You're probably familiar with the saying that "audiences are more forgiving of poor video than they are of poor audio." If you've ever watched a film whose audio mix is too low or the background noise is too intense. you've probably lost interest pretty quickly and shut it off. Capturing and mixing audio professionally is truly one of the most crucial steps in filmmaking. So, we're bringing in sound designer, audio post mixer and composer Mark Menza to share his expertise with the WMM community during a free virtual Industry Lab on April 5th 2023. (No RSVP necessary - grab the Zoom link here!)
Mark has been creating scores, sound design and sound mixes for network television and independent feature films for 30+ years and is going to walk us through what your audio and creative team needs to plan for when capturing and editing sound on their project. Check out this interview we did with Mark to learn more about his experience and what we'll cover on April 5th!
Can you share a little bit about your education and background?
Mark Menza: I'm originally from Buffalo, New York, got my undergraduate from SUNY Fredonia, and did masters work in composition and theory at The University of North Texas. I've worked on the animated franchise, Jimmy Neutron the Motion Picture, [Paramount, Nickelodeon films], and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron TV series as post supervisor; The Ant Bully Feature [Warner Bros], Dragon Ball GT series, Dragon Ball Z features, and Wishbone [PBS]. In 2021, I scored Negotiating Dialogues, a five movement generative chamber piece with visual projections as part of the Dallas Symphony’s Soluna. Additionally, I founded Menza Music which offers composing, sound design, audio post-production, music supervision, and audio production for all types of media. My work experience spans the spectrum of commercials, films, branded content, documentaries, gamily and episodic TV.
Where are you currently based? What's your typical work setup like?
MM: I'm currently working from Dallas, Texas. I have a commercial studio with 2 control rooms and a live room. My main mix room is a Dolby compliant 5.1 mix stage. I do scoring to picture, audio post including sound design, ADR, foley, and re-recording mixing.
Have you ever done any other jobs within in the industry?
MM: A few odd voice acting gigs!
What made you want to get into what you are doing now? Who or what are your inspirations?
MM: I have always been a student of film music and all things audio. I love creating scores and soundscapes that help tell a story.
What have been some of your biggest challenges in the industry?
MM: Overcoming some of the perceptions that Dallas is not the center of the film and TV universe.
Any random fun facts about yourself that you're willing to share?
MM: I love working on guitars for friends and myself. And I am fully convinced I'm an excellent cook - fight me.