elements, like cars, sirens or traffic in the city.
What was your biggest challenge in your job and how did you overcome it?
There are two types of challenges––creative and technical. I love when there is a good challenge, it makes work more interesting. I think our job would be boring without them. That’s also what makes you more creative.
You grow as an editor with each challenge. From the technical point of view, documentaries are the biggest challenge. Also, it’s a challenge working with different, often first-time directors, communicating with them, and making them appreciate your work.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
We all get into this business because of the love for movies. The most fun is collaborating with others at the mix when everyone is on the same page.
And for the first time, you hear all the elements merging and coming to life together.
Job-wise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now? Ten years?
I would hope to be still working in sound. I am always looking to record more of my own effects, expand my library. I do that from time to time on projects.
Also, to go back to music recording and editing.
Blow Up in 1966, Conversation in 1974 and films that are sonically very rich and tasteful. I love cinema from the 1960s and ‘70s, both American and European, and New York-based films like the movies of Sidney Lumet or John Schlesinger.
Favorite television program(s):
I don’t watch much television. I like interesting documentaries. I also like classic comedy shows like I Love Lucy (1951-57) and The Honeymooners (1955-56).
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
First of all, you need to have dedication and a love for this craft. This is obviously not a nine-to-five kind of job. Contrary to what most people think––“this is only sound”––it is hard work. A passion for films and understanding of film language are also definitely helpful.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
Thankfully, not yet.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members?
I am humble in their presence. I’ve been doing sound for films only for eight or nine years and I’m usually working with great, creative people who have been doing this for 20 or 30 years.