Striking the right chord: How this music alum found his calling in film and TV
By Carly Whetter, Foundation and Alumni Relations
Daniel Cardona’s career in film and TV all started with a music diploma – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
His original plan was to become a musician. But after earning his Diploma in Music at Douglas and completing a Bachelor of Music at the University of British Columbia Daniel came face to face with a hard reality: He didn’t have what it took to make it as a musician.
“I realized that in order to make a living as a musician, you need to be very, very good,” Daniel says. “I know musicians who are very successful, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. I needed to make a change.”
Back to Douglas
Instead of starting over, Daniel decided to build on the skills he’d gained through his music education. He returned to Douglas to get the Music Technology Diploma, where he learned sound engineering, music software, audio engineering and music production.
“I wanted to take my inclination and ear for music in a different direction. I’ve always been interested in audio technology and thought this would be a good way to combine the music skills I’d already gained with my interests,” says Daniel.
Tech skills weren’t his only takeaway. He says being in a cohort-like program built a sense of community and camaraderie with his classmates.
“I learned how to work collaboratively and closely with others – a skill that benefits me tremendously in my career today.”
Once he graduated, Daniel headed to the Vancouver Film School to complete a diploma in Sound Design for Visual Media, adding game audio implementation and post-audio editing for television and film to his arsenal of skills.
Today, Daniel is a re-recording mixer and post-audio editor at Sharpe Sound Studios in North Vancouver, where he does post-production sound editing, mixing and effects for film and television projects for companies like Disney, Hallmark and Lifetime.
He says his variety of skills and experience keeps things interesting on the job.
“It can be hard to mix shows day in and day out and still have the same passion for them after watching them 50 million times. But when I can switch from one aspect of production to another – for example, from mixing to editorial – that’s what keeps me on my toes,” says Daniel.
Out of his lengthy filmography, Daniel says one of his favourite projects was Disney Channel’s Gabby Duran & the Unsittables, where he mixed a variety of sound effects with sound design.
“The show is about a human girl who babysits aliens,” Daniel explains. “So you can imagine there were a lot of strange sound effects that I got to play around with.”
He says music provided a beneficial foundation for his career.
“My music degree trained my ear,” he says. “I wouldn’t know half the things I know now if I hadn’t gotten a music degree before going into audio engineering.”