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I mean, where else can you shoot machine guns at a van and call it work?

Or set off fireworks all night long,

Or walking in the mountains all day,

Or visiting a Zoo,

Or, or, or...

What is your fondest memory from designing sound? Places you've been, recording scenarios you've been in, etc.?

Mine was live mixing an event for a house of close to 8,000 people. That made me think "Wow, sound is a pretty cool gig"

What's your "Wow I'm glad I got into this business" moment? If you care to share...

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8 Answers 8

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Yes. Yes it is :)

I have the "this is why i do this!" moment every time i get a difficult sfx right, or during screening sessions, when no one says absolutely nothing about whatever was my responsibility in that project!

But THE moment was at the presentation of my final project in the audio engineering school i studied at.

It was a very David Lynchy piece, and the whole vibe was just right for the movie; we had the big screen and PA system on a huge Warehouse. Our short was the last one to play, and 3 seconds after the credits ended, there was a roar of applause, you could feel the place shaking.

We smiled

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Nice! Cool story. –  Utopia Sep 7 '10 at 2:42
    
Thanks! I hate to hear the movie now though, it makes me flinch (at the mix) way to many times; but of course everybody here knows what that is! –  Filipe Chagas Sep 7 '10 at 2:45
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Well, I like to say things sound so much better blaring through a PA system in a packed house. At least the audience loved it! That's all that matters! –  Utopia Sep 7 '10 at 6:24
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My favorite moment was also my most terrifying.

I was working on a little film called "Gladiator". We were mixing the big battle in Reel 1. Not only had I cut it I was also the stage editor. It was playback time and joining Sir Ridley Scott for the viewing was Steven Spielberg ... f*ck. Nervous? Oh yeah.

This was my first Ridley Scott film and I was still getting a handle on being in his presence, having him review my stuff and cutting fixes that he would suggest. For me this man was one of those "I bow in your presence" guys AND Spielberg was with him! The picture editor was a talented, driven, demanding yet friendly guy named Pietro Scalia. Hans Zimmer was the composer and also there (he's a sweetheart). These guys were (are) artists.

To make a long story short the playback went great. Sir Scott particularly liked my flying and exploding fireballs FX (we all call it "design" now). There were fixes to be done but they were all minor. The relief I felt ... well you can imagine. I ended up not wetting my pants.

I was also lucky enough to be on the "Blade Runner" remix. Yeah I know! I couldn't believe it either! I was able to replace those goofy old-school face punches and gunshots and add or re-imagine other existing FX. AND we mixed it on the Warner Burbank lot where he shot a bunch of it.

"Black Hawk Down" (very proud of that one, the release date moved up 2 or 3 months and we were under the gun, it was so intense that we had two FX stage editors, Jon Title and I as well as the talented Chris Jargo on the dialogue ADR side) I did 6 or 7 more Ridley films and with each film I grew more comfortable but I never did get over that sense of awe I had when I first worked with him.

So YES it is the best job ever. You get to be creative, work with legends, get a bit of immortality with your name up there on the screen AND there's no dress code!

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Great anecdotes! Cheers! –  Daniel Courville Jul 22 '13 at 23:29
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Its the best job every time I manage to crack a sound and get a scene to sound right..

...until a few weeks later when I think I could have done better!

:)

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I'd have to answer yes. One example, last year an opportunity came up to record a bulldozer driving over a car. I didn't need the sound particularly but couldn't pass it up. The car turned out to be a little too much on the modern side, too much plastic, not enough metal so the sound of it was not that interesting. But...I did get to watch and record a bulldozer driving over a car.

Checkbox filled in.

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It's hard to pick the best moment, but this week I made sounds for an ambience and implemented them into our game engine to test. That was a pretty amazing "I'm so glad I got into this business" moment.

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+1 @Joe : Nice one! This is my goal! Ambience tracks and sounds are my favourite to make and I aspire to work in sound design for a gaming company. One day I'd love to have my abience pieces used in a game! –  Skarik Oct 16 '11 at 14:42
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My fondest memory so far is when I was making a giant rubber tire sound, but the futuristic bot in the game didn't have any sort of combustion, so car was out of the question. I used this big wheel barrow with these giant chunky tires on it. Well, it was the middle of December, and I had all type of weight (soil bags and stuff) in it, and i'm pushing it around in the middle of my driveway. My shoes were making noise, so then I had to go down to socks. New Jersey winter, pushing a wheelbarrow around in circles with no shoes on, my neighbor stepped out and said, "Do I want to know?"

Fun stuff.

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There is no job like it! I always get nervous before starting a new film and sometimes during the project. I am always challenged by new sounds that have to be created or I challenge myself to find a new way to make a sound and improve on it. I love a good accident when you are designing something and something else happens which is unique and beautiful.

One of the most interesting/funny recording moments was in Mpumalanga South Africa where we were field recording for animals. The owners of animal sanctuary set up a whole whack of meat for the vultures who were circling overhead- about 150 white winged vultures. I was micing from quite far away so I was scared that I wouldn't get a decent recording. The result was amazing. The surreal movement of the wings, the pecking at the food etc all resulted in a sound that I never expected. Wonderful.

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No, maybe, but why would it be?

Think about this one for example:

Does/can it provide any insight into what we are, what the world is and why are they so?

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