mark_med

Jack-of-all-trades?

Whether it is a movie, a radio spot, a photograph, or a song, the aim is still the same – sharing great ideas and stories. 

Here is a bit of my story...

Two things account for my varied work history. (1) I have been at this a long time, and (2) I have a voracious thirst for learning, so when I go after something I go after it until I get very good at it, or die trying. So, now after a time, I have a few well-developed skill sets.

I thought I might be a director after going to film school, but I had a lovely daughter born eight days after I graduated and I had to earn my keep sooner and more reliably. I thought I would do that working in camera and started down that path, but I soon got some work in sound and found myself an in-demand boom operator before I knew it. Never having lost my love for making imagery, I parlayed my serious photography hobby into a professional career when 2001 dealt mutiple, simultaneous blows to the film industry. And, as my body aged and booming became a more tiresome job than usual, I moved into working at an ad agency doing post-production and wearing mutiple hats as we created some smaller productions. Some of those smaller in-house spots earned Clios, so we must have been doing something right.

The varied path I have taken has found me as an award-winning film sound pro, a published photographer, and handling almost all post-production work and a fair share of crew positions for smaller shoot spots for a proudly Canadian ad agency.

I having been making movies since 1979, but it wasn't until 1992 that I worked on a professional film set. On that set, I played back pre-recorded off-camera actor lines over a telephone rig placed on set using scripted lines triggered from a (then new) device called a sampler. I also was taught to do some second boom; these opportunities became the beginnings of my sound career.

I spent much of my time on sets as a boom operator and sound mixer. But I did some stints in the camera department as a clapper/loader on music videos early in my career, as well. Since 2011, I have done post-production but I have also been directly involved in some of the shooting on set. Over the years I have occupied every position in the sound department, every position in the camera department, and I have been an electric, a grip, a props person, continuity, and the first AD (I have an excellent get-em-in-line voice on set).

Well, here is the (partial) list from my IMDB page

Sound department

2011
My Babysitter's a Vampire (TV Series)
Beat the World (feature film)
Jesus Henry Christ (feature film)

2009
The Listener (TV series)

2008
The Summit (TV mini-series)
Booky & the Secret Santa (TV movie)

2006
Covert One: The Hades Factor (TV mini-series)

2005
Recipe for a Perfect Christmas (TV movie)
Aurora Borealis (feature film)

2003
DC 9/11: Time of Crisis (TV movie)
Hemingway vs. Callaghan (TV movie)

2002
Monk (TV series)
Our Hero (TV series)
Widows (TV mini-series)
Recipe for Murder (TV movie)
Gilda Radner: It's Always Something (TV movie)
The Matthew Shepard Story (TV movie)
Narc (feature film)

2001
My Louisiana Sky (TV movie)
Lucky Girl (TV movie)
Jewel (TV movie)

2000
Amazon (TV series)
American Psycho (feature film)

1999
Prisoner of Love (feature film)
PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (TV series)

1998
Such a Long Journey (feature film)
Sanctuary (sound: second unit)
Shadow Builder (feature film)
Moonlight Becomes You (TV movie)

1997
Heaven Before I Die (feature film)
Borrowed Hearts (TV movie)
While My Pretty One Sleeps (TV movie)

1995
Nancy Drew (TV series)
The Hardy Boys (TV series)
The Soldier Boy (short film)

1994
The Long Weekend (as sound editor)

1993
Lilly (short film)

1992
April One (feature film) 

I have been drumming for 44 years and so I have been around live sound and recording studios from a young age. In my late teens, I did some assistant engineering on reggae recordings in the Kitchener area, But it was in film school in 1991, where, working at a friend's studio, I sound-edited my fourth-year film on ProTools version 1! It crashed an awful lot back then but this did not dampen my new interest in post-production.

Over the years as a freelancer, and certainly in my capacity at the ad agency, I have recorded, mixed and edited music and captured innumerable voiceovers. I know my way around Logic and I am an expert in MIDI as well, having played MIDI percussion since 1997.

In 2001, the film industry suffered a mutiple whammy of the 9/11 attacks, an American writers union strike, and SARS, and much of the film work dried up for a spell. During this period, I turned my serioius hobby of photography into another branch of my varied career. As the film industry returned, I balanced the two careers for years.

I went from shooting film to the burgeoning medium of digital photography and have never looked back. In my go-after-everything approach, I have done successful work in portraits for magazines, actors and musicians. I have shot product for mags and manufacturers. I shot fashion and beauty for Canada’s premiere hair magazine for an extened period of time. I have shot food for Yorkville restaurants. Have camera, will shoot, I suppose. I haven’t really tried my hand at underwater photography, so there is always room for something new.

Really? I am a professional. :-)
Actually I have a gallery of the famous and infamous that have worked with me (and Rick Penn) over the years:
The Wall O’ Shame!