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Could You suggest a school? 

Charles Holzer: 
I am currently a live sound eng. and am thinking about taking the "Sound for Film" course at Full Sail. Could You suggest a better school, or is it the best? 
I mainly want to save my ears and eventually my career. I have had no formal audio training, it was mainly OTJ training with another eng. also with no formal sound education. I'm currently very confused about the situation!!!

Randy Thom: 
Full Sail is a very good school. There are a couple of graduates working at Skywalker Sound, and they're both excellent (Though these two people probably would have been excellent no matter where they'd gone to school.) 

You didn't make it clear whether you are mainly interested in sound editing or mixing, so I'll assume you are interested in both. 

You should insist that ProTools be an important part of the curriculum wherever you go, because it is by far the most common audio workstation you will encounter in the movie industry. The ideal learning environment in terms of technology would be one in which you are part of an accurately simulated real-world post production cycle. 

What I mean by that is: 
A film or video is being edited on an Avid picture editing system. You are required to begin working on the sound (and do "temp mixes") before the picture editing is finished (which is virtually always the case in the real world). Therefore, you have to not only find sounds (dialog, sound effects, and music), get them into ProTools, and edit them so that they match the picture, but you also have to learn how to "conform" (re-edit) your previously cut tracks so that they sync up with the latest version of the picture edit. 

Finally, the sounds have to be mixed. Ideally you should get experience using digital and analog film mixing consoles, and learn the meaning of commonly used terms like "stems," "M & E," "LT-RT," "SVA," "track splitting," "pull down," "pull up," (which, by the way, has nothing to do with "pull down") "print density," etc. Any teacher who can't tell you without hesitation what any of those terms means isn't fully qualified to be teaching film sound. 

Richard Portman, legendary film sound engineer and artist, is teaching at Florida State University in Tallahassee. That school would be high on my list if only because of him. 

PS......getting into film sound won't necessarily save your ears. 

Randy Thom: 
It has always been pretty difficult to learn any of the film crafts. I only know one or two people who have walked out of a film school and been offered a job. The tradition has been that you learn most of your craft by apprenticing yourself, for little or no pay, to someone who is established. The trick is in finding such a person, and being 
available and willing to drop everything else when that person gives you the fateful call. 

Edited excerpts from CAS webboard   message thread: Schools June 99 


M Orlowsk:
I am a graduate of Full Sail's Film and Video program. I can tell you that Full Sail is a great place with lots of gear. The main question you have to face is what you do with it. I graduated in Sept of 1999, and I am now a Sound Editor at a Post House in LA. I've worked on about 10 features, and have a good respect from my co-workers. Full Sail can teach you the industry and the gear. It is up to you to make something out of it. 

Please remember this. If you do go to Full Sail, the moment you graduate DOESN'T make you and expert. Just be humble and work hard. Don't flaunt your experience. Full Sail is a 13 month program. You will spend about a month or two on each piece of gear. That doesn't qualify you to be an expert. The main complaint about Full Sail, is the students become "Know it all's" Companies HATE this. 

Glen Trew:
All college graduates are "Know it alls", and it's probably a good thing: The confidence serves them well while that find out how much they don't know (I was one of the worst). (...) I think that a school's job is to inspire first and the learning will surely follow. 

message thread Full Sail, anyone? 4th may 2000

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