At Work With… Audra Hughes, Sound Utility
The ‘At Work With…’ Interview Series is our way of bringing you behind-the-scenes with the people and businesses included in our Texas Production Directory (TPD). We want to showcase the creatives that cover all levels of production experience, backgrounds, and geographies around the state. This week’s spotlight is on Audra Hughes based in Austin and a Texan since June 2010.
What’s the most memorable experience on a project that you’ve had and what made it so special?
When I first moved to Austin I managed to network my way into an internship at Detour. I happened to be there during a special time, they were working on Rick's 12-year project Boyhood and after convincing a local production coordinator to hire me as PA for the following years, I found myself quickly moving through the thriving roller coaster that is the Texas motion picture business. I may be a transplant, but I truly cherish my Texas film career origin story.
Have you had an industry mentor who made an impact on you or helped you along your career path?
I feel lucky that I have had a number of sound mentors to help me get where I am at today. I'd name them all, but I think I'd take up half a page. The only reason I have a career in sound utility is because they took time out of their own lives to teach me this craft on their days off or in between set-ups on set. I do want to make a special shout out to Ben Lazard, though.
In your industry, collaboration is the key to success. How do you best foster collaboration with your colleagues from project to project?
It's impossible to do this without the collaboration of my colleagues. It's tried but true; it takes a village!
How have Covid-19 safety protocols affected the way that you work?
In the beginning Covid-19 was a scary and a serious challenge to overcome, especially on set where there are thousands of moving parts. It could be overwhelming, but it was important to take things slow, to take the time to be safe [in general] beyond Covid and that helped take the stress off.
What’s the best part about working in Texas?
The best part about working in Tejas is the crews! We have some of the coolest cats in the biz here.
Why do you choose the Lone Star State as a place to live and work?
Originally, I had my heart set on L.A., but after realizing Dazed and Confused was shot in Tejas, I knew I'd “be a lot cooler” if I moved to Austin, instead.
Interview has been edited for brevity.
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