Once you have signed up to be a sound designer, one of the most important steps is to meet with the director of the play to discuss his or her vision, as well as what he or she expects from you. This may happen at a production meeting with all of the designers, or it may be one-on-one.
When beginning to work on Antigone Now, I met with my director, Ke’Leb. He and I have collaborating a number of times, so I already knew what to expect. Ke’Leb briefly explained his vision for the play and told me what kind of sound he was hoping to achieve. He then went through the script page by page, showing me where he was hoping to have musical cues or sound effects.
We will talk more later about using music in sound design, but at this stage it is important to get as much information about what your director wants as possible. As we looked through the script, my director described the kind of music he wanted with words like “earthy,” “wartime” and “feel good.” Descriptions like this can be helpful, but designers must be able to use their own judgement to decide what music works where.
After your director is done sharing his or her vision, it is a good idea to ask questions. If there is something you are confused about, now is the best time to ask. Once productions get kicked into full gear, it is much more difficult to get directors to sit down and talk about details with you.
After your meeting, it is a good idea to promptly begin your search for music and sound effects that fit your director’s vision. We’ll call this the Exploration Phase. Follow Staging Sound to stay updated with each step of the process, and feel free to leave comments or ask questions about this step below.