Whew! So, lost in the hubbub of 6-day workweeks and bouts of stomach flu has been almost 2 weeks! So, here's a brief recap...

You might remember that I've been working over at Fox as an Assistant Sound Editor on the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes pre-sequel (sprequel?) on the 20th Century Fox lot.  Last week, we got to nab a Land Rover Defender, good and seasoned, from some on-set reshoots taking place on the studio lot, and do some quick recording.

recording with fellow Apes editors Scott (L) and Jack (R)

recording with fellow Apes editors Scott (L) and Jack (R)

We strapped a trusty SM58 into the engine compartment, carefully tied a DPA lavalier mic on the rear bumper right above the exhaust pipe, and strapped a stereo pair of small condenser mics to the interior roof above the backseat, all running into a Sound Devices 788T. I also ran an Scheops M/S handheld pair inside for the onboard takes, while Scott and Jack, pictured above, had their own M/S pairs for capturing exterior passby's, doors, handles, latches, and other miscellaneous sounds.

We did run into a small problem, though. There's an auxiliary fan that kicks on intermittently under the hood to keep engine temperatures in check, but it makes for a lousy sounding recording of a great sounding engine. So, towards the end of a mildly frustrating recording session (it's tough to get good exterior recordings on a busy studio lot in the middle of Los Angeles on a Friday), we convinced the transportation department teamsters to disconnect the aux fan for another quick run-around with the truck.  Well, that went about as well as could be expected...

our intrepid driver and a steamy Land Rover

our intrepid driver and a steamy Land Rover

Yeah, that thing overheated in a matter of minutes.  We did manage to get some decent onboard engine sounds, and some good doors and such. Hopefully enough to cover what the effects editors need.  And yes, the SM58 made it out of the engine compartment just fine. Of course!

Regardless, it's almost always more fun to be out with a few microphones and recorders than be stuck in front of a screen at a desk, so there weren't too many complaints heard (except to swear at the helicopters passing overhead).

Activity Recap

Okay, so things have gotten busy. I haven't been able to write as mu-


Hm. Well, here's the quick 'n' dirty:

  • sound op for Geffen Playhouse's Slow Girl
  • Guest lecture at University of Michigan
  • Freelancing for Tom & Jerry and ABCMouse
  • Secured 2 weeks' work post-Slow Girl

Hoh-kay.  Now, the slow and... clean?

Slow Girl at the Geffen is drawing to a close. This will be the last week of shows, with 2 shows on Saturday and the Sunday matinee being our closing performance.  It's been a good, easy run, and the last couple weeks it's been neat having Annette Bening next door with her one-woman show Ruth Draper Monologues. 

Last week, I took a few days off from the Geffen to make a trip back to my alma mater, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance.  My friend Andrew Kirshner is a professor, and has been teaching Sound and Music for Film for the past few years, and invited me out for a second time to talk to the Performing Arts Technology students about what it's like to be a professional sound editor/mixer/designer/journeyman.

Surprisingly nice Spring day in Ann Arbor, outside the U of M School of Music, Theater, and Dance

Surprisingly nice Spring day in Ann Arbor, outside the U of M School of Music, Theater, and Dance

As usual, the students were great. They asked good questions, and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. A few of them even joined me and Andrew at Arbor Brewing Company for some post-class libations and comestibles.  It was also nice to have some time back "home" in Michigan, spending some time in my hometown, seeing my younger sister and niece (who drove over from Chicago for the weekend), being with my parents for my mom's birthday, and catching up with old friends and relatives.  It's good for the soul.

But, these days no vacation is truly a vacation. I did have some work to do while I was away from my Los Angeles home, and that included doing some work on the current incarnation of Tom & Jerry. I've been freelancing as a sound editor for the company doing the post sound work on T&J, and believe it or not, I was working on the 2014 Christmas Special. It's a bit odd to have Christmas carols going through your head in April.

And finally, I had been looking to book some work, what with Slow Girl coming to a close and Tom & Jerry and ABCMouse not providing exactly full-time work at the moment.  Luckily, a phone call from my friend and fellow assistant sound editor 'Smokey' Cloud is providing me with a couple weeks' worth of work on the upcoming Planet Of The Apes pre/sequel.  It'll be nice to accrue some union hours again, and maybe my presence around the offices could lead to more work in the near future.  You just never know.

So, hopefully I won't have to write too many of these epic recap posts, but frankly, things are busy, which is good.

More to come...