For the seasoned members of the workforce, the pandemic has required a change in long held habits, routines and greater adaptability. But what is it like for young people in the creative industries early on in their careers?
Have transitions been easier? Is establishing a career an even bigger hill to climb due to constant unpredictability or has it created a more level playing field with a feeling of being ‘in it together’?
The next gen of sound designers at Grand Central Recording Studios share their thoughts on how they have learned to master resilience.
Miles Henry started at Grand Central as a runner and climbed the ladder, recently being promoted to head of transfer at the end of last year:
“I feel this period of time has allowed me to step up and showcase how I can offer leadership and guidance to my team, especially when things are as unpredictable as they are now. I’ve relished the opportunity to get the new trainee transfer engineers up to a good standard. The team have worked hard to establish a seamless technical set up – all our kit can fit in a bag and be moved between our homes and the studios in Soho and, actually, the variety of location is quite nice.
“I think we’re lucky to have trained and secured our jobs when we did. I can imagine sound design courses are not easy to execute at the moment, as workshops around mixing desks are more effective when taught in person. In the absence of higher education opportunities, the sound industry may need to look at more on the job training to ensure a steady stream of new talent coming through.”
Lizzy Andrews, transfer engineer says:
“I’ve found it easy to adapt to the changes and for me, as I live outside of London, I’ve used the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. The blurring of lines between work and home life can be quite taxing, but that’s being experienced by everyone no matter the seniority. We’ve actually improved some internal processes here at Grand Central, digitising and streamlining, and these benefits will be felt long term.”
Rachel Scott, newly promoted from head runner to the role of trainee transfer engineer says:
“Being new to a technical role in sound, it’s difficult to make comparisons with ways of working before the Pandemic. I don’t feel I’ve missed out, things have been done a different way and I have my whole career ahead of me to develop and really appreciate a time when we’re not under restrictions.”
Tom Keats, newly promoted from runner to the role of trainee transfer engineer says:
“Having to arrange and adapt constantly to far greater external influences is something everyone is dealing with at the moment, and starting my new role did feel quite turbulent. Training had to be done in a more independent way without the same opportunities as others before me to shadow senior members of the team. But, being thrown in at the deep end is the best way to learn and whilst we’re working in an extreme scenario now, the only way is up from here.
“Once, and with a vast quantity of hope, everything eases we will be able to start working in a room together, which should only add to the optimisation of processes we have applied in the past year.”