Randy Thom – dealing with the client is the hardest part of sound design

Randy Thom opened his talk at ACE at the University of Edinburgh with a clear statement of fact – “dealing with the client is the hardest part of sound design”. It can be good fun starting a talk with a polemic and given that Randy was in a School of Sound Design he started in polemic fashion saying that schools concentrate on the equipment but that that is the easiest part. There are thousands of good sound designers and sound engineers but the challenge is knowing how to handle the client.


His insight into film producers was refreshing. He explained that film producers are scared to death of making a fool of themselves in front of their peers and so seek out the team and the sound designer that they believe can deliver. He admitted that when approached by a producer that they believe that he knows how to achieve a particular sound or atmosphere – but in all cases Randy said he never knew before hand what he could do or how he would achieve the desired result. He see’s part of his job as giving the client the confidence they need to get on with the job in hand – their film.


That’s a nice business philosophy – makes sense for us on the software company side – give the client confidence – and then of course deliver.

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