Sound Design: Getting work in the industry

Adrian Billinsky has built a career working as a sound designer in various fields including ‘TV Shows as well as documentaries and short films… some advertising and, even a Virtual Reality Experience which was a LOT of fun!’


Therefore, he knows how to successfully navigate the industry, and as a JMC Academy tutor, he provides his students with the real industry knowledge and stories to help them build their own successful career. 

“Most of my film jobs have come from peers I met after graduation. There were people in established facilities who had work coming in. If they like your work and like to work with you as an individual then that continues. Currently I have found that I am being contacted by creatives directly. Once you have worked on a number of projects and have proven yourself to have something creative to contribute then people just start getting in touch with you directly.”

We sat down with Adrian to find out more about getting work in the industry. 

How hard is it to get work in film audio?

There are many roles in Film Audio. Every form of multi-media needs some form of sonic content which is a positive thing. The good thing in the current climate is that there is such a HUGE amount of new avenues for media creation as well as a bunch of new delivery platforms. 

As far as getting meaningful work is concerned I believe that it is not difficult but you can’t afford to have a narrow vision. Being overly specialised isn’t necessarily a good thing. Specialisation works within large format facilities where an amount of people work together to create a whole end product. I have seen that more and more can be accomplished with the advancements in technology within a smaller structure. The tools for Audio are quite universal these days so it is important to be able to say ‘yes’ to a variety of projects. They may not be the ones you love but all of the work you do makes you a better practitioner on the whole. 


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What skills do you think you need for a job in Film Audio?

Specifically FILM audio is all about bringing something creative to the table I think. There are technical roles within the industry sure, but to be really successful in FILM then you need to understand linear narrative and how you can help drag an audience through that experience. Communication is also a HUGE asset as you will be working in teams of people and constant communication really will be key to getting the job done. Not only FINISHED, but finished within the creative vision of the lead creatives as well as the funding bodies involved in the project. 

What advice would you give to students looking to work in the industry?

I always say the same thing to students, and that is to get to know your peers. Go to the other departments and ASK to get thrown into new projects. It is getting thrown out of your comfort zone which makes you better and it is working with other creative people for a specific direction that makes you better at your craft. Stay in touch with these people and understand that you may be doing some very hard work for a bit but, there will always be that one gig every once in a while where you will finish it, sit back and say ‘I am really proud of that’. It is those projects that other people will notice and make them want your help to realise their own creative visions. 

To learn more about studying Audio Engineering, click here.