It’s Sound Check!
with Emma Bortignon
During my time at university, where I was studying Sound Production with aspirations of becoming a record producer, I was drawn into the world of filmmaking. The course I was studying had a Film elective, and I started working on fellow students’ short films. It was then I discovered the boundless creativity and flexibility that film sound offered. That initial excitement I felt back then still drives me today. After university, I worked at Music and Effects for ten years, learning on the job and experiencing all the varied skills necessary to create a soundtrack.
Choosing a single project as the most memorable is quite challenging, as each one brings its own unique blend of complexity and dynamism — qualities I appreciate in my work. It’s not solely about the film but the people involved. The synergy between a talented director, a supportive producer, and an exceptional sound team makes an experience memorable for me.
However, spending two months in the Amazon in Cayenne, French Guyana, as Production Sound Editor on Rolf de Heer’s “The Old Man Who Read Love Stories” was a baptism of fire and an incredible learning experience as one of the first features I worked on back in 1999. Then, working on “ Noise” in 2007 was a career-defining film and opened up many opportunities. More recently, I have been working on a few horror films, which I love because of the opportunities to push the boundaries and manipulate an audience’s perception with sound. “Talk To Me”, “Late Night With The Devil”, and” The Rooster”, being the last few feature films I have worked on, all come to mind as highly memorable projects with amazing people.
Before I began studying Sound at university, I contemplated a career in Genetics. I excelled in Biology during high school, although I wasn’t great at Chemistry, so it may not have worked out for me. I’m grateful for the serendipity that led me to my current profession.
Working on the soundtrack for “Jurassic Park” would have been an exhilarating experience. I vividly recall being captivated when I first watched and heard the film. Imagine being part of the team responsible for conceptualising the sound of an extinct T-Rex!
Additionally, I would have loved to work on any Indiana Jones films. They were groundbreaking in their time, and my fascination with them dates back to when I was just five years old, and being taken to the cinema by my dad to watch “Raiders of The Lost Ark” who opted for the adventure film over the animated version of “The Fox and The Hound.”, which was my Mums choice. That decision profoundly impacted my life – I was terrified watching it, and it also blew my mind!