INTERVIEW: Jacob Riehle - Assistant Sound Editor

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INTERVIEW: Jacob Riehle - Assistant Sound Editor

Post by MikeQuell » February 14th, 2014, 12:15 am

I've spent my entire career in games so there's a lot about the film process that I'm not familiar with. Trying to slowly educate myself on how they differ, I asked Jacob if he would be willing to answer a few questions for the forum. He was kind enough to accept.

If you take a look at Jacob's credits, you'll see a list a of films that demand a high amount of sound editing and design. His latest project is no different. Jacob is currently pushing through the final stages of sound work for the upcoming May release of Spider-Man 2. With such a busy schedule it's not a surprise that he decided to stop publishing one of my favorite sites from 4+ years ago. Jacob used to run a blog site called Filmsound Daily. It hosted lots of great info within the film sound world along with many great interviews. It was a site I frequented and eagerly awaited new updates. Eventually the site was merged with, an extremely popular sound design blog among audio enthusiasts. There you can now read all of Jacob's previous interviews along with a ton of great interviews that Designing Sound has put together over the years: ... nterviews/

Jacob on IMdB:
Filmsound Daily:

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for the forum, Jacob!

What's a normal day like for Mr. Riehle?

I’m currently a sound assistant on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, so I get my hands into everything sound related during the course of the film’s post production. I could be turning over reels to sound editors, assembling production dialog tracks, recording sound effects, prepping sessions for a dub stage, troubleshooting systems, or workflow, or delivery. What’s new on this film for us, is mixing in Dolby Atmos. Supposedly we are the 7th film ever to mix “natively” in Atmos (from premix to print master) and the first to do so on a Harrsion console. With the fear of seeming like a pusher, Harrison released a great video explaining what they developed for their film consoles and I think it’s a great primer for Dolby Atmos in general too (link below).


I love assisting and think everyone should do it on at least one show during their career. You get a great sense of the entire process and appreciate the hard work everyone on the crew puts into the creative and non-creative aspects of a show.

On a film with multiple editors, how do you go about dividing tasks and deciding who gets what?

Most supervisors I've encountered, like to divide the workload into the reels defined by the picture department. Those reels are divvied up among the sound editors at the beginning of the show and they each carry their work along for as long as they’re on. There is usually a rebalance or two during the course of a film which is just shifting shots and or scenes from one reel to another. So all that editorial worked is rebalanced and shared among the editors too. This is in addition to the normal collaboration on reoccurring design elements, hard effects, and ambiance spanning the length of the film of course.

What's a mistake you've made in your career that you think aspiring sound editors could learn from?

Not admitting earlier on that checklists are cool. I fancied myself a world-class juggler once but it got harder and harder to keep all the balls in the air. So with the amount and variety of tasks thrown at you during a show, offloading some of those chores into a checklist and out of your brain is vital. I use Omnifocus extensively and loosely follow “Get Things Done”. Basically I just write down tasks, sort their priority, and set alarms so I can focus on what I’m doing now and leave the remembering part to the app.

Have any recent films really resonated with you sonically? Inspiring you to want to get back to the studio and do your best work?

Sadly I've missed a lot of the movies this year I wanted to catch. The buzz around All is Lost is stellar though and I am happy to join the chorus of praise for Gravity (I got to see it in Atmos). I just love to see films gain traction like Gravity and All is Lost with the general public. The more that civilians talk about sound, the better. That said, in the last year one of the most exciting and inspiring moments for me was getting to sit on the dub stage for Jurassic Park 3D at Skywalker Ranch in the spring of 2013. The two Gary’s, Rydstrom and Summers were at the helm for the remix and they shared a few stories about a key scenes in the film. It was such a surreal and exciting experience to watch those two work on a film that was such a big part of inspiring to pursue this craft.

How the heck do you pronounce your last name?

Real-Lee. At least that’s how Grandma taught me, so I’m sticking with it.

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