When you are working on a film and creating everything…do you find that your mood affects your ideas and work/creativity? Sometimes you might be in a blistery mood which might bring you to cut negative sound effects while other days you could be walking on sunshine and creating more positive ones…?

5 Answers 5


For me, it varies based on the task and the mood.

If I'm angry or preoccupied and need to create original concepts, thoughts, and designs, forget it. The same is true if I'm tired, sleep-deprived, or anxious. To be truly creative, I need to have no mental barriers in effect, or they need to be small enough that some willpower can crush them for a while. I can't paddle down the river while swatting mosquitoes with both hands.

If I need to do repetitive tasks, asset creation or straight-up production work, then it matters a lot less. Getting into the zone of repetitive tasks done accurately and rapidly is something that I actually find improves my mood, as long as nothing goes wrong. I do find that art for myself - drawing, making music, just creating sound - is a great way to also harness those emotions and feel better at the end of it. However, that's not problem solving for someone else, that's working through my own problems.

Despite the many stories of tortured creative souls, I find that staying physically healthy and mentally refreshed is pretty important for creation of work for client and coming up with insightful solutions to design problems. YMMV.

  • I just answered #1): lmgtfy.com/?q=ymmv
    – Utopia
    Apr 28, 2011 at 2:35
  • @Utopia/Ryan: 1) Your Mileage May Vary. 2) You've been emailed. Apr 28, 2011 at 14:59
  • !!! Awesomeness.
    – Utopia
    Apr 28, 2011 at 17:03

I find there are days when nothing i do sounds good to me. It takes me 2 to 3 times longer than normal to cut even simple stuff. This happens both for audio post and for music.

My solutions:

try to do more mundane/mechanical things - session clean-up, library work, laybacks, etc try to remind myself that my state of mind is just that, a state of mind. learn something new (new tech, new apps, new bands)

  • Shifting gears (when schedule permits) works for me, too. I'll dive into repetitive integration/tuning tasks or open the manual of a new plug-in or other software (or maybe something I use all the time, but try to uncover some new facet of it). Good call.
    – Tyler
    Apr 28, 2011 at 22:09

The films I work on, the director is boss, and it would be unprofessional for me to let my own mood and personal life interfere with the film's soundtrack if it was not aligned with the director's vision.

That said, if I was ready to punch someone's face in from my personal life, I would definitely try to channel that emotion into whatever sound work I was working on at the time.

But, it had to align with the project and the director's ideals before I chose to do that.

Otherwise, I try to be as professional as possible and not let personal matters hinder the work I am being paid to do on someone's film.

  • + 1 for the director is boss, so always be professional.
    – user80
    Apr 28, 2011 at 15:19

It's impossible for me to be in a bad mood when I'm working on sound. ;)

Seriously, though, it's rarely an issue, but if I'm having a rough day and have a ton of sounds to work on, I may try to tackle the more violent/gory/dark ones first -- I think I may end up channeling some of the negative funk into the work, resulting in (one would hope) more violent/gorier/darker sounds. If I'm happy with the results, my mood improves and I walk away happier (or maybe shift to working on happier sounds).

  • I think that is a good point you make by channeling the energy
    – Chris
    Apr 28, 2011 at 0:10
  • Re-ordering my tasks to match a negative mood I'm in might help if I'm stuck in that situation , but I also agree with NoiseJockey -- I definitely do more solid work when I'm rested, refreshed, and happy.
    – Tyler
    Apr 28, 2011 at 0:49
  • +1. I find that gorey sounds make me smile. I cannot for the life of me explain why. I'm sure someone can come up with some philosophical whishy-wash about abstraction of concept and safety by way of proxy. A knife tweaked in the flesh of a gourd will get me every time.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 28, 2011 at 5:42

I'm suffering from this today.

Last night I was watching a NHL playoff hockey game on TV. It turned out to be a great game with a lot of ups and downs, and I was emotionally attached to the game as any superfan should be! Screaming, cheering, feeling of dred, and an extreme high once the game ended.

Today, I'm emotionally spent. I can hardly look at the screen let alone try to create the sound palate for a monster in the movie I'm current working on. Trying to struggle through it, but I'll probably just call it a day and start fresh tomorrow.

  • 1
    Try smoking some pot
    – Chris
    Apr 28, 2011 at 0:11
  • Hah, that would make the decision to go home rather then to keep working easier. Turns out my computer needed some overdue TLC so the day wasn't completely wasted. Back at it this morning, and I'm having fun again! Apr 28, 2011 at 15:26
  • Sorry to say this but anyone working on a film with my team who showed up high would be fired on the spot.. !
    – Utopia
    Apr 28, 2011 at 17:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.