Professional Sound - June 2022 | Page 38

OIART ’ S MARK TALESKI , LEE J . WHILE & MARK VOGELSANG JANET PASCUAL be like , ‘ Huh , I could do this forever .’ I studied post-production film at Pasadena City College for a while and that is also where I discovered my love for sound .”
Pascual acknowledges she wasn ’ t the best test-taker and didn ’ t have the best grades in the class , but she was willing to put in extra hours of work , ask questions and seek help when needed , and search out opportunities to prove herself and make connections . For example , she joined a Facebook group about Foley and was open about being new to the field , saying she was seeking advice and opportunities to learn and meet people . From that , she was offered an internship at a Foley studio .
“ Obviously , it was unpaid , but I wanted this experience . And because of that , they knew people who worked at my current job [ at Riot Games ], which is why I was able to do that ,” she says . “ I ’ m not saying that my other fellow classmates didn ’ t , but I could tell that there was a difference in how badly I wanted it , and how much I was like , ‘ I just want to apply myself and I ’ m going to try doing this . I ’ m going to stay up long nights messing with sound and seeing how it works .”
Worth ethic , drive , passion , and realistic expectations — that ’ s what it comes down to . “ It ’ s about who ’ s prepared to persevere and all that stuff . You know , I was in the music business for 25 years before I started the school , the same thing was true then — many of the most talented musical artists I knew never got to first base because of their approach and their attitude and their work ethic , et cetera ,” says John Harris , founder of Toronto audio and music industry school , the Harris Institute . “ Whereas , truth be known , I witnessed lots of far less talented musical artists that did very well because of their approach , their attitude , their diligence , their perseverance . I think that ’ s true probably everywhere .”
Harris ’ comment , as well as Pascual ’ s anecdote , reminded me of something said in a conversation with Bob Pomann , who has owned and operated New York City ’ s Pomann Sound audio post-production studio for the last 35-plus years .
About a year ago , Pomann was looking for a young engineer to join the company and the person he ended up hiring , Nick Long , he met through the Post New York Alliance , an association of film and television post production facilities , labour unions , and individuals . ( As a personal side note , when attending monthly AES Toronto meetups pre-pandemic , I was often surprised how few audio students I ’ d see there .)
“ I said to everyone that there ’ s got to be someone out there who ’ s been an intern and who ’ s ready to be an engineer . So actually , the way I found Nick was through the Post Alliance . Once a month they have a ‘ who you know in audio ’ kind of thing , and I go there just to try to meet people . I figured there would be some smart kids there , because you ’ ve got to be pretty smart to realize that ‘ maybe this is a way for me to get in the industry ’ and they got to have the passion for it . But to be honest with you , either I ’ m not doing it right or not spending enough time doing it , but just trying to find the right people has been hard ,” Pomann reveals , noting that nearly everyone on his staff began with the company when they were young and have been there many years . ( And for the record , Pomann also says he ’ s currently looking for more people and / or interns , so contact him if you ’ re reading this !). For Pomann , because of the new guy ’ s passion and work ethic , it has worked out well . And after a year of tutelage , especially about mixing reality TV , Long mixed his first show , the recently-aired 90 Day Diaries : Ukraine Special .
But that hasn ’ t been the case with everyone Pomann has brought into the studio . For example , one unnamed intern , after receiving their list of duties on the first week , began complaining about it on social media . “ There were people who actually commented back , like , ‘ Hey idiot , this is how you get in the business .’ But this is the attitude of a lot of people . You can say it ’ s generational , but I think it ’ s also just people in general and about who their families are , and their work ethic . It ’ s always been about one out of six interns are really ,
really great .”
For John Diemer , the owner and location sound recordist / mixer at Toronto ’ s Farmhouse Creative Labs , a person ’ s work ethic , passion for the industry , and open mindedness are what make a great potential employee . A graduate of OIART himself , whenever he is looking for a young person to fill a contract position , he almost always goes to Mark Vogelsang for recommendations .
“ He kind of curates who he sends to me based on who he knows will be a good fit ,” Diemer says . “ The last four or five hires that I ’ ve had from OIART have been successful because of their willingness to do anything and do the mundane things and have an open mind .”
For example , Diemer says , “ A recent person that just came on to help us on contract , they were doing intern-type work in the music industry and came on board to help us because we needed a position that was maybe one of the most mundane and tedious tasks that can ever be done . A really big show that we ’ re working on had been edited , essentially , to a guide track , so we didn ’ t have access to the multitrack files . And this was a music performance show , so the multitrack files are essential because we don ’ t want to mix a musical performance with a left-right mix ; we want to mix the musical performance with all 10 channels that were recorded , plus the audience mics , plus the ambience mics from the room . So , essentially , this wasn ’ t done and we had to hire on somebody full-time , pretty much six days a week , to manually re-link the audio every single time there was a picture cut . You can imagine , over the course of an hour-long episode , there ’ s thousands of picture cuts , and every single time there ’ s a picture cut , you ’ re manually rethinking all 64 channels of the multitrack recorder and rebuilding this puzzle . So , this person came on board to work with us just to do that . Obviously , it was a paid position , but they had no prior interest in working in television . This was just the job we needed done , but in just a month of working with us with that attitude of like , ‘ What else can