Contents

Intro....................................................................................................................... 1
Know your craft..................................................................................................... 1
Know your Anime................................................................................................... 2
Experience............................................................................................................. 3
Create a show-reel................................................................................................. 4
Conclusion............................................................................................................. 5
Reference list:........................................................................................................ 6
Bibliography:.......................................................................................................... 7

What are the possible career steps a graduate in BA Film would have to take in order to work as
a sound designer in the medium of Anime?

By Ricardo Smith

Intro
This essay will investigate the most effective journey that a film student would have to in order to

make it to the studios of an anime production company.

The reason for me choosing Anime as my break into the industry is that I have such a passion for the

art form. From a very young age, I have been engaged in Anime’s such as Dragon Ball Z, Beyblade

and Naruto and that passion has not left me. Now that I have been doing film for a total of three years

and I have been doing sound for a total of two. I now feel that I am ready to take my first step into

forging my future.

Know your craft
The first step of any journey is to make sure that you are knowledgeable in your chosen field. The

reason is so that you know all of the intricate details that go into your craft as well as the more

obvious ones.Sound design is no different in this instance.

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“As a sound designer, it's useful to understand all the variations of your job and the different tasks

you may be asked to perform” (Bbccouk, 2004).

I have learnt a fair amount in my two years of doing sound design in Middlesex University. Although

there are still aspects of sound design that I have not learnt, explored or cannot quite grasp. An

example of this is Pro Tools, a world-renowned industry used software made for editing or mixing

sound. Now I am having some tutorials on how to use this piece of software and I am finding it to be

quite troublesome, since there are numerous amounts features that present themselves for a sound

edit. Despite this little setback, the tutorials have been working slightly and later in this sound

designing process there will be an upcoming AVID pro tools exam that I will be taking. This for me is

an expert way of getting myself in the industry since once you pass the first exam initial exam you

precede on to the next one. Upon completion, you receive the title of AVID certified user: pro tools as

well as a certificate declaring that you are indeed a capable user of the software.

“The User certification program prepares individuals to operate a Pro Tools system in an

independent environment” (Cook, 2015, p. xvi)

There are further certifications and programs that follow resulting in an increase in of ability, status

and credibility amongst not only the sound designing industry but the anime industry also. Since

Anime production companies will most likely, (as with any production company) go for the highest

tier of crew as well as cast. The reason for this is that Anime is undeniably a well-crafted medium so

in order for its acclaimed reputation to precede it. There has to be a touch of class and professionalism

through everyone that plays a part in its production due to the cultural pride that is so heavily rooted

within Japan.

Know your Anime
In order for me to get a job as a sound designer in Anime, it is important to know my craft, which is

indeed important. Although another factor, that is equally as vital is immersing yourself inside of the

art. I have been watching Anime for quite some time, so I not only tell what an Anime is just by the

visual style but also by the nuances with the sound design. The sound design in Anime can

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differentiate depending on the themes within. They can range from being meaningful, tender and

touching to suddenly becoming loud, exaggerated and comedic. Coinciding with this the sound design

whether it is joyful or remorseful brings a sense of energy that transcends the screen.

And just as how the materialisation of energy is narratively foregrounded in Anime through its

energised form, so too does Anime’s audiovisualisation textually evidence and neumonically signify

the nature of sound in our physical reality (Brophy, 2005, p.12)

Also doing research shows your enthusiasm, showing your employer that you actually care for the job

is a character trait that will go noticed which is then be distributed from company to company who

will hire you due to your personality.

Experience
The next step into become an anime sound designer is experience. Any experience is good experience,

so getting exposure into the industry whether it is a role involving sound or not it is another skill to

add to your repertoire.

In college, I DJ’d at clubs, put on shows, and self-published my own album. At that time big beat was

in, so artists like Fatboy Slim were hot.

Around this time I ran into someone from Capcom at a club and first learned about sound effects. It

turned out they were working on the sounds for Street Fighter. I was job hunting and wanted to work

in sound, so with their encouragement I dove into this world (Designingsoundorg, 2009).

Getting a job in Anime is not as straightforward as this. The reason behind me using an example

including a video game designer is that in the present day video games are starting to take on the

characteristics of Anime. Games such as Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid are all

taking on the cultural form of anime and projecting it to a worldwide audience through the medium of

games.

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Continuing on, the professional way of gaining reputation and getting a taste of what it will be like to

work in a genuine film environment is to go down the route of freelancing. Freelancing allows you to

be the boss, in terms of being able to select what projects you wish to be a part of that are happening

around you.

Also freelancing enables to begin networking, what networking is in a brief description is the building

of relationship with others. Any business not just film push this fundamental social technique, since it

allows you to bond with colleagues that goes much further than the restrictions made through your

occupation. Having these support units will help you to become an efficient team player that will be a

useful trait to have once you begin working in a production.

Create a show-reel
A showreel is an audio or visual highlight in which to show employers your talent and skills that you

posses. To break this down a showreel is very similar to a portfolio or a Curriculum Vitae (CV), I have

made a showreel before so this is something that I am familiar with.

A showreel can come in different forms such as an mp3 file, an mp4 file, on DVD or CD. The

possibilities are endless when it comes to presenting yourself to potential clients. Personally, I would

make sure that my showreel has interesting visuals since having visuals to accompany the sound will

grab the attention of the viewer(s). Another key element that needs to be included when creating a

showreel is giving it a story. Having a showreel without a structure leaves potential employers

confused on what they have just witnessed decreasing your chances of being chosen for a job. So

create a storyline that is captivating and memorable in order to increase your chances of getting a job

in the industry. The next step is to find a trustworthy website or ask any of the people that you have

bonded with through your networking if they know any hiring companies. Once you have found a

vacancy that is when you need to make yourself available.

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Conclusion
This essay was a general guide for me into what it takes to be a certified sound designer in Anime.

Although honestly the path into the industry can occur from anywhere, this is why in the question I

have put the word ‘possible’. Since these are possible steps in trailblazing my way into the Anime

industry. The chances of me following this guide one day and then becoming a sound designer the

next are not certain.

If by any chance, I manage to follow all of the steps and still make it into the industry then it would be

utterly fantastic and rewarding. I have also come to understand that if I do not make it into the Anime

film industry there are alternative routes that will be just as gratifying. As I previously mentioned

before video games seem to be injecting a style very similar to Anime into its framework. I would

even go so far as to say that are no longer games but short films. There are contained stories or even a

set of stories that go past just irrational entertainment purposes; they connect with you on an

emotional level and take you on a ride along with the characters that you are controlling.

An example of this is the highly acclaimed game The Last of Us. This game revolves around the

protagonist named Joel who is a survivor in a post-apocalyptic zombie epidemic and guardian to a 13-

year-old girl called Ellie. This game has captured the hearts of many gamers around the world with its

heart wrenching sound track, eerie sound design and relatable characters.

As an avid gamer myself, if I find myself going down the road of sound designing for video games, I

would not be disappointed at all. Not just because I am a gamer but logistically speaking it would be

easier to sound design for games rather than Anime. The reason is that Anime does not have such a

cult following in the UK than it does in the US or Japan. This means leaving the UK in order to be in

these countries for an unprecedented amount of time, looking for a job, which can be bring either

great success or failure.

On the other hand, with the game industry in the UK there is a boom in terms of UK game developing

studios such as Rocksteady, Media Molecule and Headstrong games. This means I do not need to

travel as far as I would do if I was going abroad or spend as much in order to keep myself a float.

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To conclude this essay I feel that in order to make it as a sound designer in the medium of Anime, you

need to start out with video games. The reason is that the chances of making it immediately to the US

or Japan and getting into the Anime industry right after graduation is a lovely though but hopeful.

Getting into Anime will not be an easy task; there will be setbacks along the way. Although as I have

just mentioned getting into video games could possibly be the way forward in order to get into the

world of Anime since the two share the same ideals, which is emotional connection. Creating the

bridge between fantasy and reality, the video game companies do not need to be well known, start

small. There are plenty of developing game studios that will be looking for trainee or established

sound designers. Then once you have made a name for yourself in one art form, who knows where

you will end up next.

Reference list:

 Bbccouk. 2004. Bbccouk. [Online]. [6 December 2016]. Available from:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newtalent/drama/advice_diey.shtml
 Brophy, P.B (2005). 100 Anime BFI Screen Guides. (Illustrated ed.). England : BFI

Publishing .
 Cook, F.D.C (2015). Pro Tools 101: Pro Tools Fundamentals I v12. (Illustrated

ed.). USA: Delmar Cengage Learning .
 Designingsoundorg. 2009. Designingsoundorg. [Online]. [6 December 2016]. Available from:

http://designingsound.org/2013/02/capcom-audio-director-tomoya-kishi-interview/

Bibliography:
 Brown, S.T.B (2006). Cinema Anime. (Illustrated ed.). USA: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN.

 Collins, K.C (2008). Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, and Practice of Video

Game Music and Sound Design. (Illustrated ed.). USA: MIT Press .

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 Davis, N.D (2015). Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood . (Illustrated ed.). USA: Bloomsbury

Publishing .
 Media-matchcom. 2015. Media-matchcom. [Online]. [12 December 2016]. Available from:

http://www.media-match.com/usa/media/jobtypes/sound-designer-jobs-402782.php

 Napier, S.J.N (2005). Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, Updated Edition:

Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation . (Illustrated ed.). USA: PALGRAVE

MACMILLAN.

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