I am glad that I have such a great job as doing sound effects editing. It is often engaging, ever changing, creative, technical, exacting, and gratifying. Sometimes it is repetitive, tedious, and under-appreciated. In television, often sound effects and dialogue editors don’t get screen credit, and the credits usually go by at lightning speed, or are shrunk into a small window while another promo plays. The clients, the producers of the shows, are accustomed to coming for playback on the mix stage, and so develop much more of a creative relationship with the mixers of the shows than with the sound editors. That said, I have had some very fruitful and creative collaborations with clients over stylized sound effects needed for shows.
Working as a Local 700 member is also a huge blessing, as I get a standard wage increase every year, and the heath plan and pension are great. I don’t have to negotiate my rate every time I do work. The hard part is making sure I meet my hour requirements for keeping my benefits.
I work on a per-show basis, so I have to make sure I’m being hired on shows throughout the year. When a show season ends, I’m not getting paid until I get on another show, so there is a sense of urgency. I’ve been lucky to have a network of people I like to work with, and who like to work with me. I can reach out to them and let them know I’m available and hope they pull me on to another show. Nothing is guaranteed. It can keep things interesting to work on many different types of shows, so that’s a silver lining. It also would be nice to work on a long-running series, for the job security.
So working in this business is very rewarding, but also brings its own stresses and challenges that people with normal 5-day-a-week jobs don’t often face.