Motion Picture of Sound Editors President on the Impact of Coronavirus on the Industry

Jazz Tangcay

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Mark Lanza, president of the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), has been working from home. This is the new norm for him (and thousands of others) as a supervising sound editor. Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down production, Lanza, whose credits include “Manhunt” and “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” was used to mixing with a big production field behind him, giving him notes.

But now, Lanza and other sound editors, mixers and supervisors are all working from home. “We’ve gone from producers giving us notes and editors doing those notes to me being sent a note at my house, cutting what I need to at home and then I Aspera it to the mix tech who in turn puts it in the mix session,” Lanza explains.

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With assistants and engineers having access to Aspera software, the transferring of data files is an accelerated one.

Lanza points out that the system is very secure, joking, “I would love to see the look on someone’s face if they did get a hold of my sound effects session.”

With a serious tone, Lanza points out that all stages of the production process have halted, at least for him. He was meant to start a new sound supervising project after his current one, but that has been abandoned. “A few weeks ago, I went from having a problem of multiple projects conflicting to having none,” he says. “We are starting to run out of content and that means crews will not be able to work.”

Even if does production resume, there will be a problem of getting actors and locations and having the ship sail smoothly. “It’s all up in the air,” he says.

With 800 people in the MPSE, Lanza says he has been in close contact with other organizations, including the Cinema Audio Society, to be on top of the situation.

The MPSE normally holds member events with a few hundred people in attendance. Those are on hold for now as they practice social distancing. “When we live-stream those, we tend to get a few thousand people.”

“I just want to say to my members, we know what you’re going through,” Lanza adds. “We are pushing through, and we will get back…eventually.”

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