Lucy Mitchell is a freelance Sound Editor and Dubbing Mixer. In 2013 she was named a rising ‘Hot Shot’ by Broadcast Magazine, in 2015 she took part in a mentoring scheme run by Women in Film and Television UK, since 2016 she has visited various universities as a guest lecturer in audio production, and since 2018 she has been a regular contributor to Pro Tools Expert. Most recently Lucy built her own studio from scratch, from which she runs her new business, LJ Studios. We caught up with Lucy recently to chat about her career beginnings, the shift to working freelance, and a few of her favourite NUGEN Audio plug-ins.
"I spent my evenings and lunch breaks training in the machine room and the studios, and worked my way up from the bottom the old fashioned way."
I grew up in and around the television industry, with my mum choreographing The Benny Hill Show and my dad running Carlton Television. I was always interested in their jobs, but couldn’t see an obvious role that I wanted to pursue. In fact, I almost went to study maths at university! In my late teens I did multiple work placements in post houses and sound studios in London - my dad made it clear that to be taken seriously as a candidate for a job in television, I would need lots of experience on my CV. I was interested in sound because of my musical background, but before those placements I didn’t know about any audio jobs apart from live sound engineering. Work experience is a good way to discover various types of jobs, and to figure out what you do and don't like.
After university, I applied for a few runner positions on ProductionBase and MusicJobs UK, and I was called in for a trial day at Envy Post Production. They interviewed me at the end of the shift, I was offered a full time job, and the rest is history! I spent my evenings and lunch breaks training in the machine room and the studios, and worked my way up from the bottom the old fashioned way.
"I actually used Halo Upmix for the first time on Rising Free, and I was really impressed. The UI is simple and easy to navigate, and I like how easy it is to alter the divergence."
Last year Christian Johanssen, a director in LA, contacted me for all the audio post on Rising Free, produced by Lightfall Films. They had a good enough budget for me to spend a significant amount of time on it, and to dry hire a dubbing theatre for my final 5.1 surround mix. The film is a drama set in the mid 1800's, so of course has plenty of horses and guns, which was fun. I love using whooshes and low booms to enhance the drama, and this worked well with the director’s vision. I enjoyed the creative freedom I was given by Christian - he wanted the sound to be epic, so I really pushed the music (beautifully scored by Abel Hancock) where there was no dialogue, and spread the score a lot more evenly between the 5 speakers than I usually would in order to fully immerse the viewer. He had some specific ideas about the flashback scenes, where he wanted to be surrounded by dialogue, so I sent a mixture of wet and dry delay and reverb signals into the surrounds.
I actually used Halo Upmix for the first time on Rising Free, and I was really impressed. The UI is simple and easy to navigate, and I like how easy it is to alter the divergence. I first heard of NUGEN when EBU R128 first came into play, and VisLM was loudness meter of choice for the mixers at Envy. At that time I was mostly track laying and only occasionally pre-mixing, so I didn't measure loudness a lot. Since going freelance I am doing more mixing work, and probably 90% of the studios I visit have VisLM as their loudness meter. I like using the history graph in VisLM to find the quieter parts of a project, to see if I can just tweak those sections without affecting the overall sound of my mix.
A lot of my recent projects have been short form, which means multiple versions and quick turnarounds. I love using LM-Correct for this, it’s nice to "mix with your ears" and just tweak the overall mix by a little. All the NUGEN plug-ins have a simple user interface, and they slot into my workflow very easily.
From naturally extracted and expanded soundscapes to full cinematic big-stage enhancement, Halo Upmix delivers all the control you need to produce and fine-tune your surround mix to perfection.
Loudness compliance perfectly integrated into your workflow, using a clear resizeable interface and ground breaking ReMEM automated loudness memory technology.
LM-Correct gives you a unique, immediate and hassle-free route to loudness-compliant audio in your day-to-day loudness workflow, saving you time and preventing costly mistakes.
The full range of NUGEN’s audio post tools. A master set of 11 plug-ins with uncompromising quality and creativity.