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Do you have to be creative to impress?

Your work may be technically proficient. But other people can be technically proficient, but more creative. Who is going to win over the client and get the job?

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There are two types of people in sound - the proficient, and the not proficient. You only get to work in sound if you are proficient in what you do. If you are not, then sound can be a pleasant hobby, but no more.

By proficient, we mean that someone can place a microphone, can operate the controls, can edit and mix, and can turn out a professional piece of work that sounds as good as other professional work.

But for any real life client with a real life piece of work to offer, there are many proficient people chasing that job.

So to get the work you have to go beyond the merely proficient.

You can...

  • Be a relative of the client
  • Be a relative of a friend of the client
  • Be a relative of the client's spouse
  • Be a relative of the client's boss
  • Have bought the client a drink at some point in the past
  • Have a friendly, pleasant and naturally ingratiating disposition
  • Be attractive and of the opposite sex to the client (or show up brightly on their gaydar)
  • Be owed a favor, or even money, by the client.

Sad to say, all of the above can be influential. That's what the world is.

But taking all of these points aside, there will still be many proficient people chasing work. What can you do to put yourself in front?

Well there are some serious options...

One huge point in your favor would be to have some great industry credits. If you have worked with McCartney, you are in!

But great industry credits are hard won, and only over a period of time. But there is still something you can do. And that is...

You're going to have to show the client in some way what you are capable of doing. You ought to have a showreel of your best work, or at least some examples you can play him or her, or send over by e-mail.

If these examples of your work are merely proficient, then you are in the mosh pit with many other people trying to get that work.

But if you can add a layer of creativity, then you can increase your chances enormously.

At Audio Masterclass, we have heard literally thousands of pieces of student work. Many are proficient. But some stand out as a total pleasure to listen to because of their extra layer of creativity.

These are the people who we would employ.

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By David Mellor Thursday January 20, 2011
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