Filmmaker Friday with Filmmaker Michael McQueen


With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Options include pitching an idea, or a commission through screenwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening your project. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to Sound Mixer Michael McQueen about his work. This is what he said:

What inspires you, Michael?

Michael McQueen: I spend as much time in the woods as possible so the majority of my inspiration comes from the sounds of nature. When you’re sitting by a waterfall and it’s all you can hear or on an open ridgeline and there’s a bird in the distance with a mix of the sound of the wind through the brush. The natural sound of that mix, that’s my inspiration.


What drew you to this field?

Michael McQueen: My career began filming my friends and I riding BMX bikes in high school. Using a video camera was my first intro to production. During college, I took a basic sound class and that sparked my interest. I was attending a trade school and some friends were at university so I would use my school’s sound equipment on their films. I dabbled in post production and full production for a few years before locking in with sound. It was the perfect mix of technical and creative problem solving for what I was looking for career-wise.

How does Filmtools help you?

Michael McQueen: Having an online resource like Filmtools helps keep me informed on new products that can help me improve my workflow.


What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?

Michael McQueen: Every project is the coolest project! But right now I’m NDA’d up pretty heavily on a new commercial campaign that I’m excited about. Past projects, Turner Sports always brings interesting projects. When they were the summer broadcaster for NASCAR we produced a weekly spot called All Access. The one episode, in particular, was with driver Josh Wise. He’s a fellow bike rider and fun haver so any project where I get to ride my bike is a good one. You can check it out here:

What was the most important lesson you’ve learned from being on set?

Michael McQueen: The experience is what you get the most from being on set, that and how to communicate and work as a team. Listening and paying attention and knowing when to speak up.


How do you keep up with the changing world of the film industry?

Michael McQueen: It’s a daily exercise of checking out what brands are doing on social media, talking with other mixers, even other camera crew and post production crew. Just keeping my ear to the ground and paying attention. Seeing new products and thinking of new and efficient ways to integrate them into my workflow. I try and go to a few trade shows every year and that’s a big one too. Seeing all the new gear as soon at it’s announced, getting my hands on it and talking with manufacturers. It’s almost another job in and of itself!

What do you do to get ready for a shoot?
Michael McQueen: Usually there’s already been a round of emails detailing specifics for gear. So I’ll go through and get either my sound cart or my sound bag dialed in and ready with a couple extra wireless for the what if scenarios. Then it’s making sure batteries are charged and backups are charging. And I’ll usually load the van up the night before and have a few extra bits of gear waiting in case. 

Do you have any projects that we can help promote?

Michael McQueen: I just got back from a trip to Poland to do a CSgo player profile on Neo, you can check it out here:

Where can people follow you on social?

I’m mostly active on my Instagram, but I have a Facebook page as well where I’ll share more work based stuff.



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