Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Chris Roberts, and I’m a Supervising Sound Editor, working through my company Resound Sound Ltd.
Where are you based?
I live in Woodbridge, and Resound Sound Ltd. operates from premises just outside the town.
When did you move to Suffolk and how have you found it?
We moved to Suffolk in December 2017. I’d lived and worked in London for over twenty years and for the last eight years or so we’d been spending weekends and holidays in Suffolk as it was relatively easy to get to and we loved spending time here. We’d always thought about living here in the longer term, but having two young boys accelerated our plans so we let our flat and made the move. Thankfully the technology and connectivity now means that I can easily work remotely for the facilities in London. The lifestyle and space suits me and my family so much better, and it has been really surprisingly easy to establish and start growing my business.
How did you start out in the industry?
A love of music, the associated technology and a wider interest in film, TV and radio led me to complete a Media Production degree. After graduation I initially worked as a tape op in a Nottingham recording studio. It was the mid-90s and the technology was moving production away from big studios to bedrooms, so I reassessed and moved into speech radio production, making feature packages for my local BBC station and occasional national outlets. I quickly became disillusioned with the hard news focus of the BBC at the time so grabbed an opportunity to work in post production sound that came via my university flat-mate. I’d been fascinated by how sound worked with the moving image since my time working on projects as a student, so I moved to London for a try out in a small sound department and got the job.
What’s been your career path?
I spent two years in that facility recording voice overs, tracklaying and mixing broadcast and corporate content (as we call it now!) before moving to Sky to work in their Post Production Sound department. That was the steepest and best learning curve I have ever had in my career, working on promos, programmes and some live broadcasts. I knew that I wanted to be involved in creating the soundtracks for narrative storytelling so started contacting the facilities that worked on that kind of production. After a couple of years at Sky I moved to a Soho sound facility called Magmasters as a foley recordist. Whilst there I learned the art and craft of ADR recording, and also had the opportunity to mix. I eventually settled into dialogue editing. As the company was bought and sold around me, eventually being owned by the big US company Deluxe, I became a Supervising Sound Editor, responsible for managing the teams of in-house and freelance sound editors working on the high-end TV drama that was our client base.
What productions have you worked on?
Most recently, “The ABC Murders” and great little series for channel 4 /E4 called “Pure”, which was nominated for a Royal Television Society sound award this year. I’ve recently completed an adaptation of Mallory Blackman’s novel “Noughts & Crosses” which will be broadcast in 2020. Over the years I’ve worked on “Death In Paradise”, “Fortitude”, “My Mad Fat Diary”, “Ripper Street”, “Maigret”, “Unforgotten”, “Foyle’s War” …. full CV available on request!
What project have you been most proud of?
That’s a really difficult question! We always try to make sure that the work we do is something we can be proud of, no matter how big or small the production is. “Fortitude” was a show I was really proud to be involved with, as it was so ambitious in its storytelling and gave the sound team a lot of scope. I loved being part of “Ripper Street” for three series – it occupied a place that no other TV drama did, and allowed us to create a world, a version of Victorian London driven by such rich characters and bold writing. In 2009 we were involved in an episodic adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” – a brilliant script, fantastic cast, and director who pushed for authenticity and accuracy in the soundscape to build the claustrophobia and fear that was felt by and affected those who went through that unimaginable experience.
Any funny stories?
Plenty, but I have to sign so many NDAs these days…..
Any advice for people entering the industry?
Let your passion fuel your learning. The industry is evolving so fast that every project offers something new to learn, either creatively or technically. Listen, absorb every bit of advice that is offered and be prepared to collaborate at any level. Every experience is useful in building a career.
Where do you see the future for your section of the industry?
It’s an interesting time, especially for television drama. The demand for ‘content’ is growing, but thankfully so is the investment. More streaming services are coming online, and I anticipate some consolidation at that level, but I can also see the development of a diversity of storytelling rather than the formulaic dramas we used to see ten, twenty years ago when there were fewer outlets all trying to satisfy a huge audience.
Any advice for Suffolk based professionals?
Let’s get to know each other better! I’ve found conversations with people in completely unrelated businesses to be extremely helpful in starting to build my own, even leading to prospective projects. The more we are open to collaboration and helping each other out, the more we can do to secure new business in the region and challenge the existing bases.