A flight attendant, a neighbor, an acquaintance on a train,

How do you tell people what you do for a living when they ask what it is?

I find it difficult to answer what a Sound Designer does in 3 sentences or less - it usually goes into the history of Apocalypse Now through Star Wars and into Hurt Locker or No Country for Old Men and I spend about 30 minutes (at least) explaining the field.

What do you tell people?

4 Answers 4


You know all those cool sounds you hear in movies, like robots, zombies and car chases? I make that.

  • haha!!! Well said.
    – Utopia
    Jan 1, 2012 at 16:33

If I don't have time to explain it in detail, I would better say that I just work in cinema with a director, actors and a composer.

Once I have tried to explain it to one lovely girl in the bar... She asked me what do I do. I told her that I create sound for movies and games. For instance sounds of guns, explosions, or creature roars like in Star Wars or Lord of The Rings.

She said, “Wow! But what exactly you do?” I said, “Well, usually I go around and record some stuff, like gun shots or vehicle motors...”

  • Do you fire a gun?!
  • No, that do another guy.
  • Did you drive a military tank like an actor?
  • No, my purpose is to record and collect that stuff and later use it in the movie.
  • Oh, I see...
  • Haha, I hear you there :-) Dec 31, 2011 at 14:27
  • Yes! It seems that every time i try to explain what i do, the conversation ends with "Oh... ok". Dec 31, 2011 at 18:22

"We create and destroy worlds through sound every day."


I mostly just say I work with sound and sound effects, depending on who I talk to :-) Mostly people have practically no concept of sound in movies (as you probably all know full well), they take it for granted and expect it all to be production sound, so for good examples most people can relate well to I often explains how I use animal sounds, stressed objects and vocalization to make monster-sounds, and that an explosion, gunshot or especially shotgun sounds rather dull as it is, so my work is to make it go from "puff" to a mean xxxxxxxxxxx KABOOM!!! Worked pretty well so far :-)

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