My filmmaking has included the roles of voice-actor/director, singer/songwriter, Foley artist/editor, and more recently, producer/director. I have created Foley for films such as Die Hard, Predator, Platoon, Malice, Dolores Claiborne, Beauty and the Beast, Noises Off, Edward Scissorhands, A Goofy Movie, and sex, lies, and videotape. Television shows include Dallas, Knotts Landing, Cagney and Lacey, and Hill Street Blues. I have loved my long career as a film sound professional, and I am indebted to Kim Fowler (she left us far too soon) for enabling my entrance into the craft, Gomillion Sound (the Roger Corman studio of postproduction sound, as we like to call it) and Jimmy Honoré (former Vice President of Postproduction Sound at Columbia, nee Sony) for promoting my “brand” back in the day. My success in film sound is due more to luck and the good will of others than anyone can truly understand.
I never intended to be in film sound. Actually, even though I did the typical acting rotation of agents, head shots, composites, auditions, and of course, classes, I never really saw myself as a film actor. No, I have always preferred live performance. Yet, there is a magic that happens in a studio, any studio, that compels one to be more than they ever thought possible. Perhaps it is the protective envelopment of a private space for only comrades “in the biz” but I treasure all of those many years in cutting rooms, sound stages, Foley stages, and dub stages.
Foley is an art and a craft. I have written extensively about this. I have also been a voice actor and one who casts and directs voice actors in “loop groups,” and I appeared in a silly film playing a silly role when I was a silly young person called Revenge of the Cheerleaders. Fun fact: David Hasselhoff was a featured player in it and I was in an actual scene with him...who knew?
We learn a lot from non-traditional work experiences. For example, in 2018, I was engaged in 16 short film discussions with Academy Award winner Gary Rydstrom, film historian Wes Gearing, and film theorist and pedagogist Richard Edwards entitled “Moving Through the Musicals” for the online course Mad About Musicals produced for Turner Classic Movies. Being the “host interviewer” was an experience
Production Still: Amplified (2017)
that stretched my filmmaking chops. Also, for the same online course, Dr. Edwards and I conceived, appeared in, and produced “A Stan Sollars Specialty” film short. Mr. Solars is the voice of NPR in Muncie, Indiana. Finally, while at Ball State University, I was able to direct and produce a short film, with 13 undergraduates called, Amplified: A Conversation with American Women in Film Sound. We tend to overlook the women who are equally accomplished.
Even directing a series of short educational films Hey, Scotty Bear! stretched my chops as I developed scripts, directed the key actor (mascot for UC Riverside) and the student voice overs for each vignette. Each of these “outside of the industry” experiences were unique for a person enmeshed in professional filmmaking for several decades. Who knew?