#364 Work Experience – ‘Sustain’

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(Sustain (2017) promotional poster)

A fellow student on my course posted a couple of weeks a go about needing help for a new feature film coming out titled ‘Sustain’ the new film from Midlands Director David Hastings & Producers Troy Dennison and Keiran Bowers (Checking In, Brink, The House of Screaming Death). A Birmingham crew with amazing talent and even more amazing personalities.

On January 14th I was fortunate enough to be picked as Sound Assistant and start my first full day on a real film set. I have been to 3 shoots already lasting 12 hours each.  I’ve learnt so much already from these first few days, about sound, about cinematography and editing. Director David is truly an inspirational man with a lot of experience under his belt and his crew have been so welcoming and informative with any questions I have.

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(A slightly awkward shot of me with the boom pole…)

The filming goes on until March with a week long shoot in February, being Sound Assistant is a lot more taxing than it sounds but it’s hugely rewarding. Considering I’ve never been the one to choose sound as my role in previous productions with uni it’s become one of my favourite things to do and has opened up my skills in the film environment. I’m loving learning different positions and get to experience a piece of everything on set.

One of the difficulties with filming that I found during these past few days was that trying to record sound outside is almost impossible. To make it even more challenging we had wind and rain and was on a busy street with cars and planes constantly flying/driving past. We managed to make it work and Sam, the editor, is incredible with sound editing and can work with the material we got.

On  Sunday 22nd January, Karen the first for sound, had to leave to film something else at 6pm so as sound assistant I had to fill in the role and take charge. At first I was intimidated and nervous to speak up but after the first couple of takes I found my voice and was able to really take charge in my area – giving the director the nod when the sound was perfect or the shake of the head when it wasn’t and discussing what works best and what doesn’t. It was really satisfying knowing that I had some sort of power during this production, if the sound quality is awful then it has to be re-done. In a sense I felt like a mini director of sound saying when to cut and when to go, cause if sound isn’t ready no one is.

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(The first official production still from Sustain featuring Brett Drewsbury as Keiran Flank and Laura Evenson as Kara Marshdale.)

I’m really excited for the next couple of months to see where it takes us and meeting more cast and crew. I’ll continue to blog about each shoot with what I’ve learnt from each session. Watch this space…

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