Today we are excited to spotlight Golden Reel nominee Gregory King, CEO of King SoundWorks!
What influences has music had on your family?
My grandfather was a bandleader in Montreal from 1925 -1966. My grandmother was a concert violinist and pianist. They passed before I was born, but there are two stories that always stuck with me. The first story was that my grandfather was playing out of town, finished his set, went back to his room, fell asleep and died of natural causes. I thought that was a poetic way to go after devoting your entire life to music. My grandmother stopped playing when she had kids. The house was full of instruments because of my grandfather. My dad would sometimes get home from school and hear her playing violin or piano. He would listen as long as he could because as soon as she realized he was there she would stop playing stating “One musician in the family is enough! That goes for you, go study your homework.”
Biggest non-musical influences
Architecture. I love architecture. In particular modern architecture during the period of the 1920’s to the 1950’s. It is the epitome of design that must consider integration of the physical structure, acoustics, color and co-existing with the environment. It is essentially the art form that contains all the other art forms. I try to construct my soundscapes in a similar manner, only using sound instead of a drafting pencil. I know that sounds pompous, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it.
What do you do with your limited free time?
I’m a serial obsessive. So I find something that interests me, devour it, and then move on. That’s included horses, western horses that is like breaking wild mustangs and cowboy stuff. I was into motorcycles owning a bunch of all types at one point. Then I got into flying aerobatic airplanes and restoring classic ones. Now I’m weirdly obsessed with collecting ventriloquist dummies. As I type this there are about 14 sets of eyes staring me down.
Re-Recording Mixer Rick Kline. He’s probably considered the best music re-recording mixer of the past 30 years, but I’ve also worked with him numerous times where he has mixed the dialogue as well. His ear and taste level are without peer. He knows how to tell a story through mixing and does so as a complete gentleman without ego. He sets a standard that I can only aspire to.
Sound Editor Doug Grindstaff. Doug created the sound effects for the original Star Trek series. The stuff is brilliant and has been a direct influence on all science fiction sound since. He did this at a time without the benefit of modern sound design tools. His stuff is inspired genius.
Best Sound Designed movie you’ve ever seen?
- What’s your designing / mixing method?
The first time I watch a scene I hear it in my head. Then I try to re-create that. Sometimes it comes fast and easy, sometimes I spend days / weeks trying to do it.
When did you discover that you wanted to pursue film sound?
I didn’t know it existed until I landed my first job as an assistant sound editor when I was 19. When I discovered that someone would pay you to take a recorder and record a sound effect, then cut it into a show and bring the scene alive I fell in love.
Who is your favorite fictional character and how did they influence your work?
Captain Kirk, the William Shatner one. He brought out the best in his crew and always figured the way out of tough situations. He also surrounded himself with people smarter than himself, which I always do.
How did your organization start? When did you learn this could turn into something great?
I started the company in 1991 with Nelson Ferreira ( who is nominated for an Oscar this year for Sound Editing, Shape of Water.) We recorded all new sounds and rarely used libraries. We were very young, maybe 20, and when all the old crusty mixers started telling us how great and fresh our tracks were we figured we had a shot.
How long have you been working in this field and what is your greatest accomplishment?
Umm…32 years…I started when I was 19. My greatest accomplishment is all the great people who I mentored and have gone on to bigger and better things. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true.
Who is your ideal client or partnership and why would they connect with you?
I just want to collaborate and contribute. If a client brings that to the table I’m happier than a pig in shit. I don’t care if your project cost $20,000 dollars or $200 Million, I’m going to give it my all.
What is the next step for your organization?
We’re pursuing doing more artist driven films. I love what is starting to get made again, and I love working with those types of filmmakers.