Week Five – Tales from the Edit – A day in the Sound Studio with Chris Watson

Sound-Studio Addicted to Sheep

It’s been a rare treat for us to spend a day in the sound studio with Chris Watson, one of the world’s leading sound recordists. When we first heard Chris talk about his craft at a Royal Television Society event he took off his shoes and paced the floor in his socks. He’s very sensitive to ambient noise. Chris watched the rough cut of Addicted to Sheep and then suggested we have a coffee to ‘rest our ears’.

In the sound mix studio

Over the next few hours we talked about engaging the viewer through sound. Silence helps. Taking out rather than filling up.  Allowing for breathing space, moments of reflection and light and shade.

Sound-Studio Addicted to Sheep

The North Pennines where we filmed is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we wanted to establish a strong sense of place. Chris talked about creating a richer sense of perspective.  We don’t always need to hear what we see on screen. We cut out the quad bike, created a sense of ebb and flow between skylarks and curlews and then heard snow falling on the washing line. It’s delicate artful work.

We left the studio and heard the deep hum of the coffee machine in a way we’d never noticed before.