CAS Quarterly

Spring 2019

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50 S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y such as the cinematography, editing choices, as well as what I liked about a film, and things of that nature." This exposure would influence his creative approach later in life as he established himself as a sound designer and mixer. Taking another step up the cultural exposure ladder, his father took a sabbatical and moved the family to England for a couple years when Benny was 10. Then back to Venezuela until 1983 and then back to Zürich, when he was in his mid-teens. As you can imagine, Benny can speak a number of languages, "I know enough to get me in trouble." "Enough" being English, French, Spanish, German, and basic Italian. "I'd like to think that having had to learn all those languages helped me listen more; which helps me as a sound designer and mixer." While Benny played music, "We always had instruments in the house and I'd play with friends, but I was pretty terrible," he developed a curiosity for the technological side. "I enjoyed taking apart the cassette deck when it wasn't working. Once it was back in action, I loved watching the VU meters and seeing how they reacted to the sound." He studied the basics of electronics, which taught him about resistors, transistors, etc. Then, "I really got into computers in the '80s and '90s and that really helped me hone in on the Mac OS." Benny's journey brought him to New York City when he was 23. After seeing an ad in the Village Voice for the Institute of Audio Research, he realized that audio engineering bridged many of his interests, so he enrolled. This led him to work as an assistant in a small demo studio for a BMG songwriter. "While we rarely had bands come into record, I was able to become familiar with a lot of the technology. The owner bought an Apple Quadra 900 and Pro Tools version 1 to expand his 24-track 2" machine. I immediately gravitated toward that and became pretty proficient." That gig introduced him to some people who worked in the art and documentary realms. Those contacts led to him assisting on Helena Solberg's documentary on Portuguese-Brazilian singer/actress Carmen Miranda. "I had such a fun time watching the Steenbeck being put through its paces and started to learn how editors think in order to tell stories." For the next couple of years, "I was doing a little bit of everything. I worked as a Pro Tools operator on music gigs, but I also got into the video side of things. My neighbors worked on some industrials for a bank and they had me compose music, video edit, make simple graphics, and things like that. The video editing really helped me learn about video frame rates, pull-ups and pull-downs, and the lingo that video editors use; something I wasn't exposed to on the music side." He had also done some work as a sound editor and mixer at a smaller audio post facility called Cyclops. Then came an opportunity. "The picture editor from the Carmen Miranda doc, CAS Award Winner – Specials MEET THE WINNERS Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown "Bhutan" by Matt Foglia CAS Anthony Bourdain was a celebrity chef who helped bring the culture and cuisine of lands near and far into our homes, often introducing audiences to the nuances of cities, towns, and villages they otherwise wouldn't be privy to. Behind the console for most of those adventures over more than a dozen years has been Benny Mouthon CAS. Benny's sound work in the area of narrative-driven content has garnered him a Primetime Emmy (plus six additional nominations), a CAS Award (plus three additional nominations), a Daytime Emmy (plus an additional nomination), and two News & Doc Emmy nominations. The son of Swiss parents from the French-speaking area of the Alpine country, his father was a university mathematics professor, who was also a semi-professional opera singer. Benny and his family left his birthplace of Zürich, Switzerland, at the age of three for the university city of Mérida, in Venezuela's Andes Mountains. "It wasn't an obvious place for my parents to move to at the time; especially since they didn't speak the language. It was a move born out of curiosity and a sense of adventure." His father was a founding member of the university's choir, the Cantoría De Mérida. "As a little kid, I remember my dad would often bring the entire choir back to our home where they would break out the guitars, beers and plenty of rum and they would sing until four in the morning on 'school nights!'" As a result, Benny was exposed to a lot of music, culture, food, and, through his mother, cinema. "My mother was a cinephile. I used to watch a lot of non-mainstream films with her since we were in a university town. With her and her friends, I learned to 'talk' about the components of a film

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