One of my highlights of 2018 was mentoring at the ‘Exposure Science Film Hackathon’ in Lausanne, Switzerland. I demonstrated ways to improve audio quality with simple guerrilla filmmaking tips to the students. The event brings together groups of scientists and filmmakers, to explain scientific ideas to wider audience outside the science community.

Having fun recording voiceovers for ‘Robbie the Robot’

A longterm project that I have been involved with this year (2018) is a French language podcast start-up. The podcast features location interviews as well as some studio voiceovers. The project is still in development but will hopefully be published in 2019.

The wonderful thing about the project is that it offered me the chance to travel around Switzerland meeting interesting people such as artists, watchmakers, and a religious order.

The Community of Grandchamp gave me an insight into life in a religious order where a vow of silence is taken. As someone who often has to ask people to be quiet while during filming this was a wonderful experience!

A colleague of mine asked me to help with a documentary that needed clean music recordings of Afghan musicians. This was the first time I had worked with musicians using instruments such as tablas, dilruba, rubab, and a sitar. I miked everything up traditionally; dynamic mics for percussion and voices, and condensers for strings.

Owing to Afghanistan’s geographical position, it is a cross-roads and melting pot for musical ideas from India, Pakistan, Iran, China, Tajikstan and the northern ‘Stans’. Hopefully one day I’ll get the chance to explore this fascinating country.

The wonderful sound of the Rubab (with birds chirping in the background)

For the first half of 2018 I was involved with a very interesting project which documented an area of Geneva which was going to be redeveloped into high density social housing.

The area around Charmilles was home to artists, students, long-term residents, and asylum seekers who had banded together transform their housing blocks into a small community which gathered around a community garden. The filming lasted for about 6 months and allowed me to explore the different soundscapes as the area slowly changed through the seasons.

The documentary film is in the editing stage at the moment but a shortened version was completed and shown in the community garden prior to the redevelopment construction works in September.

The boom cover is called a ‘dead cat’ which has peeked my feline friend’s curiosity

During the hot months of June, I developed a series of videos for a pressure group based in Lesbos, Greece, which documents human rights violations in the Aegean Sea. The work monitors the plight of migrants who are looking for a safe passage to Europe. Unfortunately, it is one of the deadliest borders in the world.

As part of the 2018 TEDx events in Lausanne, I recorded sound on a series of Vox Pops interviews in the street. Unfortunately no time was built into the schedule for a sound edit but I think it still holds up well.

Nathalie Leduc is a comic actress (among many talents) and one of her character creations is called ‘Shayne’s Mom’, a brash lady from New York. This documentary is part spoof and part reality –– I like it because it is difficult to know what is really true. I created the production and post-production sound.

Kino Geneva is a fantastic event bring professionals and amateurs together to make short films. The event lasts two weeks and over 30 short films are made and then screened at the Alhambra cinema in Geneva.

I was involved in three films all of which were well received. The films are being sent to film festivals at the moment and will hopefully have some more news in 2019.

Apart from dialogue recording, ‘Dispersion’ involved some ‘worldizing’ recording techniques to record the sound of a deadpan computer voice, and the sounds of buzzing florescent lights to create a distopian future soundscape.
‘Edmond’ was a fast paced shoot, recorded during a couple of very cold snowy days around Geneva. Part of the shoot involved working with a Steadycam operator, so trying to stay in step without recording our footsteps was a big challenge –– especially in the snow.
‘On The Edge’ was shoot in a studio full of lights, one of the greatest challenges was trying to find a boom position. Post-Production included layering up the design and adding in the sounds of a party, such as drinks with clinking ice-cubes.

The big project of 2017 for me was ‘Writing Home’, a feature film that required 6 weeks of on location filming plus some foley recordings. The film is finely acted romantic comedy starring Tony KellyCaoimhe O’MalleyGeraldine McAlinden

Apart from the on-screen talent, a group of dedicated individuals worked very hard behind the scenes, and as a result the film won a ‘Learning on Screen’ premier award. Needless to say the sound recording was a big part of its success