Company: BBC Cymru Wales
Apprenticeship Role: Sound Apprentice
Location: Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff
About the Organisation
BBC Cymru Wales is the nation’s broadcaster, providing a wide range of English and Welsh language content for audiences across Wales on television, radio and on our websites
Roath Lock, is the BBC’s state of the art centre of excellence for Drama, a place brimming with new energy and talent. When the first productions moved into Roath Lock in September 2011, they fulfilled a BBC commitment to create a centre of excellence for Drama in Cardiff.
Located in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, the 170,000 square foot facility, including nine studios and equivalent in length to three football pitches, is now the permanent, purpose-built home of four flagship BBC dramas – Casualty, Pobol y Cwm, Doctor Who – as well as new productions in the future.
Sound Assistants are a member of the Production Sound Crew and provide general back up and support to the Production Sound Mixer and the Boom Operator. They are responsible for checking all stock, microphones and batteries and making sure that the sound department runs as smoothly as possible.
Although the work is physically demanding, the hours are long and are sometimes performed on location in extreme terrain and/or severe weather the work can be very rewarding.
Sound Assistants usually begin work early arriving on set half at least an hour before call time, with the rest of the Sound Crew. They help to unload the sound van, and working with the Boom Operator, check that all equipment is prepared and fully operational. During the Director’s rehearsals with the Director of Photography and actors, Sound Assistants must pay close attention in case they are required to move positional microphones, or assist the Boom Operator to plan for difficult shots.
Sound Assistants help the Production Sound Mixer to attach clip microphones to actors’ clothing. They also help the Boom Operator to negotiate cables on the studio floor during recording, and at the end of each shooting day, to ensure that all the sound discs containing the sound rushes are correctly packaged and labelled. They are employed until the end of the shoot, when they make sure that all equipment is carefully packed away and that any remaining sound paperwork is handed over to the production office.
Sound Trainees are usually employed to perform general running duties (making tea and coffee for the Sound Crew, helping with unpacking, cleaning and setting up all sound equipment, etc.)
Examples of the jobs a Sound Apprentice could do in the future –
- Sound Assistant
- Boom Operator
- Foley Artist
- Sound Recordist
- Assistant Sound Editor
- Sound Engineer
- Dubbing Mixer
What kind of person do I need to be?
- Interested in sound and have a good ‘ear’
- Strong team player
- A Self-starter
Key Skills include:
- excellent aural skills
- initiative and the ability to respond quickly to different situations
- ability to collaborate and to work as part of a team
- diplomacy and sensitivity when working with artists and other crew
- a high level of physical stamina and strength
- Pay close attention to detail
- Teamwork – Highly effective team player; works for the benefit of the whole
- Managing Relationships – Able to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people.
- Communication – The ability to get one’s message understood clearly by adopting a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audience and the nature of the information
- Influencing and persuading – Ability to present sound and well reasoned arguments to convince others. Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that results in agreement or behaviour change
- Planning and organising – Is able to think ahead in order to establish an effective and appropriate course of action for self and others. Priorities and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources requirements.
- Creative Thinking – Is able to transform creative ideas/impulses into practical reality. Can look at existing situations and problems in novel ways and come up with creative solutions.
- Resilience – Can maintain personal effectiveness by managing own emotions in the face of pressure, set backs or when dealing with provocative situations. Can demonstrate an approach to work that is characterised by commitment, motivation and energy.
- Drive – Demonstrates commitment, motivation and energy.
- Self Development – Demonstrates personal strengths and development needs, and continually seeks to improve performance by learning new skills and behaviours.
- Flexibility – Adapts and works effectively with a variety of situations, individuals or groups. Is able to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue, to adapt an approach as the requirements of a situation change, and to easily accept changes in one’s own organisation or job requirements.
Whilst working for BBC you will be completing a 12-month Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.