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Lighting Audio Fires Within the Hearts of Students


Inspiring the next generation in sound and advertising with Jungle Studios creative director Ben Leeves and sound designer Alex Wilson-Thame

Lighting Audio Fires Within the Hearts of Students
Jungle Studios has long valued education and awareness building for music and sound design. From their training workshops for industry professionals, to their creative mentorship programme which seeks to help a diverse range of students into their first roles in audio, the Soho based sound company is constantly paying it forward.

One of their most recent ventures has seen them team up with the School of Communication Arts, to deliver workshops that give advertising students more of an insight and understanding of music and sound design. As creative director Ben Leeves puts it, “We want to start a conversation about sound and its power in projects from an early as possible stage. Showing the studio environment and a breakdown of a session can demystify the sound process and give more confidence to new creatives who find themselves in an audio session - hopefully here at Jungle!” 

“Workshops like these are far more interactive for students,” highlights sound designer Alex Wilson-Thame. “It’s our third time running this now and the reactions have been fantastic! It's amazing to see how alive the room becomes. The Q&A section at the end is always full of inquisitive raised hands, which even though there is a lot to take in during the workshop, really shows that the content has motivated some creative thought!”

Speaking to the young talent, art direction and copywriting in advertising student Gwenaëlle Carré comments: “Sound design is a fascinating field that brings life to video. For me, it’s one of the essential elements of any good film. One of the things that most stood out in the workshop was just seeing how impressive the software is and how many levels live in one piece of work. Ben and Alex included us in the presentation and made it sensitive and inclusive, almost like an entertainment piece rather than a masterclass.”

“Sound matching was also something I never knew existed,” she says, “the ingenuity of searching what sounds like what. And seeing my friends pouring their heart out into sounding like a flesh-eating zombie or exploding a watermelon with a shovel was the most entertaining thing I’ve seen in a long time!”

Advertising student Luke Mannell agrees, “The Foley exercise was definitely a highlight. I also enjoyed being walked through a full Pro Tools project for an advert to see the level of craft that’s involved in sound - it’s phenomenal. I wish it was taught in schools and colleges more. As a music/production obsessed 16 year old, I feel like this would have opened my eyes to a potential career path much earlier. It's a skill that has lots of applications and it’s the kind of thing that most people don’t realise is so exciting until they see how it all works and the limitless possibilities.”

Reflecting on what he most loves about running these workshops, Alex says, “I may be biased, but to evoke the importance of sound and open up a world that students may not have even thought about is what I am most passionate about.”

It’s an excitement that Ben also shares, “A room full of people interested in sound always makes me happy! I enjoy sharing the passion of sound, so to have the platform to share it is perfect. The students always get really involved, getting their hands dirty creating foley and performing which always breaks the ice. We have lots of shouting and smashing fruit, which tends to start off fairly reserved and finishes completely unrestrained. Hopefully we light a small audio fire under their ideas.”

And it seems to be the case, as Gwenaëlle reveals, “Thanks to Jungle Studios, I am now keen to learn more about sound design and try to include it directly in my work. I try to write scripts or dialogue with the right music in the background now and think about how sound effects can elevate my work. More creatives need to discover the density and depth of sound and music.”
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Jungle Studios, Mon, 06 Sep 2021 11:33:00 GMT