RRFC: You mentioned that you had a few apprentices working on some of those AAA Video Game projects and that actually received credit. Was that Andrew Holscher and Will Dawson?
Yes. Both Andrew and Will have worked on some of those. They got credit and they got paid. Will has also worked on a couple of other previous video games for me as well. Will is a great guy and his attention to detail and professionalism is exceptional. He not only has an unusually high degree of integrity but he is fun to hang out with. I recently invited him to go sailing with some friends of mine and the director of a film whose mix he sat in on. Andrew is also a real solid guy and has his hands in several aspects of audio and music. He’s the real gamer type, so he was super excited to be able to contribute to a video game project.
RRFC: What makes these guys good apprentices?
Well, they are two completely different personality types but they each bring their own thing to the table so to speak… Will was a music engineer prior to studying with me and is also a guitar tech and instructor. He really gets the business aspect of things and how to behave in the studio. He shows up on time, is responsible, plus he is very well spoken. He even dresses better than I do for sessions! Of course, I had to tell him he was making me look bad, and to stop doing that. Will is open to all aspects of the audio field and really wants to work on a steady basis so is up for basically anything I throw his way. I can count on him to do what he says he’s going to do… He’s just all around good, clean-cut guy.
Andrew is a bit younger, and very enthusiastic. He is a smart and creative guy and has his hands on 50 different things at once. He is really passionate about getting into the video game field as he has already been through the audio engineering program of one of the larger colleges. His previous instruction there included very little Post Sound and did not cover video games at all. He felt there were gaps in his knowledge and so wanted me to fill things in, so to speak. The thing I really liked about teaching both of them was their overall interest level in the subject matter, willingness to learn, and eagerness to do the hands-on assignments. Both of them seriously lack the all-too-common sense of “self-entitlement” that I have seen in many of the younger generation.
RRFC: What can an apprentice do to impress you enough to invite them back to work with clients outside of class hours?
Because I work with a wide variety of clients and personalities, I have to be able to get along with musicians, celebrities, actors, producers, marketing and business suit types. The gaming guys are different from the independent film people and they in turn are different bunch than the record industry folks etc. Some students are able to blend in and relate to any of my clients. Others are a better fit just for the videogame clients, and may need some training before I would let them sit in or work on, say a session with a Film Director, for example. You see what [these clients] care about in addition to the audio is, whether you are passionate about their field (Film, Games, Television etc.). It really makes my business look good if I have a gaming client present and my apprentice is a gamer who knows or plays the games my client has released etc. Ultimately, you have to be able to adjust to any vibe in the studio and quickly create a common bond with anyone. I need my apprentices to be able to do the same. These are really just your basic people/client skills and will help students excel in any aspect of their life. So in summary, I am really impressed by an apprentice who is able to flow smoothly with any vibe in the studio while being themselves and not too eager to impress… and even more so, what impresses me is an apprentice who shows on time and is respectful of others and the studio equipment. Just your good old punctuality, consideration, honesty, and integrity, I suppose.
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