From Herons, Heineken and Cheeses to Foxes, Ales and Geezers
Ben Tomlin joined Wave as a runner in 2005, working his way up the ladder before moving to the sound company’s Amsterdam studio in 2009. This summer, seven years later, Ben’s returned to London where he’s heading up Wave Studios’ integrated production department.
Based at their Great Pulteney Street home, Ben’s new role will see him uniting the various streams of Wave’s audio creative and bringing the Amsterdam and London studios closer together, championing the latest and greatest across either side of the Channel.
Since I’ve been back in London everyone’s been asking what I missed most. And yes, I’ve been looking forward to decent fish and chips and mushy peas. And the softer British ales. Don’t get me wrong, there are some top breweries in Amsterdam - like the Brouwerij D’Ij and Oedipus- but Dutch beers tend to be pretty punchy. So it’s nice to go for a roast and a couple of pints of Best Bitter and still be able to function.
Of course, I’ve missed the London Wave crew. The company has changed a lot in the seven years that I’ve been away. The office has turned from a five studio space into eight and when I left it was solely Wave Studios, but now we have Wave Music and so many more feature films and awards under our belt, the offering has evolved a lot.
All the studios have been seriously improved. There’s less tape machines around but it’s nice to see some modular synths and keyboards about now, this is more like a studio set up that you’d see in Holland, where the boundaries between audio post and music blur more readily.
Our clients are always on the move and we’ve learnt that it helps to approach audio postproduction with a little more agility too. Having one point of contact to supervise jobs moving between the two cities installs confidence. We’re able to maximise the potential of our creative strengths across both sides of the channel. I believe that certain jobs can benefit from a range of Sound Designer/composer input and my new role allows us to explore that more. Our agency friends want to push creative boundaries so why can’t we.
With technology bringing our offices ever closer together we want to ensure that when engineers work remotely studio time is being optimised. Having a Wave producer in the session to act as the eyes and ears for the agency and liaise with the engineer direct while they're working is really handy. I can sit on Skype at the back of the studio and make sure all comments are coming across clearly and are addressed correctly and promptly. If another engineer needs to pick up the project somewhere else I oversee this and it’s seamless and fluid.
I know both London and Amsterdam, and I’m happy to act as a bridge between the two. The pace in London is very different to that in Holland, but I'd say Amsterdam is starting to recreate a bit of a Soho vibe. Wave shares a floor now with MPC, so it feels like a home from home, I’m not sure our London engineers would get away with quite so much Lycra cycling around the canal district though!