Like all good things, Mitch Bederman’s career as a sound editor began with a Craigslist ad. Trained as a musician at the University of Vancouver and recently graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver with a Pro Recording Arts diploma, he was searching for work on the well-known, free advertising forum, when he came across an ad looking for a sound editor in Toronto. The job market in Vancouver for skilled musicians and recording technicians is small, so he began searching for work in Toronto while visiting his folks. What he thought was a shot in the dark turned into a successful career path that he’s been on ever since.
The Craigslist ad led him to work under acclaimed Toronto composer, Mychael Danna. His partnership with Danna led to work on major TV and film projects, such as the serial adaptation of Ken Follett’s World Without End, the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated Life of Pi and, most recently, the new Atom Egoyan film, Devil’s Knot. While Danna won the Golden Globe for Life of Pi, Bederman’s work has won an Oscar, a Golden Reel by the Motion Picture Sound Editors.
I asked him how he chooses projects to work on. “The work chooses me,” Bederman says. In a city like Toronto that doesn’t have a lot of sound editors, there’s a plethora of work from which to choose. Bederman’s been lucky enough to work on some of the most highly-praised film and TV shows in recent years, thanks to his relationship with Danna. It’s a musical niche that not many musicians may consider when they start off on their own careers. “You definitely have to have an attention for detail,” Bederman said when I asked him what it’s like in the studio. But if you love sound and love playing in Pro Tools, an audio and MIDI software and hardware system, maybe sound editing may be your bag.
I asked him where he wants his career to go and he was quick to point out that he hasn’t lost his desire to create music of his own. He played for me a few tunes he’s working on for future release. The sound is a cross between The Tragically Hip and Foster the People – a little bit of Rock n’ Roll, with synths and organs thrown into the mix. Bederman knows how to put together a good hook. I asked what he’d like to do with the songs when they’re ready. His response, “Licensing. I’d want for my music to support the show or film to the fullest.” Bederman’s a pragmatic musician, knowing where his work can be best utilized. And he admires TV shows, such as Nashville and Smash, which produce new songs for each episode. It creates work for the composer on a long-term basis.
Bederman is tall, quiet, and good-looking. He’s also a successful musician and sound editor. And don’t let his quiet demeanour fool you. If he’s not working, he can usually be found at Steve’s Music, Long and McQuade, or Moog Audio browsing for a piece of gear or catching a show at The Piston or The Garrison. He doesn’t stray far from his passion.