Boom Operator, Music Playback, PSC Recordist, Sound Editor
Motion Pictures and Film | Manchester, United Kingdom, GB
I am a passionate and conscientious sound professional with a broad education in sound recording, editing and mixing. I have valuable experience in post-production and on set; including over 100 episodes of television including award-winning dramas, numerous short films, dozens of commercials and features.
Boom Operator/2nd boom and music playback operator for film and TV drama. Sound designer, PSC recordist, audio editor and mixer for shorts, commercials and corporate work.
2014 - Present
Sound Recordist - Marrying Mum and Dad (series 3) / BBC
PSC recordist; mixing four personal microphones and a boom. Currently still available for dailies, commercials etc. Check my availability at http://bit.ly/bookryan
Boom Operator - The Johnny and Inel Show (series 2) / Princess Productions
Swung boom, worked with costume in rigging personal microphones on actors, ran the floor for the sound mixer (Gavin Dunn); organised wild tracks and acted as the contact between director and mixer.
Once again worked with sound mixer, Keith Silva on the third series of E4's 'Fresh Meat'. Operating second boom, preparing and maintaining Cantar X2 audio recorder and sound equipment. Covered the boom operator when he was off for two weeks.
2nd Boom Operator - Common / LA Productions Ltd
Assisting Grant Bridgeman on this film written by Jimmy McGovern, directed by David Blair for BBC. Swung boom, rigged personal and spot microphones on artists and in cars etc.
Boom Operator - TV DAILIES 2013 / Various
Happy Valley - Red Production Company From There To Here - Kudos TV / BBC 1 (2nd Boom) Last Tango In Halifax (series 2) (2nd Boom) Fresh Meat III - Objective Productions / Channel 4 Scott and Bailey (series 3) - ITV The Mill - Channel 4 Mount Pleasant (series 3) - Sky (2nd Boom)
Various Roles - SHORT FILMS 2013 / Various
SANTA VS ELF dir. Daniel Byrne & Mike Staniforth (Sound Recordist) BREAKING dir. Harry Sherriff (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer) THE DEAL dir. Leon Henriques (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer) FLASH dir. Will Herbert (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer) PERSONAL APPEARANCE dir.Toby Everett (Production Sound Mixer) BICYCLE THIEF dir. Harry Sherriff (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer) THE DOOR dir. Michelle Hooper (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer) DEBUT dir. Mike Staniforth (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer) THE CARAVAN TRILOGY dir. Andrew Gunn (Recordist / Sound Designer / RR Mixer)
Boom Operator / Music Playback - COMMERCIALS 2013 / Various
LOTTO CHRISTMAS // Music Playback Operator COMPARE THE MARKET: GARY BARLOW // Boom Operator LOTTO'S CHANGING: OOH WAKKA DOO // Music Playback / Audio Editor VICTORIA PLUMB // Boom Operator SOFTBANK: KAGAWA // Boom Operator
2nd Boom Operator - Being Eileen (series 1) / BBC
Operated 2nd boom on the new BBC Comedy production of Lapland, starring Sue Johnston. Worked with Chris Atkinson and Matt Atkinson on the final three weeks of the shoot. Operated 2nd boom and regularly operated first boom. Rigged personal microphones on actors and maintained the sound equipment.
Boom Operator - The Johnny and Inel Show (series 1) / CBBC
Swung boom, worked with costume in rigging personal microphones on actors, ran the floor for the sound mixer; organised wild tracks and acted as the contact between director and mixer.
Boom Operator - Emmerdale Live / ITV
Operated boom one of four booms in a busy marquee set for the Emmerdale Live 40th anniversary episode on October 17th 2012. Four days of rehearsals, followed by the live broadcast.
Working with sound mixer, Keith Silva and boom operator, Dan Dewsnap on the second series of E4's 'Fresh Meat'. Operating second boom and maintaining sound equipment. Learning to operate Aaton Cantar, to add to my knowledge of Sound Devices and Zaxcom audio recorders.
Sound Assistant - Shameless / All3Media International
Working with David Hall (mixer) and Jonathan Seale (boom operator) on series 9 and 10 of Channel 4's award winning drama. Operating boom, rigging personal microphones on artists.
Boom Operator - The Coneys (pilot) / Hartswood Films
Operated boom with Dan Dewsnap (mixer) on this pilot written and directed by Tony Pitts.
Boom Operator - Cheerful Weather For The Wedding / Cheerful Weather Ltd
Worked with Steve Phillips (mixer) and Lee James (boom operator) on Donald Rice's debut feature, produced by Teun Hilte. Swung boom, rigged lavalier microphones on artists and engineered the thumper tracks for dance scenes featuring digetic music and dialogue.
2nd Boom Operator - Scott & Bailey (series 1) / Red Production Company
Swung boom, placed radio microphones on artists on this ITV drama. DoP Fabien Wagner. Producer Yvonne Francas. Director Sarah Pia Anderson.
Sound Assistant - Waterloo Road (series 7) / Shed Media Group
Sound Assistant on the BBC's Waterloo Road. Operating second boom, maintaining sound equipment and providing assistance to the Sound Department.
Boom Operator - Being Sold / Beautiful Productions
Operated boom and oversaw radio microphones on Being Sold - a feature film directed by Phil Hawkins, shot over two days on six cameras.
Sound Assistant - Candy Cabs (series 1) / Splash Media
Sound Assistant on the new BBC drama Candy Cabs. Operating second boom, maintaining sound equipment and providing assistance to the Sound Department.
Sound Assistant - Waterloo Road (series 6) / Shed Media Group
Sound Assistant on the BBC's Waterloo Road. Operating second boom, maintaining sound equipment and providing assistance to the Sound Department.
Boom Operator - Woyzeck / Independent
Boom Operator on the British independent feature film Woyzeck, directed by Francis Annan-Burton.
Post-Production Sound Trainee - The Butterfly Tattoo / Dynamic Enterprises
Assisted Alan Sheldon in post-production of this British adaptation of Phillip Pullman's novel.
21 episodes of television, a feature film, seven short films, over 35+ dailies on nearly a dozen different programmes, 12 days of commercials including a huge campaign for The National Lottery and a beautiful daughter, and I produced a little short film called Debut.
It was lovely to be asked back for subsequent series of both 'Fresh Meat' and 'The Johnny and Inel Show' which meant I was busy for large parts of the year. Before that I worked days on 'Scott and Bailey', 'The Mill' and 'Mount Pleasant', whilst prepping to shoot my first short (with Mike and Leighton), Debut, which we shot over a 10-hour day in Hebden Bridge, with the help of some wonderful people. The film will be released online very early in 2014. Follow @debutshort.
Soon after we completed filming Debut, I got a call from Grant Bridgeman, inviting me to work on Jimmy McGovern's new BBC film, 'Common'. I accepted and we shot for four weeks in Liverpool with David Blair directing a brilliant, brilliant cast. It was a very hectic but fun shoot on which I had a great time and met some lovely people. Before I knew it we had wrapped and I was onto 'Fresh Meat' series 3, a litter later than planned. Keith Silva, sound mixer on 'Fresh Meat' had kindly said I could join the shoot two weeks late, in order to finish 'Common'. This was my second series working on 'Fresh Meat' and it was nice to be back on a job with familiar faces. The weekly crew football match offset my caterers' cake consumption perfectly.
As 'Fresh Meat' came to an end, I got some good news, that 'The Johnny and Inel Show' was going for a second series and I had been invited back to be boom operator for Gavin Dunn. There were three weeks between 'Fresh Meat' finishing and 'J+I' beginning, which I managed to fill nicely with a week on 'The Last Tango In Halifax' and two weeks on a new drama called 'From There To Here'. Between all of that I managed to work eight days on a commercial for The National Lottery, where I listened to "Ooh Wakka Doo" hundreds of times and hummed it a few hundred more - operating music playback for Paul Lord, where we had to edit music loops on-set, when requested. Good fun, with a dash of pressure. More of this please, 2014.
'The Johnny and Inel Show' series two began with the intensity that we knew it would, with impossible page-counts, lots of radio mics and dozens of costume changes - all of which will definitely make series two bigger and funnier than series one. Roll on series three. With the addition of an assistant, Gareth Duffy, the three of us battled though with the rest of the lovely crew, until the middle of November, the end of the job and the date my daughter was due to arrive.
With the year of work done, we waited... and on November 22nd after a 19-hour labour, we welcomed Winter McMurray into the world, just in-time to squeeze a festive short with with Papertwin before Christmas.
Somewhere, during all of that I managed to squeeze in another six short films, and four commercials; including a single-shot five minute short called 'The Deal' by Leon Henriques, two lovely shorts by Harry Sherriff and the final instalment in Andrew Gunn's 'The Caravan Trilogy'.
I enjoyed a lot of films this year, including Spring Breakers, A Place Beyond The Pines, Frances Ha, The Bling Ring, Only God Forgives, Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained. Also, Gravity, Stoker and Rush - all of which I thought had interesting and creative audio. But my favourite film of the year has to be Before Midnight - Richard Linklater's third installment of the series starring July Delpy and Ethan Hawk. It's hard to describe why I love this film so much, but if you've seen the first two films, you won't need any explanation. If you haven't seen 'Before Sunrise' and 'Before Sunset', watch those two films... and you won't need an explanation. Brilliantly written, directed and acted - it sounds great and is (I think) all location dialogue. It's just beautiful - like spending time with great friends you haven't seen in months.
I had a triple musical flashback to 2002 by finally seeing The Postal Service, Desaparecidos plus And You WIll Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, in addition to the other live music highlight of the year, James Blake. I didn't get to as many shows as I wanted to this year, but the ones I did attend were fantastic - Desaparecidos in particular.
My favourite goal of 2013 has to be Preston North Ends's 10-man 13-pass goal scored on Boxing Day (see below). 2013, you've been very kind.
So if you missed The Caravan Trilogy a few weeks ago at Kino Shorts 42, you can still see it at Leeds International Film Festival, as part of the Yorkshire Short Film Competition.
The Caravan is a trilogy of short films for which I was production sound mixer and sound editor. We shot them throughout the last 12 months in the Grisdale Forrest. The trilogy stars Ian Puleston-Davies playing three different characters in three entirely separate films - The common theme being the location, and the caravan.
Written by Adam Thursby, produced and directed by Andrew Gunn
The Caravan is showing Thursday 21st November, 2013, 18:30 @ Hyde Park Picture House - £6.00 / £5.00
That's Johnny and Inel wrapped for series 2. A tough five weeks, but very enjoyable working once again, with Gavin Dunn (mixer) and Gareth Duffy (2nd boom). We shot lots of wides and tight, we had no time, we had to make personal microphones work with some crazy and brilliant costumes. We boomed impossible page counts, without ever having to say "this might be ADR". A tiring, but hilarious and very rewarding shoot.
I have a few days booked in before Christmas, but I'm 90% available for work. My CV is at http://db.tt/a12LxZN
If you're free tonight there is a screening of The Caravan Trilogy in Manchester, at The Three Minute Theatre - 7pm onwards.
Over the last 12 months, I worked on Andrew Gunn's Caravan Trilogy. We shot the films in a forrest in Lancashire, over weekends, between our "day jobs". I was production sound mixer, and I also sound edited the three shorts in post. We got rained on, a little sun burnt and had soggy feet for a few days, but we had a great time shooting the films in the beautiful location. I'm really happy with how the films turned out. Brilliant performances all round.
The film had a private screening in London, in summer, but this screening is the first time it'll be shown to the public. If you're around tonight (Oct 29th) come on down - There is a Q&A with Andrew, Adam Thursby (writer) and Ian Puleston-Davies, too.
I've decided to start a blog here on Postach.io, having just passed the four-year mark of working in film and TV on a full-time basis - Full-time meaning, I quit my job, completed my MSc and got my first "proper" job in the industry - just over four years ago. Forthcoming posts will include tips on getting experience and contacts within the TV and film industry, and how to record good location sound with no money and sub-standard kit - two things I wish I had known when first venturing into film sound.
I will continue to post and reblog on my Tumblr informally, but this is where I'll post more (I don't want to say serious) serious sound / work related stuff.
The attached photo is the first ever photo of me (with my good friend Matt) on my first ever proper job in the industry - Waterloo Road series 6. Nice pose.
Week one of ‘Common’ completed. Torrential rain, gale force winds, night shoots, sand-blasted faces, chips for brunch, low loaders, sunburnt necks and tape selections in Rainbow Snack Bags. Living the dream.
I know this is late and I’m certain I have missed a great record off this list, but here is my favourite music of 2010.
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
The Drums - The Drums
Girl Talk - All Day
Good Shoes - No Hope No Future
Hot Club de Paris - The Rise and Inevitable Fall of the High School Suicide Cluster Band - EP
Hot Club de Paris - With Days Like This As Cheap As Chewing Gum, Why Would Anyone Want to Work? - EP
Jonsi - Go
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kurran and The Wolfnotes - Tour CD-R
Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz
Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
Vampire Weekend - Contra
If you’re wondering how I missed out Arcade Fire, Drake, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Beach House, well I haven’t given them a proper listen yet. I had a whole year, but I let you down. :) Special mention to my friend @sambaconsam and his band Slow Motion Shoes, Rihanna’s great list of singles and collaborations this year and to Tinie Tempah - I enjoyed his singles a lot.
Last week Sony announced the Walkman will be discontinued in Japan after the remaining units are sold. Sad times for, well, everyone who ever owned a portable cassette player. When I was first given a Walkman, I thought it was amazing that I could listen to copies of my Compact Discs on cassette whilst walking around school - a strange freedom, I still feel now wandering around the city listening to music. School is when I got really into music. I don’t remember when I got my first Walkman, but it was sometime around 1996, about a year after we got our first CD player at my parents’ house. It was a Panasonic ‘boom box’ style CD/cassette/radio and it ended up in my room in about a week. Sorry Mum.
Once I had the boom box and Walkman I never looked back; I started making copies and compilations from CD’s for free time at school/college. I fell in love with music sat in school surrounded by other Walkman owners (some had Alba’s, but I didn’t judge ;)), swapping cassettes and flicking through Kerrang, Melody Maker and NME, discussing music. Only a handful of friends had home computers with Internet access, so cassettes and our portable cassette players were our MySpace, SoundCloud, iPod, iPhones, Facebook all rolled into one - we exchanged tapes, and we talked. But having a Walkman and a group of friends each with their own device meant music came out of our homes and became social, a few years before most of us got to gigs and concerts. The biggest evolution in portable music isn’t the iPod or even the MP3, it’s the Walkman. The Walkman is the device that took music from our home and onto millions of streets around the world - it changed listening habits forever, which paved the way for the iPod.
Although the cassette Walkman is now gone (in Japan at least) Sony has moved with the times with the release of the DiscMan in 1984, MiniDisc in the early 1990’s and the “Walkman that didn’t originally support MP3, just WMA” MP3 Walkman in the 2000’s. Everything was going fine, until Apple released the iPod in 2001. I didn’t ever stop considering the cassettes a contender (I hated portable CD players, because they skipped too much) until MP3 players took off. I mean, although I used MiniDiscs and enjoyed them as they could store much more music than a cassette, I didn’t fall in love the way I did with cassettes. But When I got my first iPod, I knew I’d never look back. The iPod was a game-changer. It took the idea of portable music from the 70’s and made it cooler than it ever had been before. Despite there being more affordable mp3 players, the iPod (in all variations) outsells it’s competitors because basically, it’s fashionable - much like the Walkman was when I was in college and school. Everyone had a tape player, unless they had a Walkman. The term iPod is often used to describe an MP3 Player, much like Hoover - vaccuum, Kleenex - tissue and Walkman - tape player have been for many years.
What about new versions of the Walkman?
If would be nice if Sony could get back to it’s glory days but it hasn’t really made any attractive devices for a number of years. One or two early digital audio player from Sony looked okay, but the MiniDisc and Net Walkman releases have been quite ugly and had ridiculous names like MZ-R91. The iPod is simply an iPod with the option of how much space you want. Much simpler for my Dad if he wants to buy a device, for example. While in 2001 Sony was trying to sell us the MZ-N1 MiniDisc player with it’s NetMD, BassBoost, Groove, Long Play, LP2 and LP4, Apple released an iPod which would store and play 200 albums and look really cool. There was only going to be one winner. RIP cassette Walkman, CD Walkman, MD Walkman, MP3 Walkman.
Unless Sony can get back the coolness of their portable audio devices from last century, it’s (portable audio) days are numbered. Even if Sony managed to get it’s next series of digital Walkman to challenge the iPod, I still think Apple has the market sewn up - iTunes Store, App Store, compatible iPhones and iPads all contribute to the iPod experience and I can’t see (sadly) how Sony could come back from it. RIP Walkman, period.
Yes, my post title is a horrific play on words, but you should still go and watch Buried. If you haven’t heard of the film, it stars Ryan Reynolds in a coffin, for 90 minutes, with a mobile phone. Every frame of the film is set in the coffin, as Paul Conroy, buried alive, tries to discover who put him there and how he is going to get out. Once again, there are no spoilers here. Whether you have seen the film, or you haven’t, it’s safe to continue.
As mentioned in some of the favourable press regarding Buried, it’s all very Hitchcock. Victor Reyes does a great Bernard Herrman which is coupled with some crash zooms at intense moments to keep the tension high, whilst poor phone signal, a phone ringing and ringing and calls going repeatedly unanswered have never been more frustrating than when someones life is at risk. As Paul Conroy uses what little phone battery he has left to call various friends, emergency services and government workers, we are reminded constantly how we normally rely on body language and facial expressions, leaving Paul and the audience questioning who can be trusted and what the truth is. It is rare in cinema to experience a story from solely one perspective, but in Buried this is the case. We are uncomfortably (pun probably intended) stuck at one end of a phone line, once the call is ended, we lose touch with the person at the other end of the phone, we never see them. It’s Ryan Reynolds and a dozen faceless crackly voices. Annoying and brilliant!
There are also passages of the film that are pitch black - not a common experience in conventional cinema. The audience sees nothing, leaving us to rely solely on our ears to discover what is happening in the coffin. Throughout the entire film we are forced to trust our ears, when we spend our lives dependent on our eyes more than any other sense - It’s a completely new experience, which is gripping, frustrating and unsurprisingly very claustrophobic.
If you live in the UK and you didn’t watch Cloverfield on Channel 4 a few weeks ago, you missed out. I love the Blair Witch inspired camcorder style and the fact it daringly portrays Manhattan in a state of panic less than a decade after New York was attacked on 11 September. I think this post is spoiler-free, so read on.
You know what else I love about Cloverfield? The sound (what a surprise). The style in which Cloverfield is presented allowed for some quite simple, yet satisfying uses of sound. The ‘camera-man’ in the film is Hud, who’s voice is sonically different to the other characters - his voice has a fuller frequency range which is technically accurate, but because Hud is also our narrator (since he has the camera) his clear close-miked voice benefits the audience - his voice cuts through the sound mix to allow us to hear ever nuance of his voice, even when whispering - through his narration we ‘see’ what is around him, when the camera can not. The only time we are sonically shown a glimpse of what is happening to the city outside of the main characters is when the military makes it’s first appearance and we hear nothing but gun-fire and engines rolling past the group. Perspective is used to keep what is happening in the city away from our ears to keep the focus on the group of friends, trying to make their way across the city. There are no cutaways of action happening elsewhere; gun-fire is often distant, and only when the action is in arms length of the camera do we feel it’s impact on the soundtrack. Despite there being a fair amount of action in Cloverfield, the sound is much more subtle throughout the film. It’s all about the perspective of this group of friends and the sound filling-out the image, with suggestion of what is happening outside the viewfinder of the camcorder.
Of course, if you really were stuck in a city with the military being attacked by a massive alien sea-monster, your crappy camcorder microphone would turn most sounds into clipped unrecognisable noise… but that wouldn’t be a very good film.
21 episodes of television, a feature film, seven short films, over 35+ dailies on nearly a dozen different programmes, 12 days of commercials including a huge campaign for The National Lottery and a beautiful daughter, and I produced a little short film …
“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it; don’t wait for it; just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black, coffee.”
In case you missed it, this is a short films I worked on, before Christmas with Papertwin, Mike Staniforth and Ironbird. There wasn’t any dialogue to record, but I did request that we got a lot of wildtracks and location sound effects to sit nicely under the music.
I’ll write a blog post soon on ryanmcmurray.com detailing some on the additional stuff we recorded.
Walter Dymond, groundskeeper of Harold Lloyd’s estate, Greenacres, with the Lloyd Christmas tree. He was responsible for the construction of the Christmas tree from two trees (wiring the branches of one into the other), and placed the ornaments where Mr Lloyd directed. Harold and his wife Mildred decorated it every year from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, and collected thousands of ornaments for it from all over the world. It was 20 feet tall, 9 feet wide and almost 30 feet around. The tree was fire-proofed and remained up, all year ‘round. - (1972)
I have set-up another blog to post longer, more techy bits over at ryanmcmurray.postach.io - There are already a few posts up there, some older ones from this Tumblr and a couple of new ones. There isn’t a way to follow me on Postachio, but the posts there auto-post to my Twitter, so you can keep in touch that way.
Postach.io is the new blogging platform, which works seamlessly with Evernote. If you aren’t familiar with Evernote, I will be blogging about it on the new blog very soon. If you sign up using this link, you will get a month of premium for free, and I will too. Postach.io is the new Tumblr - there, I said it!
I’ll be talking initially about low-budget sound in addition to writing a few other ‘how-to’ posts. Fear not, I will still be posting nonsense on this Tumblr.
As if you hadn’t heard this song enough - here is the full version of this Lotto commercial, we shot for 8 days earlier this year. A fun time has had filming in Glasgow, Manchester, Loughborough and on the west coast of Scotland. We had a great crew, directed by two-time Oscar nominee Peter Cattaneo.
The rig for playback was slightly more elaborate that my usual playback rig for dramas and music videos. There is a blog post about the rig at ryanmcmurray.postach.io