We had the good fortune of connecting with Micah Garrido and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Micah, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
I’ve been reading Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. It’s an abstract narrative, not much in the way of plot. Most of the book is spent in the space between poetry and prose, and the use of heavy reliance on metaphor rarely points to any tangible real-life analog. I can only read a page at a time before I have to reread it and try to figure out what the intended meaning is. Then I get frustrated that the words don’t seem to actually offer anything that serves my interest or desire to be entertained. So I’m only like 1/4th of the way through and it’s been weeks.
I spend a lot of my day trying to be as efficient as possible, trimming seconds off of procedures I repeat over and over again. Time is money and sources for funding films have dried up, so when I get booked to sound design, edit, or mix, every motion feels an expenditure of my time, all the way down to the mouse click. That’s rubbed off on how I live my life- how can I shave time off the commute? When can I get to the grocery store and not stand in line? My obsession with efficiency has become torturous. So I bought a book that I just can’t be efficient with. It’s forcing me to do everything I’ve conditioned my body not to do, to sit in confusion and not look for whatever makes the most sense immediately. It’s been great.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I run all of my operations under the name Alternatone. I do sound design, dialogue editing, and mixing for short films. I also compose for sync, and I write, record and mix my own music when I’m not working on any of the aforementioned things. I got to this point with a ton of work. I work when I know it’s going well, I work when it’s not going well, and I work when I can’t tell the difference between the two. Maintaining perspective and making sure you’re in touch with your internal sense of balance seem to be the most important thing in this.
I guess what I want people to know is that all aspects of creating are the same to me, so my sound design is as musical as any of my mixes, and my songs are movies just as much as they’re pieces of music. I come to anything I work on as a student, it’s what keeps me obsessed with what I do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Luckily I got to do this something like this before Covid. We did a taco tour starting of Northeast LA with the barbacoa de borrego at My Taco in Highland Park, the over to El Pique and Alisons, two trucks that used to park on York. We rounded it out with Ave 26 in Lincoln Heights. They have killer $1 tacos and you can ask for grilled onions and jalapeños which is a big plus. To walk some of those calories off, we went to the helipad in Griffith Park, it has a better view than the Observatory in my opinion. On a longer trip, I might take someone down Long Beach for the aquarium or the San Pedro Fish Market a little further down.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Every time I get the opportunity I have to shout out Teddy Salas, who helped me get my start in post production with my first job, and he’s fostered me with so many other opportunities to grow.