Hello, my name is Chris and I am please to greet you. Welcome to my website and thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. The first for my website at http://www.cgsound.com.au, and hopefully one of many, however I have kept a blog before and at times I would dwindle away to minimal data entry for months at a time. This defeats my opinion of a “blog”, a medium of information that should be updated more often – however due to the power of my web host this is a part of my website I should explore. None the less, should this be the one and only post here please accept my most sincere apologies and move along.
I am a sound recordist for film and television. My little boy asks me “what does that mean” when I talk to him about making “tee-tee”. Whilst he seems to be more interested about me catching planes than carrying out the actual job, I try to tell him simply what it is that I do. This is “everything you can hear on the tv is because you are hearing what I heard at the time with my ears”. It would be impossible to explain to him at this stage of his life that over a long period of time and experience, your equipment becomes a part of your body. Extensions of your mind in terms of what you are hearing and from where.
Sound recording is a very mindful occupation, and I am very passionate about both the technicality and the art form. Being in a location where randomness always happens and trying to capture it faithfully and clearly. The ability to modify my approach to a situation with no notice and still get the job done without delaying the production’s requirements (and productivity).
Sound recording to me is also about personal relationships, both with cast and crew. I believe efficient professionalism mixed with “working with a whistle” (that is, enjoy my craft and the company of those who I have the pleasure to work with) is the key to a career in this industry . After many years of placing microphones on the many amazing people I have helped film, I consider it a high priority to develop a sensitivity and a relationship with “the talent” that helps put them at ease. For the uninitiated, standing under the lights in front of the camera can be quite a daunting experience, and I sympathise with these people greatly as my own experiences on the shiny side of the lens has reduced me more often than not into a gibbering madman.
I decided at a very young age to make films. I made films with friends on weekends, read film making books before bedtime and (courtesy of my awesome Dad) took photos on the family 35mm Zenit SLR whilst on holidays and at other situations of household note. I have always been very technically / creatively minded and spent a lot of my much younger years making insane radio plays with my brother for the benefit of my grandmother with a mono cassette tape recorder. Later, I was able to study film and television at high school where I learnt he technical fundamentals of creating a constructed narrative using film making as the medium and exploring the meaning behind the subtext of what I experienced as a part of being a film and television audience. I then went to college for a year where I continued to develop my own content and become transfixed by the idea of becoming a cinematographer before attending university for three years. It was here where I started to develop an passion for sound design (where I experienced the concept of sound design probably for the first time) and cinematographic lighting.
I started working straight out of uni as an “Electrics”, that is, a member of the lighting department (on my path to become a Best boy and then one day a Gaffer). However at the same time through the kindness and guidance of a much beloved mentor of mine, I was introduced to many aspects of television production from camera assisting through to being a long term (in between lighting jobs) tele prompter operator. Most importantly, I was introduced to sound recording as a technical trade.
My first location sound job was on a 1997 documentary called “Chooks… Their Lives and Their Lovers”, before recording a lot of audio for the various corporate video production houses in Brisbane at the time. Later I moved into reality television (both for Australian and international productions) and much later even dabbled with some high production value drama (again, both domestic and international products).
Over the years I have come to appreciate and learn the crafts of computer aided sound design and sound editing. In one way or the other I have been regularly manipulating digitised audio since first using very basic audio waveform editor in 1991. I record my own musical compositions and have also colluded with many other wonderful musicians and artists over the years to create a very diverse range of expression. These past years have had me start to offer services as a sound editor / sound designer for the local theatre, radio, television and documentary industries in a professional capacity, which is certainly a creative mode of employment that I intend to pursue more and more.
I eventually realised that with my technical skill, I can help tell the stories of other people – and as storytelling is my passion, no matter what the creative medium. I have heard many, many, many incredible and personal stories over the years and each one is as amazing as the next. I strongly believe in education via the televised medium. To me, the real essence of our human experience to personally share knowledge – and I feel very satisfied to utilise my skills in helping tell the stories that document existence.
All of these learning experiences, realisations and relationships have been invaluable to who I have become as a professional technical artist. I love what I do. It has become to me more than just a job. In feel like my experience has fortified an individual who considers himself to be observant, compassionate and patient. A person who enjoys meeting each new person in my life. I treat every working day as a continuance in my life long education into film and television production, for no day is ever the same in this line of work.
Thus, in an nutshell (whilst I attempt to start a new blog): that is me. And now you know what my mission is. Blog post one, check. I record sounds. I learn more about the world around me and my place within that. I hope that you enjoy my blog, hopefully we’ll both learn something along the was as I attempt to document my experiences out and about on location (and in the home edit suite). 😉