We had the good fortune of connecting with William Tabanou and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi William, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

The reason I created my own business was primarily to make sure I could be in charge of both my career and family life, as well as to create a pathway to professional longevity.

I have found over the years that maintaining a good balance in the entertainment business can be quite a struggle, but is achievable if you have your head on straight. As much as I enjoy being a sound designer/re-recording mixer and having the pleasure of working on exciting projects with talented filmmakers, there have been times when I’ve gotten burned out and had to immediately re-evaluate my work habits, such as cutting down my hours and maybe taking on little less work, while still being able to feel like I’m moving forward and not at a standstill waiting for something to come in. Obviously, this maybe difficult to attain on a constant basis, but at least being able to recognize that change is needed to recharge the batteries is important. So, the key is to make sure the extremely busy times only come in waves and are not the norm, where you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding mental and or physical rest.

I’ve discovered over the past 20 years + that career longevity is dependent on the quality of work you provide. Practically, everyone whom I’ve worked with has heard me mention what ends up on the big or small screen is all that matters at the end of the day. So creating a comfortable environment for healthy collaboration and being transparent with others is truly important.

In regards to my family life, I have always wanted to be married and have kids and be present (even though sometimes you get all caught up with work and it is hard to shut things down). But if I’m my own boss, I get to choose what my work hours are and how I prioritize my time. And because of that, thankfully, I have never missed any of the important moments in my kids’ lives.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I have been fortunate enough to make a living pursuing my passion by striving to be flexible and diverse. I don’t pigeon hole myself into working in one genre of film or even one area of media. I work on features, commercials, trailers, animation, shorts and documentaries. I also work with people at all stages of their career from student filmakers to lifetime professionals.

I am most proud of being part of the process that brings an idea to life for others to aurally experience and enjoy,

I started out playing music at a young age with my older brother Eric, and became interested in recording when my band was producing multiple demos during high school with producer/recording engineer Brian Garcia.  In my early 20’s, I officially got the recording bug after moving from Houston to Austin and pursued recording  music. Then, my best friend, Mark David (who was also the drummer in my band) mentioned during a drive back to Austin that he was going to shoot a feature and that he wanted me to do the score with him and handle the production sound all the way to the final mix. I took him up on the offer thinking that it couldn’t be that difficult, since I had already been recording bands, and I was ready for a new adventure. Reality quickly set in and it was a lot more intense than I expected, but it was a great learning experience and set me on the path to working in post production sound. I moved to California in my mid-twenties with my then girlfriend, now wife, Casie, to be a part of Hollywood filmmaking. As the years went by, I started doing less and less music and for the last decade, post production sound has been my full time gig.

The film business isn’t “easy” for anyone, but if you asked my advice, I’d say that it is extremely important to be all about quality and not just quantity. Always do the best that you can with what you are given, and if you don’t feel comfortable taking on a project for any reason, it isn’t worth taking it on and delivering a subpar result.

Along the way, I have learned that balance is the key to consistency for me. Whenever I get into a robotic mode when I am working after many hours, I know it is time to step away and come back to the project when I have fresh ears. It is doing a disservice to the project (and frankly, my family) if I overdo it. With that being said, I regularly put in 60 hour weeks, but when I am not at work, I try to leave it in the studio.

I would like people to know that I enjoy collaborating on projects, because it’s a lot more fun. I equate it to being in a band again (my first creative love). And I learn something new from everyone I work with.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live out in the West Valley in West Hills, and when friends come to town we always go site seeing in Hollywood, to the beach and hiking. I enjoy taking people to The Village at Topanga. There’s tons of great restaurants there and it’s a great place to walk, talk and people watch. The Commons in Calabasas is another great place where you can have dinner, see a movie, and grab some ice cream. I love to hike on Victory Trail, which is literally two minutes away from my house. And we have some of the greatest MLS soccer teams in the nation and I love to catch an LAFC or LA Galaxy game in person if I can (yes, I’m a fan of both)

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?
I recently lost a good friend of mine to Covid. His name is Brian Garcia and he mentored me when I first got into recording. Brian brought such joy and positivity to everything he was a part of. He was a true artist and taught me about excellence.

Website: www.tabsounddesign.cloud

Instagram: @tab_sounddesign

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/williamtabanou

Twitter: @TabSoundDesign

Facebook: facebook.com/william.tabanou

Other: IMDB- imdb.me/williamtabanou

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