Hi Danny, and welcome.
It’s not so much that you are in the wrong tavern, perhaps more that you have walked up to the bar and asked the bartender along the lines of... ‘I have some cheap LIDL gin,and a soda stream, some Ikea glasses, I can bash a tune out on a piano, and I cook a mean cheese toastie. What should I do in order to get your job 😉
I understand that you are young, keen, and doing stuff with your (equally young and keen??) pals. I get it that you are ‘the sound department’. I also understand that in these modern times, with modern kit and software, it might seem/look like it is possible to do many or all of the jobs in the sound department, to do them well, and to do an amazing job of all of them. It might seem that way, but it is unlikely to work out like that.
Many of the people here have specialised not only in a particular field (ie location recording), but also a specific genre (ie commercials, TV drama, feature films). They have, literally, honed their skills in their chosen field for many, many, years. They are at the top of their game, like the very best of the F1 drivers, or similar. Most often they have done that because they have found that the practicalities of multi skilling, of fitting in the ‘shooting’ schedule of the next job, with the post production schedule of the previous job, with the delivery schedule of the job before that, simply do not work out in their favour. It just doesn’t work in a diary.
I realise that you (by your own admission) are at the start of your journey, so it may be that you and your mates are doing one job at a time, and for now you can see one job through before starting to shoot the next. Long may that continue, but believe me if you get popular, or you get booked on a long shoot (many, many, weeks on a series or similar) and the post needs to be started before you have finished the shoot, it all goes to pot and you’ll end up needing to choose your specialism. I really hope that one day you are busy enough to have to make that decision.
In the mean time......
May I first of all suggest that you have some humility? If you are going to come on here and ask a bunch of pretty much top professionals how they do what they do, then please be prepared to humour us if some of us fail to give you the answers you asked for. I would advise against pissing off or answering back any of the responses you were given above. If you don’t like the answer, then shut up and suck it up, or say thanks and move on. People have long memories. We remember the modest folks, who asked nicely, and thanked us for sharing our wisdom. Not only do we remember those folks - we have helped and nurtured and encouraged them along the way. We have accepted them as the new blood, as the padwan in our craft. I hate to judge, but you have only made two posts in this thread, and I think you made two people pissed off already. That’s not a good start 😞
So now some advice....
Find one or some mentors, there are good people near you in Bristol - do some homework and see if you can find out who they are. Go to social and industry events in and around your area (see if you can find out about the sound department drinks in Bristol each month). See who you can get on with at these events, and nurture those relationships. See if there are mixers based locally (there are a few) who might take you out on shoots and show you how it works. Talk to people who work in post in Bristol, Cardiff, or Birmingham, and see if they might have you in to see how their sessions work.
Join an industry group/guild/body. The Institute of Professional Sound is a good one, based in the UK, see www.ips.org.uk. I used to be the Chairman so I am biased. Other industry groups are available. DO NOT assume that a free group will cut it. The IPS is a non profit organisation, we charge fees to be a member, and we plough as much of the fee income back into training events as we possibly can (the IPS is run almost entirely by volunteer labour). Our next training event is a weekend of presentations on Audio over IP, (DANTE, AES67, AVB, etc... to you and I). It is open to members and non members (they pay more) and it will, I know, be brilliant. It is in a couple of weeks time - you should be there..... you will learn stuff and meet people.
I wonder if your original question is just too broad.... ‘I have a Bosch drill and a really good set of very sharp knives. What do I need to know to be a brain surgeon’. Why not start with just a few specific questions, possibly as different threads, that are not quite so far reaching..... ‘Do any of you compress your mix track on your location recordings? What are your favourite settings?’, ‘What do you do to stop the music fighting the dialogue in the final mix?’ - even these questions may have huge and many and far reaching answers.
Remember the 10,000 hour rule - you wil never be an expert at it until you have done it for 10,000 hours. It hurts, but generally, in almost every field, it is true. If you want to be an expert in location, post, and music, then that’ll be 30,000 hours please.... See you on the other side.
One last thing.... if ou’re going to be writing the music, then FFS refer to yourself as a composer. - it is not just ‘doing the music’ for the shoot. My mother is a composer, she has made her living at it for something over 65 years. She will be 89 this year. She practices the piano every day, to this day, for 90 or more minutes, and she tells me regularly that she learns something every time she plays and or puts pen to paper.
Good luck Danny O’Caster - I’ll be watching out for you at an industry doo soon. Come find me... I’ll buy you a pint.
Oh... and remember the words to the crew, by the (very foreign, big accent) director on a BBC drama shoot some years ago..... ‘You lot all think I know fuck nothing..... but you are wrong... I know fuck all’ 😉
Good luck with the attitude, boy 😉