Assistant Sound Effects Editor

  • Assistant Sound Effects Editor

While watching a film or television show, you may not immediately appreciate the effort of a sound effects editor. By their very nature, sound effects are generally background information that is meant to deliver a more complete sensory experience. However, if you can close your eyes—just listen—and see in your mind just as clearly the action on screen, likely the sound effects provide you with an accurate mental picture.


Duties

The assistant sound effects editor participates in the post-production phase of a film or television show and works under the supervision of the supervising sound editor and sound effects editor. He or she is responsible for all tasks assigned by the crew lead, which can include searching sound effects libraries for necessary audio tracks; organizing and transferring sound files; laying up tracks to the editing console for the sound effects editor; and the preparation of cue sheets, which document the precise time code of each sound effect. In addition, the assistant sound effects editor prepares raw sound effects tracks for the final sound mix by cleaning tracks to remove unwanted background sound or other distortions.

Skills & Education

A career in sound effects editing requires intensive training in the use of audio consoles and Pro Tools software, as well as in the practical applications of different types of microphones. Additionally, a sound effects assistant must have a trained ear capable of discerning minor sound variances. To that end, a college degree in film and television production or recording arts is beneficial. Specifically, students should seek out degree programs that offer significant instruction in audio post-production and editing.

What to Expect

As an assistant to the sound effects editor, you are an apprentice with an opportunity to learn, observe, and participate. Take the experience seriously and absorb as much knowledge in technique and style as possible. As with all technological and artistic facets of the film and television industry, sound effects editing is constantly evolving due to innovations in consoles and software. Assistants that prove themselves humble, willing to learn, and eager to please will rise out of the junior ranks; developing a strong working relationship with the veteran technicians is the best way to secure your next gig. Employment opportunities are available on a freelance basis, as well as regular, full-time positions with sound post-production studios.

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