So you’ve decided that you want to make a go of this audio business you’ve heard so much about. Whether you want to do live sound for venue, track or mix someone’s songs, or do sound for film, you need a place to begin, a jumping in point.
One of the potentially frustrating things about starting off in the sound industry is navigating through the catch 22 of sound experience. Everyone wants good projects to work on, but its hard to get quality work before you’ve done quality work. It’s a tough cycle to break.
Most good bands/venues/film producers will want someone who has an impressive body of work under their belt, which can be taken as proof of the quality of your craft, before they will be willing to hire you for their project. And why wouldn’t they? They don’t want no scrubs!
But how do you break that cycle and gain that experience? You start on the bottom. When I first graduated from recording school, my first step into the business was to set up an internship at a studio. While I was doing that and working a day job to pay rent, I started working with another Full Sail graduate doing sound for film. We dove head first into whatever jobs we could find on Craigslist.
Working for free, we would meet with aspiring film makers and work on their projects. We would do the very best that we could to help them create their art, all the while building a portfolio of projects we could show to prospective clients in the future.
We would take on a variety of projects, ones that I would compose music for, ones that were completely filmed but just needing to be mixed, training videos for businesses, etc. If it was out there and we were available, we jumped on it like a hungry hungry hippo.
After awhile, we were contacted by a former client who was gearing up to make another movie, this time with a budget for the sound department. The time had finally come for our first paid sound work. While I worked on that film, I remember thinking how crazy it was that I was getting paid to do something I loved. I’ve been chasing it ever since.
It’s a long winding road, and at times extremely intense trying to make a go of it , but if you really want to do sound for a living, you have to start somewhere. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start working on paid projects that fulfill you artistically AND financially. Isn’t that what its all about?