Where are you currently employed?
Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Two animated features: Zootopia and Moana, both scheduled for release in 2016.
Describe Your Job.
My job with Disney includes a wide range of responsibilities. I record animation production dialogue and ADR. I do the re-recording mixing for screenings and I am a final effects re-recording mixer. For our picture editors, I also do sound design and dialogue treatment. In addition to this, I manage bookings and scheduling of our recording studios and booking outside studios. I am also a sound effects librarian and work on the restoration of Disney legacy sound effects.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
The Star Wars radio drama was a big inspiration to me when I was young and certainly got me interested in sound and film sound at an early age. I honestly didn't know this line of work even existed when I first sent out my resume after I finished college.
Who gave you your first break?
Marni Cunha and John Mardesich in operations at Skywalker Sound hired me based on my personality and potential, even though I knew nothing about post-production sound at the time.
What was your first union job?
I joined IATSE Local 16 in San Francisco as a machine room operator at Skywalker Sound in 1999.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
That would have to be Frozen, not only for the way it connected with audiences but because it was also my first large feature re-recording mixer credit. I'm very proud of the work we did on it, which included a full native Dolby Atmos mix — that was a first for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
My biggest challenge was for a media event arranged for Big Hero 6. We had to set up a mobile Pro Tools rig in a hotel room to mix and process Scott Adsit's voice as the robot Baymax, as well as live animation cued with sound effects.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
Recording some amazingly funny actors such as T.J. Miller, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Sarah Silverman, Zachary Levi, Dave Foley…and the list goes on.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
Hopefully, I will still be contributing to the history of Disney animation sound in whatever way I can.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
Baseball, coffee, bicycling, cooking, dining and exploring Los Angeles' historical places.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
My favorites are Chinatown and Vertigo for their drama and historical locations; Saving Private Ryan and Terminator 2 for their sound; and Rushmore and Raiders of the Lost Ark for the sheer enjoyment.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
Mind of a Chef on PBS is the best food show on. Bloodline and Peaky Blinders are great dramas on Netflix. Game of Thrones, Orphan Black and Sherlock are great fun. Fresh Off the Boat and Blackish, both on ABC, are my favorite comedies. My all-time favorite, though, would have to be The X-Files.
Do you have an industry mentor?
I've worked with David Fluhr, CAS, in a variety of capacities over the past 14 years and consider him a mentor and friend, as well as re-recording mix partner. But I must also say that everything I've learned in sound has been through the mixers, editors and engineers I've worked with throughout my career.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
Train your ears and mind to work together. The way they work together is your most valuable tool and what can set you apart in the sound business. Also, never stop learning. Whether it's new consoles or plug-ins, virtual instruments, real instruments or sound programs outside of Pro Tools, learning how to work with different technologies will help you to think differently and to question your workflow and hopefully improve it. It also makes you more valuable to employers.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
Late in 2002, when I transferred from Skywalker Sound to Todd-AO in the course of two days.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
Share your knowledge with others, especially younger generations. The history of apprenticeship is very important in film and in film sound and deserves to be maintained. That’s coming from someone who’s learned everything on the job.
Compiled by Ed 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.