Location Sound Takes Students from the City to the Jungle!
Location Sound Takes Students from the City to the Jungle!
“The NFTS has certainly helped to open some doors and got my career going”
We caught up with Nick Olorenshaw, Keith Morrison and Kirsty Wright who have all recently graduated from the NFTS Location Sound Recording for Film and Television Diploma, to find out about their experience of the course and what their career plans are. It was fascinating to learn that the course had literally taken them all over the world from Tajikistan to Singapore and Italy! (If this sounds like your dream course, don’t miss our Post Production open day on the 23rd March – sign up here.)
What have you been doing since graduating from the NFTS Diploma in Location Sound Recording?
Nick: Towards the end of the course, I worked as a sound trainee on a documentary/commercial for Toyota, which involved a three-week road trip through Vietnam with lots of off-road driving and documentary pieces in the cities and jungle, which was an amazing experience. That led to another car commercial for Lexus in Spain this year, and I've also been doing some smaller corporate and commercial shoots. I first met one of the recordists I worked for when he gave a guest lecture for our class, so the NFTS has certainly helped to open some doors and got my career going.
Keith: Since graduating from the Production Sound Diploma with the NFTS at the end of 2016, I have been working towards obtaining trainee roles for drama productions. Having completed the course, I feel that I am much more prepared and confident in my abilities on and off set. The NFTS has also given me the opportunity to network with sound mixers and organisations that can help me achieve my goals.
Kirsty: Since graduating from the NFTS I have been granted a place on the Creative Skillset Trainee Scheme for which there were 500 applicants. Studying at the NFTS has helped me to be prepared for a freelance career in production sound both by learning about the practical and theoretical aspect of sound on and off set, and also by receiving career training including sessions in financing and CV development.
What were the highlights of studying Location Sound at the NFTS?
Nick: My main interest is in documentary sound, and I was fortunate to work in Tajikistan and Sicily with students from the documentary department. As well as being a lot of fun (and hard work), working abroad really helped to sharpen my skills and improve my self-sufficiency as a sound recordist; but culturally I also learned a lot, and it has definitely contributed to shaping my understanding of the world.
Keith: The highlights of studying with the NFTS included the variety of productions I worked on, the places I got to travel to and the people I had the opportunity to work with and learn from. During my time, I was either sound mixer or boom op on at least five full-scale drama shoots and two documentaries, one of which was in Singapore for three weeks. As a small group of eight production sound students, we were in demand across the film school. This meant that we worked with a variety of people in all departments from production managers to sound designers. Understanding what their roles were and how you impact them was an important part of learning.
Kirsty: I had the opportunity to work on a variety of productions as part of the curriculum, and also extra-curricular projects. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Bologna, Italy, to record sound for part of a graduation documentary in summer 2015. I also had the opportunity to attend a sitcom workshop at Sky where I operated the Fisher booms, and also created a live mix of the production in the sound gallery. One of my favourite aspects of the Production Sound course is the opportunity to learn from sound mixers and boom operators who are currently working in the industry, and gaining an insight into their techniques. Russell Edwards, for example, taught us how to rig different vehicles for sound.
Why would you recommend someone apply for the Location Sound Diploma?
Nick: By the end of the course, you will have spent a lot of time using professional sound equipment in a wide range of situations, which puts you in a good position when you leave the school and look for work. Also the teachers have a huge amount of experience between them, which is an amazing resource of knowledge and advice (and anecdotes) to learn from.
Keith: The NFTS production sound course is dedicated to the craft and is taught by industry professionals. It is a very practical course, with hands on experience of drama, documentary and television sound using current industry equipment. If you are interested in production sound, this course is for you. The NFTS is a great place to study because the classes are small and there are dedicated courses for each discipline (directors, producers, editors etc.). Being taught by tutors that are highly acclaimed in their fields and being surrounded by creative, dedicated people has a positive effect on you and the work you do, this is why the NFTS is a great place to study.
Kirsty: I would recommend that someone apply for the Location Sound Recording diploma due to the emphasis on learning through practical experience on set. Students get the opportunity to work on a multitude of productions across many genres, including drama, documentary and television production. I would also recommend the course as it is taught by leading industry professionals, whose experience, insight and wisdom are invaluable for anyone developing their career in production sound.
The NFTS is a good place to study due to the emphasis on collaboration and the opportunity to work with many different people in the School who are equally as enthusiastic about film and television production. There are also frequent masterclasses by leading individuals in the industry, which often leave one feeling inspired and enthused!