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SAL OJEDA, Sound Engineer & Re-recording Mixer, IATSE Local 700

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Instagram: @salojeda

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Guadalajara Mexico but born in Walnut Creek California. Both my parents are from Jalisco, Mexico. What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? As a Re-recording Mixer, I’m responsible for combining all the sounds of a tv show or movie and finding the appropriate tone and balance between dialog, music and sound effects in a way that helps the project’s storytelling. Are there any films that inspired you to start working in television and film? Batman 89’, Batman Returns, Riders Of The Lost Ark and the Back To The Future Trilogy. How did you begin working in the industry? When I first moved to LA I started working in music studios as an assistant but, although the projects were fun, I didn’t really like the music business side of things. Luckily, I soon got an opportunity to work at a post sound facility mixing foreign language dubbing for HBO and Warner. After a few years, I decided to move on and explore other aspects of post sound so I went freelance. What has been your favorite project to work on? I’ve been lucky to have worked on many cool projects, but I specially enjoyed working on George Miller’s Three Thousand Years Of Longing, the Pavarotti documentary directed by Ron Howard and Dear Mama: The Saga Of Afeni And Tupac Shakur by director Allen Hughes.

I also received Emmy nominations for RuPaul's Drag Race in 2020 and 2023. And won a Canadian Screen Award (Canadian Emmy) in 2021 for Once Were Brothers and an MPSE Golden Reel in 2020 for Echo In The Canyon. What advice would you give someone starting out in this industry

Be humble. Never stop learning and honing your skills. Be confident of what you know but approach every job as an opportunity to learn. Be willing to pay your dues and do the work. Find mentors that can give you good advice on your career and life in general.

What made you want to work in your department? I remember 3 moments specifically. The first one was when my parents took me to see the first Batman movie in 1989. It blew my mind, specially the score and sound effects. I was obsessed with everything Batman as soon as I got out of the theater. A few years after, I saw the Special Effects Show at Universal Studios and I couldn’t believe all the amazing tricks and techniques used to put sound in a movie. And the third one was when I took a sound for film class in college that basically changed my life and opened my eyes to the world of post production sound. What are you working on these days?

I just finished mixing and supervising the sound for the Hulu docu-series Dear Mama: The Saga Of Afeni And Tupac Shakur. Also on Hulu, there’s a concert film I just mixed for Imagine Dragons and right now I’m working on an action movie.


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