After submitting my work Dean emailed me a couple of days later and thanked me. He said he was totally snowed under with finishing the JFK mix and juggling two new projects that came in. As such he asked if we could suspend our meetings for a week and then catch up the following week, whereas I could ask any questions that I wished.
He said that he was not only happy with my work, but he thought that I had what it took to make it in whatever capacity I wished within the industry. He also floated the opportunity of more work in the future if I was interested.
When we caught up the following week I had spent a much needed week resting and thinking about questions to ask for Dean.
My first question was in regard to wherever or not there were any particular strategies that he has found helpful in learning his craft?
Dean then rewound back in time to when he started his internship in 2002. Noting that when he started he had never used Pro Tools and he somewhat winged it and threw himself in the deep end, just as I had. He said the next thing for me to learn as a sound editor would be editing dialogue.
As he is teaching a university class this semester, he said he would send me the video's he was planning to record instructing his students how to edit dialogue. Essentially he said the best way to learn was on another project.
When I asked him if he was part of any associations, he said he was a member of the Motion Picture Association, which was in a sense an elitist gateway that costs $3'200 USD to join, with additional quarterly payments of $600. The one benefit of the association he said is that you can work on union jobs, however in Dean's opinion membership is largely unnescary and hasn't been of much help to him.
He said most of his work comes from friends and friends of friends, and from people who liked his work from Twin Peaks.
We spoke about strategies of getting work and Dean said forming personal relationships with people and associates is the best type of networking. Also moving to where the work is, which in the U.S is L.A or New York helped him immensely when he started out.
Dean also mentioned that he really enjoyed working in two different timezones as you essentially have the project been worked on 24hrs a day, and he mentioned that it could be a good service to offer Americans, and that with 2 or 3 people like him I could essentially make a living.
Dean mentioned how he is freelance and how it is stressful financially as opposed to working in a full time position. He also said the best thing about it, is that you don't get stuck on the same project forever.. He asked me about my career aspirations and he told me strategies that had worked for him, such as planning a diverse career which is a combination of music, film, teaching and video work. He said initially you really need to get the work on your CV and get your name known in order to generate interest from others. He mentioned the most important thing is too keep moving and keep creating.
Dean mentioned another project that I could possibly work on in a couple of months and he also said I am welcome to contact him at any time if I need help with anything or would like to have a chat.
I then asked if there was any feedback in regards to my work from the production crew. He said the overall the produced and video editor were really happy with the work Dean and I had added to the picture. Oliver Stone was mostly concerned with the pacing issues of the documentary, which Dean thinks seem to stem from certain video editing and music decisions made from higher up. He mentioned that in the dub stage that had turned down the overall mix of the SFX a little too much for his liking, and he mentioned that he was planning to increase the volume.
He also said he would make sure I get a credit for my work on JFK. I asked Dean if I could ask him for a reference and he was more than happy to be. I didn't ask him for a written reference as he was tired and stressed out and I thought it would be better to ask at another point in time.
Below is a screenshot of the entire 4 hr session zoomed out. Every yellow line is a marker for a sound. Thousands of sound edited, mixed and EQ over a 4 week period. I would be lying if I didn't say I was quite happy with myself , not only just getting across the finishing line, but additional getting a big confidence boost from the whole expereince, and forming a new connection with one of my major inspirations and influences.
July 7th of August - Tues - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 8th of August - Wed - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 9th of August - Thurs - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 10th of August - Fri - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 12th of August - Sun - 10.00 - 3.00 - 30min break - 4.5 hrs
Total = 49.5 hrs
July 13th of August - Mon - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 14th of August - Tues - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 15th of August - Wed - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 16th of August - Thurs - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 17th of August - Fri - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 19th of August - Sun - 10.00 - 3.00 - 30min break - 4.5 hrs
Total = 49.5 hrs
July 20th of August - Mon - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 21st of August - Tues - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 23th of August - Wed - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 24h of August - Thurs - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 24th of August - Fri - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 26th of August - Sun - 10.00 - 3.00 - 30min break - 4.5 hrs
Total = 49.5 hrs
July 27th of August - Mon - 8.00 - 11.00 - 3 hrs
July 28st of August - Tues - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 29th of August - Wed - 8.00 - 5.30 - 30min break - 9 hrs
July 30h of August - Thurs - 8.00 - 6.00 - 30min break - 9.5 hrs
July 31th of August - Fri - 8.00 - 6.30 - 30min break - 10 hrs
July 1st of August - Sat - 8.00 - 6.00 - 30min break - 10 hrs
Total = 51.5 hrs
Total Hours = 200
My meeting with Dean in the second half of this week was short and sweet. Due to my 'lost' day I was totally under the pump, swamped in and in a slight panic to finish the project on time. Dean needed the audio by August the 1st (Saturday night) at the latest. As he would then have to spend his weekend mixing it and automating all the EQ for the music and dialogue. He would then have to bundle it all up and send it on a hard drive to L.A. As the plan was to have another sound guy mixing it for him with the producer. The audio would then be sent back to him and he would talk with the producer and sound mix distantly to go over any issues that may come up. Dean would then do the final mix and send it all back to the producer again.
Dean said too do the best job that I could and if I ran out of time to leave the markers in and just to leave him notes of what additional sounds who would need to add.
I managed to get the work to Dean on Saturday night, after rewatching it a few times I realised I would just need to hand it in as I was getting way to close to the work and overly fussy. I removed all the markers as Dean instructed and only left the ones with the sounds that I hadn't added. Which were mostly interview audio for archival footage that I could not track down. I also spent a great amount of time going over my work and making sure that all the files were the correct lengths and file formats.
I sent Dean and email with a detailed description of what I had done, which he thanked me for, as it enabled him to know what work he needed to do before opening the session.
Chapter 4 Work Examples
For chapter 4 I requested some sounds from Dean's collection as I had trouble finding appropriate recordings. More specifically I requested hospital sounds, New Orleans street sounds, and media pack sounds. I asked for this suite of sounds as chapter 4 was littered with scenes requiring such audio. I worked from Dean's philopshy of using restriction as a cretaive device. As such I used the same sounds in multiple scenes, the challenge been to then remix and edit it to suit the vision and space. Mostly using reverb and eq. Below is scene of Oswald in New Orleans, notice the visual editor has cut the cars on the cut. This is done to give the image a sense of visual and auditory movement.
Here is another example of a car montage with the music isolated. With all the additive FX I used EQ and pitch shift sounds to match the fundamental note of the music. I largely did this via feel. As opposed to previous chapters I also experimented a lot more with longer crossfades across scenes.
Below is one of my favourite scenes. Largely due to the autonomy of sound I used. I managed to use RX 7 in the way Dean showed me, to create false ambiences sampling previously used sounds. Thus evidence in the sounds of the troops storming the beach. To articulate a bigger sounding bomb I also layered a 2nd layer with ducked all the frequencies other than a boosted 40hz to create a greater bass presence.