Sound For Film

I took a stab at breaking in to sound for film, but ultimately ditched it for school and a career in software engineering.

In early 2001, I decided that I should make a stab at doing sound effects work, something that I had dreamed of doing since I saw Star Wars repeatedly in the summer of 1977. I read various books, learned how to use audio software, and started trying to make local film industry contacts.

I did manage to find some independent film projects to work on, including a full-length feature. However, I wasn’t making much money at it and, after being laid off from another restaurant job, decided to go back to school. After making that decision, I stopped looking for films to work on. Once I got into school, I fell in love with programming and quickly forgot about film work. I still love making weird noises (and noise music), but doing film sound for others was often pretty tedious.

Anyway, here are some clips from the films I worked on (please note that these clips are not necessarily from the finished versions):


This was my first film – a quick and dirty short thrown together in about a week to make a festival deadline. All sound other than the music and voices is mine.

Butterfly Man

An independent full-length feature shot in Cambodia. I helped dig up and mold sound effects to “sweeten” nearly every minute of its entire 100 minute running time. It was at times very frustrating, but ultimately an educational experience. All sound other than the monologue and Mr. Nixon are mine. (Note: Butterfly Man was the working title. It was released as Monsoon Wife. I’ve never seen the finished movie. No idea how much of my sound work they kept.)

Breaking Bread

After spending months piecing together sound effects for Butterfly Man and several weekends doing just the location sound for The Echo, I knocked out the sound effects for this short in one weekend. In case you’re confused, the man has a strange eating problem involving audio hallucinations. All sound other than dialog is mine.

The Echo

The fourth and final film I worked on (until someday…) was this short about a couple grieving the loss of their child. I recorded all the location sound (and discovered there was a lot more to it than I thought!) and did all the sound effects. It should have been my dream come true: being able to direct the sound from beginning to end and having lots of room for abstract sound design. But it wound up taking a great deal of time and went through many revisions. I finished it at about the time I got laid off again. I decided it would be good to finish my degree and figure out if the film thing was really what I wanted to do. Spoiler: it turned out it wasn’t.

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