We want to become role models. And we also believe we continue to learn from each other, no matter how experienced we are. It is important to us to grow talent in the local industry from the ground up, and so we have an ongoing, annual Internship Programme where we take on anyone with a passion for Music or Audio, no matter their background. Read more about this Internship Programme here.

This year we have partnered up with Steinberg Nuendo to open up our Internship Programme to the global talent pool of aspiring Sound Designers, crossing borders and broadening all of our sonic horizons. Read more about this epic and potentially life-changing competition here. 

While we wait for the submissions to roll in from around the world for our next Audio Intern, we thought we’d talk to Denys Marcel, Composer and Sound Designer at Pressure Cooker Studios, who is now a permanent part of the team of audio pioneers and composers in Cape Town, after completing his Internship Programme. 

Let’s hear what he had to say:

Denys, how did you end up here?
In 2022 I was finding my feet in the industry after completing a three year degree at SAE when I heard about a competition that Pressure Cooker Studios was running to find a Sound Design Intern to join their audio team. I actually heard about the competition from Alec Mackay who had been my lecturer at SAE and is now also part of the team here at the studios. 
It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me, so I sent through a little motivation about myself and I was then asked to do the Sound Design for a video with specific sounds they supplied, and after that I came in for a trial day along with a few others, and then I landed the placement! It’s been two full years since then and I haven’t looked back.

What did the Internship Programme entail? 
There is a 3-month probationary period, and then a full 12-month Internship Programme. I got to work alongside Sound Designers on real projects, sitting in on voice over recording sessions with the recording engineer, and final mixes, editing dialogue or preparing sessions, the learning never stops. It’s true when people say that there is only so much you can learn at college, but it’s the real life experience that really grows you. There are discoveries you can only make from being in the trenches, from trying and failing and learning from your mistakes.
Pressure Cooker Studios put a huge amount of focus on their interns. Not only was I given the opportunity to work on live projects, but we had ‘skillshare’ sessions where everyone would share their knowledge and learn from each other about new concepts, or functions of software. I also especially enjoyed sitting in on feedback sessions with the composers. 

What have been some of the highlights of your time at the studios?
I ended my internship with what Jamie (Pressure Cooker Studios CEO) called ‘the baptism of fire’, by working with the audio team on live-action series under incredibly tight deadlines. It was an epic time and I got to collaborate with the audio team on back to back narrative projects such as Spinners, Boetie Boer, and Heart of the Hunter (which is releasing this month on Netflix) as well as an upcoming original film for Amazon prime and writing some additional music cues for Showmax’s Twende. 

Getting to work on projects of this scale so early on in my career feels pretty unreal.

Is your focus on Sound Design only?
Actually music has always been a passion of mine and I never felt ready to give it up, which I think was clear to the team here. After a few months mainly working with the Audio team, Jamie asked if I wanted to have a go at working on some music pitches that came in. It’s the coolest thing ever that I get the best of both worlds. I find it really helpful that I can borrow ideas and concepts from either Music or Sound Design and bring them together.

It sounds cheesy but we have created such a sacred space at the studio. There is a high calibre of people here and the diversity in talent really shines across both the Music and Sound departments. We all work together and learn from each other.

What are you excited about for your future at Pressure Cooker Studios?
There is so much! Something I get really excited about are my technical workflows. I like figuring out ways to be more efficient, so there is less in the way of creativity. I am weirdly passionate about software and I make tutorial videos to share my workflows with the team, (we really never stop learning from each other). I’ve also been working on building the back end structure for the Music and Audio Internship Programmes. I’m excited to contribute to nurturing creativity in young people. 

Oh and I’m looking forward to expanding on my foley artistry! Being able to record stuff on the spot is faster and easier and gives you more control. I can’t wait!

Our company purpose is to ‘Build a Platform For Talent to Flourish’ (read more about that here in a thought leadership piece from our CEO James Matthes). Here’s to continual growth and learning!

Want to join the ‘The Many’? Contact us.