See What Big Award a TRAC Graduate Just Won

Alec Moore Part of Film Crew that Wins "Best Documentary Feature" at the San Diego Film Awards

In each frame of every film there is a hidden world just off screen. It's behind the scenes that Alec Moore operates, capturing audio with a big, fuzzy microphone and mixing the sound to align perfectly with the visuals. One day his job might be getting a clear dialogue in a scene with screaming fans; the next day, it might be making sure the sound of a coffee cup hitting the table syncs with the film.

“There’s something about it,” Alec says. “You could be doing something silly and there’s a moment when you fool yourself and say, ‘I'd buy that.’” 

Alec got his start early, learning a myriad of instruments at age 12—guitar, banjo, accordian, mandolin, tin whistle—"all the instruments in Flogging Molly," Alec says, laughing. At age 14, he began recording himself with a 4-track cassette deck. After high school, he began studying audio production at Grossmont College, but wasn't satisfied. "We had to take four semesters of multi-track production, but they put all four student levels into one class," says Alec. "Each semester I learned the basics over again and never moved on." 

Then he found Studio West. “As soon as I walked into Studio A, I was hooked," says Alec. "That was four years ago and I’ve been there ever since.”

Alec graduated from The Recording Arts Center in 2013 with a renewed passion for the studio life. After graduating, he began interning at Studio West, first doing everyday tasks, but slowly building a place for himself, becoming a teaching assistant and carving out a niche as an audio visual engineer.

Studio West connected Alec with Clint Burkett, who was deep in the process of documenting the story of San Diego musician and oil painter, Steve White. Soon, Alec was involved with the project, working through archival footage of wailing guitars to produce a clear final cut.

“Steve White: Painting the World with Music” captures the life of the brilliant artist, who made a name for himself in north San Diego with a guitar in his hands, a harmonica around his neck and a shaker on his ankle. White, diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2009, died in 2011.

After years of dedicated efforts by director Clint Burkett, the documentary found an audience, winning Best Documentary Feature Film at the San Diego Film Awards. The film's success gives a shiny laurel to Alec. "I doubt that people will notice the sound quality of the movie," Alec says."But it’s one of those credits where you can stand behind it. It’s got weight, it’s not a micro film festival in LA. To get an award of that level in my hometown feels awesome.”

Alec is getting some work in LA on some television shows, and hopes his resume will grow. He recently worked as the sound mixer for season three of a dating reality show called "Bagged" on the cable channel Myx TV.

Alec points to Studio West as a critical turning point in his career, having fallen in love with life in the studio. “Before I came to Studio West I called myself a recording engineer, but it was really in retrospect the tiniest bedroom recordings. I’d cram a drummer in the corner and throw three mics on him. The degree program here definitely expanded my skills beyond belief. It’s definitely made me a harder worker. It's a place where you are rewarded for being a self-starter, a self-motivator.” 

Alec has won the trust of Studio West's post-production engineering team. "Alec is proactive and is not afraid to get out of his comfort zone," says Colin Tedeschi. "He's one of Studio West's best assets." Mark Kirchner agrees. "Alec is a self-starter, always willing to help, and easy to be around. I know Alec would do an audio job the same way I would, which is extremely reassuring on our complex post sessions. Alec has become one of our go-to engineers."