Where are you currently employed?
Smart Post Sound in Burbank.
I am currently mixing various projects, including Sons of Anarchy for FX, Being Mary Jane for BET, Chasing Life for ABC Family and the upcoming Fox series Cosmos.
Describe Your Job.
Along with a co-mixer, I take all the audio elements and balance them to create a final surround soundtrack. I primarily mix dialogue and music. Mixing ue entails cleaning up and levelling the production dialogue. After that, I mix the music around the dialogue and make sure the dialogue isn’t overpowered.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
After doing live sound in the Netherlands, I moved to San Francisco where I started out in music, engineering and producing at the Record Plant in Sausalito. At the Record Plant, I worked with a Canadian band from Vancouver who invited me to work in Canada with them. I went to Vancouver, met my wife there and wound up staying for 17 years. In Vancouver, I started off by assisting with voiceover sessions at a small studio. I was then hired by another studio to record ADR and cut sound effects and backgrounds. One of the mixers at that studio ended up having a conflict with a particular client on a TV project. I had never mixed anything for TV or film, but I was thrown in the deep end to mix the show because of my history of mixing music. It was quite daunting.
Who gave you your first break?
I've had several first breaks. In Vancouver, it was Mark Scott, who hired me to record ADR at Post Modern Sound. That was a really big start in my audio post career. Then, several years later when I moved to LA, I was helped by several people here. Frank Morrone, Marti Humphrey and Alan Decker were all a big support, recommending me when they heard of opportunities. They opened a lot of doors for me. Then Craig Hunter and Dave Rawlinson at RH Factor hired me to mix dialogue full time. Another big break came when I was asked to fill an open spot at Smart Post Sound when one of their mix teams left. Joe Melody and Larry Benjamin gave me an amazing opportunity and I've been able to work on some great stuff there.
What was your first union job?
My first union job was about five years ago, cutting and mixing sound effects for the series The Beast starring Patrick Swayze at Sony Studios.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
I am proud of all my work.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
One of the biggest problems on every show is dealing with low and whispered dialogue in noisy locations — on the street, under an overpass, close to an airport. I use a variety of tools to diminish the noise without affecting the quality of the dialogue and without having to resort to ADR.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
Every day. I always say, "The worst day on the dub stage is better than the best day at any other job I've ever had."
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
The same as what I’m doing now. I love my job.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
Paintball. It keeps me somewhat healthy.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
Star Wars IV: A New Hope. There are lots of others. but that really made a big impression on me at the time. It’s a truly ground-breaking movie in both visual effects and sound and it still stands up today.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
Sons of Anarchy. I was a fan of the show before I started working on it. I like the writing. To name a few more: Grimm, Justified and Sleepy Hollow. All entertaining shows with good writing and likeable characters.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
No matter what you are working on, never settle for "good enough." Make it sound as good as you can within the time you have. Also, never ever criticize the facility, dub stage or people you are working with in front of the client. When issues arise, downplay them and, whenever possible, never give the client the impression there is a problem.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
No, I've been fortunate. But having worked in a non-union town, I know how fortunate we are to have the Guild to represent us and offer assistance when needed.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
Network and keep your name out there. It is the single best way to build your career.
Compiled by Edward Landler
Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on the home page of the Editors Guild website contact firstname.lastname@example.org.