Alex O’Brien, Class of 2014 | Work Placement at Azimuth Post

Alex-O'Brien_APGrad2014Recent audio production graduate Alex O’Brien shares her week’s work experience in London with Azimuth Post Production:  I found Azimuth on Twitter and have followed them for a good few months now. I don’t know why it took me so long to enquire about a work placement but I wish I’d done it sooner. I emailed on the Sunday and had a reply first thing Monday morning offering me a week long placement. So I spent the next how many ever weeks working hard as a kitchen assistant, saving every penny I earned.  What did I get up to? I spent my week as a runner. Making tea, coffee and toast, fetching the odd Starbucks and doing the odd lunch run round Soho. We’ve all heard the runner horror stories but I found it to be quite the opposite. I loved every minute of it.  

Azimuth’s clients are all lovely, busy people who found the time to talk to me. I was on more than one occasion greeted with “Oh, you’re new!” and the conversation started there. I was asked what I was doing, what I had been doing, what my interests were and where I wanted to be. The amount of advice I got from just 5 minutes with a client has been absolute gold and I can’t thank them enough for that. 

AlexObrien_sounddeskAmongst all the tea and toast making I spent a good few hours with the audio guys. They showed me projects they were working on, some incredible Pro Tools plug-ins and I got to pick their brains and chat audio. Just being back in a studio got me all excited and chatting to people with so many years’ experience in audio was brilliant. 

While in London I was lucky enough to attend a BAFTA games showcase for the new Fable game on Xbox One.

AlexOBrien_BAFTA-gamesshowThe talk was held by Glen Gathard, head of recording and editorial at Pinewood Studios, and Steve Brown, associate audio director at Lionhead Studios. The talk was incredibly fascinating. It gave us so much insight into the Foley processes for different characters i.e. the importance of layering sounds, selecting the right person to create movements for a character and even using the right objects to get the sound you want. We were also lucky enough to see a BETA test of the game; I can’t wait to play it! So much information was packed into an hour and I’m glad I went in the end.

Going to the showcase also brought back my rejection from a job at Pinewood earlier this year. I’ve spent the last few months feeling like I had let myself down because this is my dream job. It was right in front of me and I let it slip. I let this get me down for quite some time and I stopped looking for jobs and lost all interest in the industry for a while.

But after speaking about this with different people all week I can finally say I’ve turned rejection into motivation. I am determined more than ever to work for Pinewood, to work with film and to work with sound. And I can confidently say this is because of my week with Azimuth. Getting to spend a week looking into the industry has got me excited again. Speaking to people who have been in my position has given me the drive I needed and I now know what my goals are.

Azimuth Post is a company that cares about all things media. They are proud of everything they’ve achieved so far and so they should be. Each member of staff works incredibly hard to produce high quality content and this is evident from what I’ve seen this week. They’re an incredibly talented team and some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

I’m going back at the end of this month to do another week with them, so I must have done something right! They’ve said I can spend more time in audio to help guide me into what I want to do. How many people would do that nowadays? It’s comforting knowing there are still people out there willing to give graduates a chance.

AlexOBrien-zoomI took my Zoom H2n with me for the week and recorded a morning travelling to work. The piece below is my journey on the underground from Walthamstow Central to Oxford Circus. I took this route every morning and what interested me is the fact that it sounds different every single day. You won’t see the same person twice, you won’t hear the same conversations again, footsteps will sound different and even the trains will sound different. So this is what my journey sounded like on Thursday 6 November 2014.

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