“I personally got in by fluke. I did not have any intention on being in sound,” says “Women of the Movement” supervising sound editor Bobbi Banks about how she entered her specialized field. She actually started as an administrative assistant at Sound One and learned the trade there over time. Now she’s one of the leading artists in her field, at one point serving as the president of the Motion Picture Sound Editors. We talked to her and her fellow sound artists Mathew Waters (“Only Murders in the Building”), Michael J. Benavente (“Under the Banner of Heaven”), Jay Price (“Welcome to Earth”) and Matt Skelding (“The Wheel of Time”) for our “Meet the Experts” TV sound editors and mixers panel. Watch our roundtable discussion above. Click each person’s name above to watch that person’s individual chat.
Since Banks has been passionate about raising the profile of sound design, we asked our panelists how they entered the field. For Waters, it was very much a case of being inspired by an expert in the business. “I was a radio and TV major in college,” he explains, but his teacher’s son was Stephen Flick, who had won a Special Achievement Oscar for sound effects editing in “RoboCop” (1987). “He came up and talked to us about what he did for a living. And I was like, oh my gosh, that’s everything I like to do. I never knew that existed.”
Price’s journey to sound design was through music. “I didn’t know anything about the world of sound post,” but a friend who’d made a film approached him and, like Waters, “I had no idea that this was a job.” After that he sought out short films, went to international film school, started working as an assistant sound editor and worked his way up from there. Serendipity struck Benavente too. At UCLA, “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I just wanted to work in the entertainment industry.” He landed a job in editorial at ABC television before being taken on as a sound assistant by none other than the aforementioned Stephen Flick, and the rest is history.
Skelding also describes his career path as “a bit of an accident.” He studied music and sound recording and “had to do a year’s placement from university in the industry.” He expected to land at a music studio, but he was “blown away” when he interviewed at a post facility and was brought into a mix stage where they were “mixing the sound of a tie falling into one’s soup … I couldn’t comprehend that I was unaware that this process happened.” So the road to sound mixing and editing isn’t always a straight line, especially when the discipline isn’t as well known and publicized as, say, writing, directing or animation. You can’t get your dream job if you don’t even know it’s out there. But all those who watch this panel now have five examples of what a career in sound sounds like.
Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?