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Sound mixer in personal injury lawsuit seeking job-related third-party testimony


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Hey all,
 
I've been to this forum often over the past few years. I'm a sound mixer working in Canada.
 
I'm reaching out with an admittedly odd request but one of significant personal importance. I would be extremely grateful if I could be put in touch with a small handful of some of the more experienced sound mixers working in the North American film and television industry today.
 
To simplify a longer story, I was involved in a car accident three years ago while riding my bike. This was very early in my career and while I have recovered to a certain point and am able to work, there is a significant limit to my physical abilities as a result. I have legal counsel and am pursuing a personal injury case which is largely centered around the impact of the injuries on the long term future of my career.
 
Due to the details of both my case and this particular field of work, there is a necessary legal step called "discovery", which is essentially a gathering of evidence, in this case to clarify the exact nature and intricacies of boom operating and production sound mixing based on third party testimony. As such I've been advised by my lawyer to seek out individuals that would be indicative of where I would eventually see myself, professionally, had I not been injured. Sound mixers working on "Tier A" productions represent my ultimate goal from the outset of my career, and they alone would be able to paint the clearest picture possible in terms of the day to day details of the job and the overarching career path.
 
So if anyone here feels they might be in a good position to help in this way and would be comfortable receiving a phone call from my lawyer to confidentially discuss some job-related details, I really can't overstate how helpful that would be.
 
To be clear, I am not soliciting anyone for any service. I am simply very limited in the audio professionals I personally know and can recommend and I'm sure there are many more experienced folks on this forum that could paint a much clearer picture of what this industry looks like.
 
As I said, I understand this is an odd request. I understand confidentiality is very important; in fact, as this is a very sensitive issue for myself personally, I fully respect this and would equally appreciate a degree of confidentiality in turn.
 
Apologies if this is not in the spirit of this forum or is simply not welcome here.
 
If anyone is interested and able, feel free to send me a private message. I'm happy to send you my contact info and have a Zoom or phone call to better introduce myself and answer any questions in advance.
 
Thanks for reading and for any time or effort spent on this.
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A "tier A" mixer might not handle a boom much, and spend most of their time seated at a sound cart.  Since I don't think that's the kind of  testimony you are after I'd suggest you talk with well-established sound people mostly working solo, since the strength and stamina needed to do "boom+bag" work exceeds that of just doing one or the other.  As an injured person that sort of work may not be possible for you any more, which I gather is your position in your case.

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Thanks for your input, Philip.

 

My thinking is that most union sound mixers have spent years paying dues doing solo day jobs, boom op-ing etc. As well, even in a cart based workflow there is still a fair amount of moving equipment, loading/unloading vehicles and general physical labour involved in the day to day, and the more veteran mixers would have the fullest and most varied experience to draw on.

 

However I'm definitely interested in hearing from anyone whose experience could be helpful.

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It's pretty simple: the huge majority of jobs for location sound recordists are solo-gigs, ie a "department of one".  Everything you bring and use has to be carried by you, and in virus-world no one else is supposed to touch your gear, even during load-in or out (not that we could count on much help ever...).   Solo sound people are expected to be able to go and stay "mobile" at a moment's notice, if the shot requires it, which involves wearing the recording rig and carrying the mic pole.  The sound person will often not have time to put that gear down to tend to quick lav-mic, client monitoring or camera-hop etc etc adjustments, so they are "in the rig" for many hours a day.  That takes a toll on one's body over the years, even with being lucky about injuries.  Your situation is no different than that of a carpenter, plumber or gardener; there are unavoidable physical demands involved in doing those jobs.  If you are prevented from pursuing your profession because of someone's negligence then I'd say there was a basis for a conversation about compensation, at least.  But, you'll have to pay your lawyers...how much of a chance of getting real compensation do they think you have?

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I think you summarized it perfectly.

 

To be clear, it's a clear cut case and there's no question as to my legal situation. I'm well into proceedings and have communicated to my team exactly what you've described, which has been my experience for the past several years.

 

At this point, I'm looking for colleagues who can corroborate what I've described. The more experience an individual can speak from, the more weight their testimony carries.

 

Hope this helps, and thanks for taking the time to follow up!

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