Spotlight on Mark Laurent, ENG Audio Engineer
Sound. It evokes emotion allowing us to know what’s happening without images, it also makes imaging more impactful. Audio Engineers are an essential part of the production world. This month’s spotlight shines on one of our long time clients and ENG Audio Engineer, Mark Laurent. Mark started his career in television 30 years ago. His passion for television as a kid is what drew him to his now very successful career. “As a child, I was always fascinated with TV. I was that kid who sat an arm’s length from the TV knob watching my favorite shows; before everyone had TV remote controls! Did I just age myself again? ;-(. I worked in the Media Centers at my Jr. High, High School, and College. Although I had huge aspirations, I never ever truly imagined someone would actually give me the chance to work in local or National Television Production.” Mark is proof that if you love what you do and work hard to be great, you will be successful.
With experience in entertainment, corporate and theater production, Mark has been able to single out what sort of work he loves best. Magazine format shows, that are celebrity driven, are number one on his list for work. Meeting, miking and interacting with actors and athletes is exciting and fun for Mark.
“Tell us one thing you love the most about what you do: Meeting, miking, and hearing a celebrity’s or athlete’s story while being RIGHT THERE to hear it in my headphones!!”
One might think, Mark would be immune to celebrities and athletes, but what really gets Mark starstruck are the pro athletes he gets to work with. Having been an athlete himself, his admiration for the pro athletes outweighs his fanning out on celebs. (Although, we’ve seen lots of pics of mark with celebs. Just sayin’)
Mark’s comments on who he loves to work with naturally lead us to ask him the following question. If he could work on any show, what show would it be and why? His answer was not surprising. Mark would be on a sports show, preferably one that puts him on a field miking the players. His first picks, the NBA on TNT Sports, then ESPN or Fox Sports west doing ENG audio sit down interviews with NBA, NFL or MLB players. As he puts it “That would truly be TV Hog Heaven for me.”
As with much of the television industry, how sound is recorded has changed over the past 30 years. Mark has seen several transitional periods for sound guys. From ¾ inch cassette tapes to the Beta-Cam where the “one man band” started to push aside the cameraman/soundman team, but that didn’t last long. Now the digital media cameras with separate digital audio mixers are what clients are requesting. Mark isn’t sure where the ENG sound industry will be in the next 10 years, but we are pretty positive there will still be a big need for ENG audio guys in the field and on set. No one wants to do it all.
We always ask our interviewees what advice would they offer to anyone wanting to enter their field of production. Mark’s answer isn’t much different than most, but definitely more passionate.
“Always be available, and be extra helpful. Be persistent. Make friends and keep a huge positive attitude. Be patient, and try to be confident that one day your time will come. But be prepared when that time comes. Know your worth. Unfortunately, you may meet some a**holes, but try and fight thru it. YOUR TIME WILL COME. But also know when it’s time to move on; never allow yourself to endure complete utter consistent disrespect from anyone.”
Our relationship with Mark started back in 2000 when Robin Hirsch was still with Imagecraft. Mark was hired as a freelance audio guy to work on shows like TV Guide. When that show went away, Mark started calling us for gear for his own clients. Since then Imagecraft has been Mark’s one and only audio rental source.
“I’ve always felt a sense of family from all of you, which started out from the days of Robin Hirsch ‘til today. I love and trust you all with all my Audio needs, and will continue to stay loyal as you have been to me! Much love and appreciated!! Thank you for all that you have done for me with my career.”
Back-atcha’ Mark, we are so grateful for your friendship and business. It’s relationships like ours that keeps Imagecraft going.