26 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network

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IFTA Q&A Series: Rob Moore on Sound
16 Apr 2024 : Luke Shanahan
Rob Moore
To mark the 21st anniversary of the IFTA awards, we are showcasing Irish talent who are blazing a trail across our industry, working in front of and behind the camera.

To mark the 21st anniversary of the IFTA awards, we are showcasing Irish talent who are blazing a trail across our industry, working in front of and behind the camera.

Hosted in association with IFTA, this Q&A Series connects with Irish talent who represent a range of disciplines across our industry.

We find out about their approach to craft, working on the projects they’ve been nominated for, and the best piece of advice they’ve been given in their career.

Rob Moore, Brendan Rehill, and Peter Blayney are IFTA-nominated for Best Sound for Double Blind. Moore was a production sound mixer on the film. This is Moore’s first IFTA nomination.

IFTN: Tell me about your experience working on this project, and your collaboration with the director and other HODs.

ROB: “Working on Double Blind was a fun but challenging experience. The majority of the film was shot in a cavernous room. The dimensions of the space, along with hard tiled surfaces, made it the perfect storm for reverb.”

“We hired in floor-to-ceiling heavy stage drapes to combat this as best we could. We worked closely with DOP Narayan Van Meale and his camera team to get these as close as possible to the edge of the frame to help tame the acoustics.”

“Kev Moore (1st Assistant Sound) and Mark Bergin (Sound Trainee) put in a serious shift moving these, along with sound mats and blankets, around the set between takes. It truly was a massive collaborative effort from all involved.”

IFTN: How did you first get into sound mixing professionally, and what have you learned through your experiences that would be of use to aspiring sound mixers?

ROB: “Sound was always a part of my life. I began DJ-ing on turntables at 16 and naturally progressed into sound engineering in college. During the recession, a lot of friends were moving to Australia, but my uncle, Tom, who was a stills photographer, recommended giving the film industry a bash. It was an area I had no idea about but had similar traits: instead of mixing records, I was mixing actors' voices.”

“I was lucky enough to get some days on large shows shadowing the production sound mixers. Soon after, I invested in some gear and jumped on anything I could find: college short films, KinoD film challenges, etc. I learned a lot from all of these, and luckily I met some great producers and camera operators early on that recommended me for future work.”

“My advice for any aspiring sound  mixer is to network as much as possible, jump in and get involved to build up experience.”

IFTN: Is there one thing about your craft that you would like the public to be more aware of?

ROB: “Good sound is a given. It's always good. There is rarely a stylistic choice to have bad sound. Therefore, it's expected to be on point at all times. The public may not be aware there is a lot more involved than holding up the furry microphone on the pole. It can be incredibly technical at times, navigating radio frequencies, hiding microphones in costumes, even holding the entire production up for a passing airplane. The world is a very noisy place, our job is to make it sound nice.”

IFTN: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

ROB: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

“It's the most valuable piece of advice I have been given. In this game you need to be prepared for every eventuality. Having backup equipment in case something fails: spare microphones, cables, media cards, batteries. Bringing multiple jackets, thermal layers and footwear to shoots, even in the summer, you just never know. Especially in this country.”

“Being prepared gives you peace of mind and with that you can concentrate on recording good quality sound.”

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