Training local filmmakers the art of perfecting sound in production

Friday February 1 2019


By The Beat

Sound is an integral part of artistic work in film and music. Through sound, the audiences’ intrigue is elevated.

The Tanzanian film industry has for years languished on sub-per sound quality. But that is all about to change, following a series of sound-focused masterclasses in various African countries supported by the Dolby Institute, an institute that engages artists by providing education, inspiration, and support throughout the creative process.

Under the flagship of Multichoice Talent Factory (MTF), the training is a first of its kind on the continent. Film producers are provided valuable insight into filmic sound, such as sound tracking, audio levels, sound gathering and mixing, aimed at nurturing filmmaking across the continent by focusing on the importance of sound in pre- and post-production.

Twenty sound experts in Tanzania were part of a team of 60 MTF students and industry professionals across Africa who received the masterclasses.

“Our work is to educate, inspire and empower the next generation of content creators and storytellers in Africa,” said Vikram Joglekar, a veteran sound consultant with over 20 years of experience, based in Mumbai. “Through this program, emerging artists and experts are brought together to offer concrete tools and mentorships that will enable them to more effectively use sound and imagery to create inspirational stories.”

Not only will the masterclasses provide students with access to skills development in sound, contemporary practices and innovations in sound and some of the industry’s most skilled individuals working with Dolby, it also addresses issues faced by emerging filmmakers on the continent such as access to resources and a lack of skills.

In light of the prevailing situation in Tanzania’s film industry, such trainings are important to help create a standard curriculum that will put the right kind of priority on the learning of the science and art of sound and sound gathering. “Sound is a distinct art. It’s a specialisation. There is a lot of demand on us as African TV and filmmakers to get this right, especially if we want our films to travel within and outside of Africa. Sound is an integral part of the full experience,” says Barbara Kambogi, Head of Maisha Magic Bongo Channel.

Timothy Conred, a film director at TIMAMU Film Company in the city, got the opportunity to learn about sound at the sound masterclasses.

Speaking to The Beat, he said he decided to join the training due to his affiliation in the film industry. He acknowledged to have encountered multiple challenges when preparing films, one of them being poor sound quality. When he heard about the sound classes, he was more than ready to join the one-day training.

“I am a film director but prior to today I had never studied sound. I directed work out of routine experience, I did not have professional knowledge on sound. From this training I have learnt many important tips for making quality sound,” he said.

Part of the training on sound included; learning how to record sound, how to edit and the importance of arranging sounds in order to get clear audio.

“From this masterclass I am going to make a difference in the film industry. We are used to seeing low quality films but this time I promise that the visual and audio quality will be much better,” he noted.

Timothy also plans to share the knowledge he acquired from the masterclasses to help others in the industry also improve on their work.

John Lister, another sound-enthusiast who attended the masterclasses, says he’s realized that the smallest things he used to ignore are the ones that matter the most when it comes to sound in film making.

“I have learnt a lot of things, but most of all, the types of shots and how to record sound according to the shot. I’ve realized that I was doing many things the wrong way, now I know the proper techniques,” he added.

Additional info by Jamillah Khaji