The key skills in audio post-production: an interview with Nathalie Sidaros
Nathalie Sidaros has been teaching post-production at Musitechnic since early this year, and she shares with us some valuable advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the world of audio post-production. Since she graduated from Musitechnic in 2002, Nathalie has pursued a successful and passionate career in the world of audio, including working on the hit series “Têtes à claques” and “Les histoires bizarres du professeur Zarbi”. Like many other students, it was through music that Nathalie developed a passion for audio post-production. Realizing that a whole other world of creative possibilities existed through sound recording, Nathalie quickly jumped behind the console to develop her talent with both ambition and determination. It’s a real pleasure to listen to her sharing her passion in this podcast and to hear the tips she has to share.
The ability to be autonomous and responsible is paramount for someone who wants to work as a sound editor. Nathalie talks about her field as an environment where you often have to figure out things on your own. Thus, curiosity is key as she recommends to always be on the lookout for knowledge and to constantly learn more: “It’s so complex, it’s so complicated sometimes… But when you understand it, when you grasp it, you’re in control. But it takes time to master it and even when you become an expert there are still things to learn, or new approaches. Thus, knowing how to explore different ways of doing things and the ability to adapt are habits and qualities sought after in anyone who is passionate about sound design and wants to make a career of it. This requires not only self-taught learning but also openness to others, observing the techniques of one’s colleagues. This enriches one’s toolbox and allows for more options when faced with the various challenges of the profession.
A good attitude
A positive attitude in the studio is essential to make the whole team feel comfortable working with the sound editor. At the same time, you have to learn to put your ego aside and not take the work as something too personal. In this field, there is a lot of pressure and when a client or a supervisor asks for changes, you have to react in a positive way and not think that the work is perfect: “You remain a link in a chain. You have to respect the others, those who are before you, those who are after you and those who have to ask you for things that are part of your tasks, it’s not the time to pout”. The professional attitude consists in remembering that we work for a project and not only for ourselves. Since conditions are not always ideal, often within short deadlines, it is necessary not to let situations undermine the positive and professional attitude of a good sound designer.
For Nathalie, the difference between an amateur and a professional is rigour: “It’s easy to do an edit and say: “This will do it.” The important thing is to go to the end of your know-how and your capacities when you do the work. In the end, it’s the name of the person who worked on the project that ends up in the credits and you have to understand that this signature will remain. In this environment, other professionals will quickly realize if the person in charge has turned corners. Nathalie urges students to understand that the important thing is to serve the project and to give their best. Being able to recognize that a project is finished and that it respects high quality standards is essential to the balance of a team because it is easy to want to push further in the perfection but it is necessary to know how to stop in time. Thus, rigour allows you to evolve, to test your limits and to push them further.
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