Hello internet world! My name is Jeff Hilman, and I worked as one of the “sound guys” on the set of Fear or Favour. Alongside Noel Anstey and David Parfit, I am working as a boom mic operator, sound recordist, foley artist, sound designer, sound mixer, and co-composer. What do all these have in common? They’re a ton of work! Oh yeah, and they involve the audial side of the production, too. Coming into this project, I had an idea of what lay ahead in terms of the work. What I didn’t know was that all these seemingly separate jobs weren’t so separate after all. From start to finish, the process may be a tiring one, but overall it will be an unforgettable and extremely valuable one, too.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with an extremely talented fellow in our field: David Parfit. By offering some guidance and general wisdom on the jobs we undertook, Noel and I were able to set the bar for ourselves quite high. I sincerely hope I have the opportunity to work alongside David in the future, because besides being a pretty rad dude, he’s got the experience that you can’t learn from books and paper.
Being on a pretty high production value film set was a pretty unreal experience. Being able to watch professionals do their things (and being a small part of those same things) felt like a big responsibility, but at the same time I felt right in my natural habitat using equipment I’m familiar with and doing the thing I love – working with sound! Finding just the right way to capture great audio while staying clear of the talent and camera crew was probably the toughest part, but whenever you hear the director say “cut” after a take where you know you captured fantastic audio, you feel an overwhelming sense of triumph. The opposite is true, too – knowing you messed up and hit the ceiling with the boom mic or something can haunt you for days.
Going forward, the editing process begins. Now we get to look back at the shoot dates and judge ourselves harshly. Every little background cough or air conditioning machine noise will become the bane of our existence. However! The silver lining is that our arms and shoulders get a rest from holding a heavy pole over our heads for (nearly) 12 hours straight.
If this experience taught me anything, it’s that I have a lot to learn, but my passion will see it through. I can’t think of a time in recent years where I’ve been as excited to work on a project as Fear or Favour. Being a part of a team, each person with their own recognizable talents and focus, created such a positive atmosphere that made me eager to get back to set after each day. Whenever I hear industry professionals talk about their careers, I almost always hear them say “you have to love going to work in order to be happy with your career choice”. Well, I can say that the fact I wasn’t able to wipe a smile off my face during the entire shoot is indicative enough for me that I’m on the right path.