It’s Sound Check!
with Nigel Christensen
What’s been your most memorable project?
It’s very hard to say, I’ve worked on such diverse things over the years and they all have their relative charms and memories. Two spring to mind though, one was an animated series called Bottle Top Bill, a cartoon series designed to encourage children to make things and tell stories using household items.
As much as possible the sounds of the items on screen were made by me recording the actual sounds of those items and/or vocalising sounds to go with them. Motors would be me making engine sounds with my mouth for example. I actually witnessed children watch the show and start making weird toys and vocalising sounds to go with them and it was very satisfying to see we were helping to spark young minds into creativity.
The other project that really stands out was Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s not often that huge, epic productions of that scale come along and working on it with all the excellent people at Big Bang was an experience I won’t forget.
If you weren’t in this industry what would you be doing?
Hmmm, possibly living in a humpy on hill in the bush whittling spoons out of driftwood. That has some appeal. Perhaps woodwork, or landscape painting, maybe an architect, writer? I suspect I’m unemployable outside of this industry.
If you could have worked on any soundtrack in history, what would it have been?
Blade Runner, I was absolutely obsessed with that film for years. I have various books about it’s production, the methods employed and the troubles they had. I loved the melding of the Vangelis score with the sound FX, and combined with my fondness for the writing of Philip K Dick, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and the potency of Ridley Scott’s direction, this film embraced everything I loved about cinema and was an inspiration to pursue the career I have now.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
In high school, I went from being quite academic to quite arty in a fairly short, and troubling, period of time. My science teacher and my music teacher actually had a stand up argument about my future, there were even concerned phone calls to my parents about my fondness for guitars. I was being told by all sort of people what it was I should be doing with my life but my music teacher, Marty MacLelland (Mrs Mac) gave me a piece of advice I still rely on to this day. She said “Fuck them Nigel, you live how you want to live.” Thanks Mrs Mac