Can You Hear Me Now? – The Sound Editor (with Victoria Sampson & Andrew Macht)

Victoria Rose Sampson has been a renowned Feature Film Sound Editor who learned her craft by working alongside her mother, Kay Rose, the first woman to win an Oscar for sound editing on the Mark Rydell film, The River. Victoria’s credits include Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Speed, Donnie Darko and Return of the Jedi, and she now teaches post-production sound at Video Symphony in Burbank. She is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Local 700 of the IATSE, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Alliance of Women Directors.

On the My Creative Careers podcast today, we’re diving deep into the world of sound engineering with sound editor extraordinaire Victoria. She shares her insights into the relationship between the language of sound and the storytelling process and why the sound editor is so much more than a technician. We explore how sound editors take production sound recorded on set or location and clean it up to eliminate unwanted noise and create the director’s vision. Victoria also discusses how her career has evolved since the 1970s, what made her fall in love with the discipline and gives her advice on achieving great sound on set.

“I wish that more directors would know the language of sound a little better. I mean, they learn the language of actors, they learn the language of DPs — to learn a little bit of sound language isn’t going to hurt too much. But I find people just get a little overwhelmed by the technical side of it.” – Victoria Samson


“A sound editor is a person who tells stories with sound. I learned that from my mom; she used to tell mixers that you’re not just a technician, you’re not just a recording mixer, you’re a filmmaker. And we help the filmmakers tell their stories using creative sound, sound design, sound effects backgrounds.” – Victoria Samson

 

Highlights This Week

  • Victoria’s illustrious film industry heritage
  • What a sound editor does to help the filmmaker’s vision using sounds
  • What made Victoria fall in love with sound editing, and how her career began
  • Why there are fewer women sound editors now than there used to be 20 years ago
  • Why it makes sense for sound editors to get involved in movies early
  • What Victoria wishes people knew specifically about what she does and her golden nuggets of wisdom gleaned over her long and successful career
  • The movies Victoria has worked on that contain the most interesting sounds, what those sounds were, and how she found them
  • Films that Victoria hasn’t worked on but that she admires for their amazing sound editing — and what she really notices about sound when she’s watching films
  • How Victoria finds focus and blocks out the many distractions life can bring

 

Resources

An Open Letter From Your Sound Department handout

Victoria Rose Sampson on IMDB