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Cut to Black: Twi McCallum, Apprentice Sound Engineer

For each day in the month of February, the Committee will be highlighting African-American members, both past and present, and their accomplishments. We look forward to showing the contributions and influences African-Americans have had on the industry.

Name: Twi McCallum (Happy Belated Birthday Twi!)

What’s your job? Apprentice Sound Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. I was a Re-recording Mixer for an Amazon commercial and a Dialogue Editor for “SULWE,” an audiobook by Lupita Nyong’o and Penguin Random House Publishing.

What are you working on right now? I am currently an apprentice sound editor for “The Girlfriend Experience” Season 3 (STARZ television show) and will subsequently start on “Dr. Death” (NBCUniversal-Peacock limited series).

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? I am heavily influenced by post-sound artists I’ve met such as: Bobbi Banks, Glenfield Payne, Rob Fernandez, Nicholas Renbeck, Jamie Baker, and Dann Fink. I also admire the legacies of Willie D. Burton, Russell Williams, Skip Lievsay, and Jesse Dodd although I haven’t met them. I am also committed to organizations such as SoundGirls, Post New York Alliance, and Theatrical Sound Designers & Composers Association which all do fantastic service. I thank Howard University’s theater department and Yale School of Drama for my technical theater roots that have transferred into the cinematic universe.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? I faithfully watch lots of reality television, especially “Judge Judy,” “Top Chef,” “Love & Hip-Hop” are my guilty pleasures. I am desperately awaiting the new seasons of “You,” “Pose,” “Money Heist,” and “Proud Family.”

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What are your Black History Month memories and any cultural or historical  impacts on your life? My birthday is Valentine’s Day, double whammy for Black History Month! I also took a mini vacation in February 2018. I flew to LA to see a premiere of “Black Panther,” and got to sit beside costume designer Ruth Carter at the theater.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Practice (almost*) every day, even if I think I don’t need it or if I’m not in the mood. *Keeping in mind time for rest, fun, and being human.

What’s a little known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so  hidden) talents? One fun fact about me is that I have 5 pet snails, all named after Black women singers/rappers (Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Rihanna, and Megan thee Stallion). My favorite hidden talent is that I’m great at zombie video games and looking forward to Resident Evil 8 this summer (team PlayStation)!

Was there a television show/movie that inspired you to pursue your career? “Ray,” the Ray Charles biopic film has evolved my love for sound editorial/design from the time I viewed it as a kid to now when I watch it as an adult. The story splashes between delicate to intense dialogue, perspective, timbre, music, and ambiance. That is the level of acuity and visceral creativity I aspire to achieve in this craft.

What would be your dream project to work on? I dream of doing sound editing/mixing for anything created by Beyonce, Ava Duvernay, BET, and Marvel/Disney. Overall, I hope to work on lots of horror/thriller movies, children’s educational content, and adventurous Black stories that reflect the past, present, and future.

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