CAS Quarterly

Fall 2015

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no idea how to manipulate the technology, aren't skilled craftspeople, but sure know how to carry on a hilarious conversation at craft service until, suddenly, they hear the 1st AD yell, 'On a bell!' They frantically run back to their hodgepodge sound cart to barely roll sound in time." This is not the sound person that I'm advocating for. But this type of reaction illustrates just how delicate the balance can be. I'm expressing my opinion that, within this balance of two strengths, the sociability strength will win in the long haul. PASSION PROJECTS: DRAWING A SELECTIVE LINE When you think about them conceptually, passion projects really are a wonderful thing. A small group of creative people get together to develop, produce, and share a story with the world that they believe in. When you chat about the reality of passion projects, often you're left wondering whether they are a product of good or a device of evil. Indeed, they are subject to the scrutiny of this "universal balance" I speak of. I have observed that, when professionals are asked to get involved in a passion project, there are three primary schools of thought: Camp 1: "Who do these produc- ers think they are asking peo- ple to work for this amount of money?!! I need to educate them that this is unac- ceptable!" Camp 2: "I'm just going to politely say 'No.'" Camp 3: "I want to help them. They have done some favors for me in the past. I 18 F A L L 2 0 1 5 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y PART 2 "THE PASSION PROJECT" I wrote part 1, titled: "Balancing Sociability" for the sum- mer 2013 CAS Quarterly. It was so brief that I feel like I didn't quite cover the topic as extensively as it deserves. (Editor's note: visit to read through the Quarterly archives). That summer, I was influ- enced by the rants posted on various production sound- related Internet forums and inspired by positive social interactions that I was either involved in or privy to. I wanted to address what I believed were some misguided mentalities regarding how professional sound technicians and artists approach our artistic collaborators—both dur- ing and outside of a production. In rereading the article recently, I feel I didn't adequately address what I feel to be an extremely strained balance that is increasingly difficult to strike by the vast majority of people in any professional field. Recently working with Tanya Peel, a veteran sound technician, and witnessing her journey in becoming a pro- ducer, an interesting internal discussion sparked my mind about the concept of "The Passion Project." Therefore, I would like to broach the subject again with a focus on "The Passion Project" as a training exercise for sociable balance. THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCE: SOCIAL BUTTERFLY VERSUS TECH TWEAKER Being highly skilled in a technical position is expected. Being social, gracious, polite, and easy to get along with is extremely beneficial. Like many political ideologies, some tend to think it's only one or the other. "Pick a side," they say. The pervasive assumption is that if someone is sociable and charming, they must be making up for a lack of techni- cal abilities. And if someone is able to recite user manuals by memory, then they must be a sociably inept hermit, right? But these aspects of personality and mindfulness do not have to be mutually exclusive. As I discussed in part 1, both aspects are necessary for a well-rounded crew member. However, which one actually makes you more competent for the job you're doing in production sound? This is something that I don't always do, but, I am going to argue a hard-line position and say that the sociability camp wins every time. Now, you're thinking, "I've seen produc- tion sound teams run by socially charming people who have Sociability Balancing b y D e v e n d r a C l e a r y C A S Tanya Peel, sound utility and producer

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