Dear All,

This might be a random question, but I want to ask it anyway:

I never went to film school or any type of post production school. I've basically taught myself by:

  1. Watching enough movies to know what other sound designers do and what is appropriate sound design
  2. Just doing it and making mistakes (sometimes bigger than I'd want them to be) but I learned from them and survived to use it as an experience of what NOT to do.

Now, I'm in my 8th year in the business and I've gotten a steady resident mixer/recordist/sound designer job, and I was wondering if it's possible to work out doing an apprenticeship with one of the studios or teams. Have you heard of something like that happening? I'm always set back by "only students can do internships". Is this true?

What are your thoughts? How did you go about learning your craft?

3 Answers 3


hey Ryan each year I take on a virtual intern/s - this year i've had 4 scattered across the globe & their 12 months ends in July, so keep an eye on blog for requests for applications... More info from last application here: http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/need-a-mentor

  • I was lucky enough to have a mentor when I started in sound (who is now a close friend) - it's great you're sharing your experience like this!
    – VCProd
    Commented May 10, 2010 at 18:21

I can only speak for my own experience but I've certainly heard many different ways people have ended up in post-sound.

I did a BA in music and pop music where I focused on composition and music tech. At the end I didn't know what to do, certainly didn't want a normal job unrelated to music. I heard about an MA in film music but was rejected. However, the professor also ran an MA in Sound Design and thought I'd do well. I got my MA and a wife from the course and moved to Belfast where I did short films for free until I started getting some paid TV work. I ended up doing everything from ADR records and editing to mixing entire TV shows in my spare bedroom. A few years ago I got a full time job as a mixer in a post-production facility.

I have to say that I went in to the job thinking I knew a lot. Even now I am still learning, which I have come to understand is a good thing.

There are some things I would never have known not working in a facility with people to tell you how things work. Take PPMs for example. I'd never heard of them until a short film I mixed failed the QC when it was mastered to tape. A quick bit of research and a remix later it passed and the director couldn't tell the difference.

In hindsight I have to say that learning about sound in uni did wonders for my knowledge and passion. Actually working in the industry for myself then in a company has honed those things and added experience into it. I think I've said before on here (although it might be the DUC) but I find that taking from many sources is the most beneficial method. I've learnt a lot from teachers and collegues but also from listening to films and finding my own way and making mistakes.

  • Thanks for the info, man. I have had some great "teahers" as well but never a real "apprenticeship" where I get to work on a project with one of you pros. Maybe someday -
    – Utopia
    Commented May 9, 2010 at 0:16
  • There's so much you can learn on your own but there's some things that you really need to be in with people to learn. Sure there's always places like this (and the DUC) where there's lots of us "Pros" who are more than happy to share our knowledge. Good luck!
    – ianjpalmer
    Commented May 10, 2010 at 8:45

Tim's initiative is just amazing!

Answering you answer it isn't so important... at least for many studios, audio directors, etc. I know stories from some people how doesn't studied in any school o something like that, and just by showing his work, they can obtain a job in the industry. If you have the talent and know how this thing works, you have the job.

Charles Deenen once said something about it:

"The work will speak for yourself. If your work rocks, the developer or post-house would be crazy not to hire you. Tools and processes can be taught, but talent is hard to brew."

  • Thanks Miguel! Hey- you're online but you didn't update DesigningSound. I visit that site religiously. I hope to find a place to upload what I've done soon.
    – Utopia
    Commented May 9, 2010 at 0:13
  • What do you mean with "you didn't update DesigningSound"?. I can't get it, sorry... Also thanks for the comments on the site. I'm glad you like it!! Commented May 9, 2010 at 9:51
  • Yeah! You were on here that Sunday but didn't update Designing Sound!!! Just making a bit of a joke. I've been known to do that from time to time!
    – Utopia
    Commented May 15, 2010 at 1:44

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