Looking for advice on starting a career in sound? ADR Recordist and SFX/Dialogue Editor Emma Butt recently reached out on Twitter asking the sound community for the one piece of career advice for sound they wished they had received when they started out…and boy did they deliver.
Check out highlights from the absolute goldmine of advice Emma received below. Emma’s powerful voice & skillset encouraged responses from some of the wisest voices in the industry. Or, Visit Emma’s full thread.
Also, check out our Interview with Emma Butt from last month which was published here in Sound Magazine!
Fellow post production soundies. I’m prepping for some Uni talks where I want to give students practical advice on starting out and basic things they might need (equipment,where to look for jobs etc)what is 1 piece of advice you wish you had of gotten starting out? #careersadvice— Emma Butt Sound (@EmmaButtSound) March 10, 2022
Definitely wish I would have gotten more advice when I was starting out around the paperwork side of things- like taxes, setting rates, and contracts. So, seconding those!— Christa Giammattei Sound (@izzy_marizee) March 10, 2022
Biggest thing I see is you gotta have fun with it, if you don’t like the project or the client you won’t be motivated to keep going with it. But also learning contracts (especially with termination terms), and how to bill for the hours.— Yanni Caldas (@amnesiasound) March 10, 2022
Lots of great replies here. A few things I’d like to add:— Mark Kilborn (@markkilborn) March 10, 2022
Be humble. Be kind. Attitude is everything.
When you start making sound, you’re going to suck. You have to work through it. Furthermore, even the most experienced sound designers very rarely nail what they’re
I think attitude is everything. Being really keen to learn , with a nice big smile on your face gets you a long way. Like everyone’s said, you don’t need to know everything (and deffo don’t act like you know it all either!!) but being able to pick things up is super important.— Louise Burton (@LouisePBurton) March 10, 2022
Learn how to write a contract and what to negotiate on in your contract (esp. if you’re working on music too), seek out mentorship and peer mentorship! 🙂— Jake Gaule (@submergedtapes) March 10, 2022
How to build healthy work relationships. 90% of the gigs I’ve gotten have been either “I heard about you from my friend who recommended you” or “I have too much on my plate and can’t take this gig, do you want it?” Plus, I’ve learned so much from other engineers.— Marisa Ewing-Moody 🏳️🌈 (@sassy_composer) March 10, 2022
Whatever we do in sound: It is not our/your movie!We are not the ones to make the final https://t.co/vs7qcClT8Y‘s a hard lesson I learned from William Falgeollet.He said:it’s the mistakes of directors that actually make their handwriting.Helped me so many times to keep my ego out— Lars Ginzel (@ton_manufaktur) March 10, 2022
On the Mix Tech side of things. Build checks into your process. Tasks may take a little longer at first but massively reduce the risk of embarrassing errors. This applies to importing, routing, labelling, exporting, copying, backups etc….— Adam Daniel (@point1post) March 10, 2022
Some great advice to be had on starting a career in sound here! To re-iterate:
- Have fun! Enjoying the process keeps you motivated to create your best work
- Learn about taxes, rates and contracts – your business chops should be as good as your sound ones
- Stay humble. Stay Kind – Attitude is everything
- Seek out mentorship wherever you can – learn from the best
- Don’t just network – create friendships
- Always remember the project you’re working on is normally not your project – put your ego aside
- place checks into your workflow for a more professional result at the end of it all