Welcome To The Sound Report
If you aren’t one of the people who are saying to themselves ”finally!” then read on! And if you are one of those folks - welcome home! Now spread the good word and share!
What is this all about?
The Sound Report is an amusing weekly roundup of the “good parts” from my real-life sound reports, like-minded links, and my own observations about everything. It’s always a work-in-progress.
So, what’s a "sound report” anyway?
A sound report is a document filed by the production sound mixer that details what the supervising sound editor will need for the final audio mix for the project. It contains information about the audio tracks, including details about what was recorded, who was speaking, and when. All this will help the supervising sound editor with the final mix. On my first professional film job, as a sound crew intern on Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn,” I remember watching the production mixer fill out his sound reports on a carbon-copy form and then handing me one copy at the end of the day which I would fold into a square and rubber band to the top of a stack of ¼” magnetic tape reel boxes.
Many years later, after making some of my own films, opening and closing an animation studio, writing some scripts, and becoming a father to triplets, I returned to working in sound. But this time I worked on mostly unscripted projects, primarily feature-length documentaries and TV series. However, there wasn’t much of a tradition of filing audio reports for these types of shoots. But why not? I thought. Everyone could benefit from a record of their day. So that’s what I created.
But then, something changed. There was a stirring inside me. I needed to empty my head at the end of the day. Whatever the reason, sometime around 2016, while working consistently on the road, I started to include more… well… more.
At first, it was a line or two. Then, a paragraph about the day’s events, perhaps detailing where we were shooting. And as I'm often in out-of-the-way places, I began to include musings on whom we may have met, and of course, what we were eating. In this way, like an airship moving just one-degree off-course over time, the sound report grew into a veritable daily essay, a story, with a life and following of its own.
So, finally, we are here. Those of you who have asked for these reports to be made public, compiled into a coffee table book or a newsletter, or a podcast… This is phase one. As I wrote at the top, it is most certainly a work-in-progress. I’m continuing to think about what to include and redact, if anything, so please send me any feedback. I have also left out the technical bits, and concentrated on the section I call “The Day” which is really just the good parts.
Here’s an example of what you can expect:
Location: Garden City, Kansas.
Project: True Crime Series based on “In Cold Blood”
“Allison and I returned to Thai Arawan for lunch and I was pleasantly sated with the Kra Pao at spice level 2. Allison, ever consistent, again went for the extra-large chicken soup with rice. Dinner, however, was a return to the dark side. Once again, western Kansas has insulted the East. The Ninja Sushi and Steakhouse on Main Street is incomprehensibly bad. An epicurean nuclear winter. I thought I played it safe by steering clear of any raw fish, but even the miso soup was not spared the iron first of the Ninja. Salted lukewarm dishwater. The main course - Hibachi-style beef tips. The question that came to mind as I ate was "what is the opposite of flavor?" because it was literally the inverse of anything I expected. Like eating the vacuum of space. I can't even describe it. And this was a beef dish being served during 'Beef Empire Days." No empire can exist on this.
To make up for it, ice cream pops from Walmart. :)”
Aside from writing sound reports, I have a lifelong interest in the ways technology affects our humanness. I even made a documentary and developed a feature film script about it. As such, my news and even fiction intake often skew toward these topics so I’ll be including links to sources I’m finding super compelling.
I’m looking forward to this.
All good thoughts,