Guided by an accomplished production sound mixer, examine the skills and real-world protocols involved in designing, recording, mixing and editing sound for film and video.

Aug 12, 2024 - Aug 16, 2024

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $1895
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 14

Quite often sound is the most under-appreciated aspect of filmmaking even though photography and sound are the two most important tools in cinematic storytelling. This is a workshop for those who want to explore the technical knowledge and set procedures required of professional sound recordists and mixers in a wide range of field productions.  It will be equally attentive to craft and theory.  Students will gain hands-on experience recording and mixing sound.

Led by an accomplished production sound mixer, the workshop covers the preparation, necessary equipment, processes, and techniques for recording and mixing sound in the field.  Students learn to appreciate the protocols common to all TV and movies, the importance of inter-departmental communication and cooperation, the correct use and function of equipment, and the physical and sonic challenges of working on location.

Mark will draw on case studies from his 25 years of work with Quentin Tarantino (Hateful 8, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained) and from his work on films like Titanic and Iron Man.

Mark Ulano sound production mixing films
Sound Production Mixer Mark Ulano has been nominated and won numerous awards for Best Sound and Sound Mixing for many blockbuster movies.

We’ll explore workflow, how to serve the project and the needs of the director, interpreting the script for sound, logistical and technical prep, location scouts, linking with other departments, researching the cast and special needs, the dynamics of interaction with the sound crew as well as the post-production sound team, new technologies, and much more. Additionally, we will examine how to develop your own sound aesthetic and how to work with various microphones, digital recorders, as well as booms and support equipment to create a ‘sound environment’ for a variety of film and video productions.

We will also examine the varied situations a sound mixer encounters working in the field, from car shots, camera cars, noisy environments, wireless miking, overhead booming, and working with children, to the Covid-19 production world (safety vs. sanity). Other topics include staying on mic, dynamic miking situations, multiple booms, multiple cameras, planting technique, set-up decisions, blocking, lighting and lenses, on-set protocol, etiquette, the Boom Operator/Camera Operator relationship, live music on the set, playback, and sync issues. The class will also consider career paths and strategies, building a resume, and the benefits of audio societies and union membership.

Quentin Tarantino directing his long-time production sound mixer, Mark Ulano in a cameo role in Tarantino's Django Unchained.
Quentin Tarantino directing his long-time production sound mixer and instructor for this workshop, Mark Ulano in a cameo role in Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

In addition to exercises that support dynamics being explored, students will gain hands-on experience recording sound for scenes being shot in a directing master class being held the same week.

You’ll leave the week having explored a philosophy of approach that places creative filmmaking above technique – one that blends technical craft as foundational to creative intent. You’ll have new insight into how to handle technical challenges and creative problem solving, and everything that is required of the complete professional production sound recordist/mixer.

Please note: An hour-long training session on Set Etiquette and Safety will be required of anyone registered for a workshop that involves production. Students only need to participate in this session once during their time on campus.

Header image: Still from The Hateful 8 BTS footage.

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