SAE visit PCS

Students from SAE Institute South Africa paid our studios a visit earlier this month to get a small taste of life as Audio Engineers. 

According to their website: “SAE Institute South Africa prides itself on student focused courses that empower, upskill and pave the way for you to enter the exciting worlds of Animation, Film and Sound. We do what we love, so should you”.

At Pressure Cooker Studios our company purpose is to ‘build a platform for talent to flourish’ so along with our own Internship Programme we welcome and encourage studio visits from budding Composers or Sound Engineers, we’re all about nurturing creativity in young people. CEO James Matthes says: “Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re a seasoned pro, we believe in the power of learning. We’re a learning studio, and we all learn from each other.”

A few of our Audio Team are SAE Alumni (Kyle Koekemoer, Alex Smillie and Denys Marcel) and Alec MacKay even lectured there before joining our team. It was a perfect fit to have up and coming creatives from SAE pay our Sacred Space a visit. 

Our team enjoyed the visit as much as the students:

 “It was wonderful hosting the SAE students in our space, sharing my industry experiences with keen young minds. As an SAE graduate it was enlightening to see the interest in post production from the students. I hope they all went and watched the film after seeing what happens backstage.”Kyle Koekemoer, (Audio Engineer at Pressure Cooker Studios)

“It was a great opportunity for the students to see the differences between a commercial and narrative studio in one place. We hope they enjoyed their visit as much as we did.” – Alex Smillie (Commercial Audio Engineer at Pressure Cooker Studios)

We asked SAE Sound Lecturer Leon Laubscher some questions to gain a better understanding of why he picked our studios for this outing, and what value he thinks it brings his students. 

What made you choose Pressure Cooker Studios as a studio visit for your students?
“At SAE we focus on what we call the 4 pillars of Sound – Studio Production, Music Production, Live Sound and Audio Post. Pressure Cooker Studios utilizes both Music Production and Audio Post as student electives. Personally, I got introduced to Pressure Cooker Studios through Neil Leachman, who was the Head of Department at CityVarsity when I was a student. I saw the level of projects that Pressure Cooker Studios were working on and knew that this would be an amazing opportunity for our students. Pressure Cooker Studios also uses a different DAW that the students are used to, so that branches their knowledge of what’s available in the industry. Some of the Pressure Cooker Team members are alumni of SAE or taught at SAE, so it’s great to show current students success stories of the campus they study at.”

What value do you think studio visits like this bring to your students?
“Having students actually see practically and professionally what the industry looks like, gives them something to work for. It makes their studies real and them wanting to work in the industry tangible. It shows students what is possible and at what level they need to be to work in the industry.”

What was the most memorable part of the visit?
From a lecturing point of view the most memorable part was seeing the jaw drops of the students when seeing the facilities and seeing how the students engaged with Alex and Kyle and their professionalism towards them. For the students, sitting in the Atmos cinema just blew their minds.”

Do you think the South African industry is growing to ensure sustainable careers for all your students once they graduate?
“The industry already is big enough for all of us and there is plenty of work – if you look for it. The industry is definitely growing bigger year on year and the NFVF and DTI are constantly updating budgets for more projects.”

We loved having the SAE students in our Sacred Space and they appreciated it too:

“It was eye opening. The excursion created awareness of other avenues to work in, in Sound Engineering”. – Anotidaishe Chikiwa

“It was a lot of fun! It was great to see the tangibility of what we are working towards and how it is so achievable.”Matthew Dickson

“It gives us an expectation of what the industry is like. It shows that what we get taught relates to the industry and we can see it in real life”. – Brandon Spencer

“The breakdown (by Kyle) of the movie made me focus on the specific sound design in films. I look at an animation film and think about what they’ve done to make it sound like that.” – Amaan Samaai

Read more about our Internship Programme here.