After working on Wired which was the first film that we made in my second year at uni. I found myself type cast as the sound man. This was something I didn’t mind at the time, as I quite enjoyed doing the sound. I spent most of my time in the edit suite mixing sounds together to create a soundtrack that worked for the film, and I did a pretty good job at it.
However the next film Distant Donors that I worked on was quite a different story. I also played the role of sound man, but instead of sitting in the edit suite mixing sounds which is what I enjoyed doing, I was on set holding the microphone, and that’s where my job ended. I was essentially a human microphone stand, and in no way was I doing anything creative. As a result I realised what the role of sound entailed and realised that it was NOT what I wanted to do. I do still enjoy mixing sounds/music in the edit, but that is like 10% of what I’d probably end up doing on most films. Therefore I wanted to break being type cast as the sound man.
So when the short film Forgotten, which was renamed Felix, came along, I got the chance to do something other than sound as it was written and directed by my friend Jessica Taylor (@jesstaylor1988), who I asked if I could instead be on camera. This was my chance to break being type cast. However, I ended up sharing the role of cinematographer with someone else, Ross Silcocks (@RSNZ), which I quite enjoyed, because it took some of the pressure off being the cinematographer for the first time. We worked together really well and I think we didn’t do a bad job (apart from the shot you may spot, where there is a light quite clearly in shot). It is definitely not perfect as some parts are too dark, but I learnt quite a lot in terms of lighting, which is something I think you can only really learn from hands on experience and from watching others.
I also did the music for the film as well. This was an interesting experience as I am an avid soundtrack fan and I got to experience the process that my favourite composers go through. The composer/director relationship was something I particularly found interesting when experiencing from the composers point of view. It’s something that I would love to do again, provided the ideas are there.
After working on the film, I found that no one seemed to notice that I was one of the cinematographers on the film, instead they all took notice that I was the composer. This was great for me as a composer, however, I felt that I hadn’t broken being type cast as the sound man. Now I was the sound man that could also write music, and so became the sound and music man. Something I feel I already was, as quite strangely yet flattering my sound on Wired was called music more than sound. Something that is also happening with my sound design I’m currently working on for Subject 27. However, I would not call myself a composer as there are plenty of people out there much better than me.
So for me even though I spent most of my time on the film working as a cinematographer, unfortunately I did not manage to break being type cast as the sound man.
Unfortunately the soundtrack is not mixed that well on the final copy of the film, however, you can listen below and download the individual tracks, or alternatively you can download the complete soundtrack here.
However, whilst this film might have gone unnoticed by my fellow students/colleges, I believe I have finally broken being type cast as the sound man. Instead I am now the dance man. It was my film Dance Experiment I and my accompanying presentation that seemed to begin the process, but now it seems to actually have come true, and oddly enough I’m not sure how. I don’t recall telling my fellow students about my dance projects, and yet they all seem to know about my obsession with dance. Thankfully I might add, as it seems now I actually might get to do what I really want to do, even if I am pursuing it away from university.
In other news the Salsa Squad project has been shot and the client seems to be happy with the footage. Therefore we have handed the footage over to them and it is now simply a matter of checking up to see if they need any help, otherwise waiting for the finished thing. I shall post some clips from the DVDs in the coming months.
Since I’ve also taken down the John Stewart Talk (Part 1), which I posted last month, from my SoundCloud account, to make space for other things, I’ve uploaded the file here instead, so you should still be able to download it for the next few months.
Here is the next one in the series though: