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Daily Inspiration: Meet Richard Townsley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richard Townsley.

Hi Richard, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was surrounded by the local influences of LucasFilm, Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar, and the Mill Valley Film Festival. The entertainment industry runs thick through my bloodline. My grandmother was a well-known TV celebrity “Miss Nancy” on Romper Room in the ‘60s and would often talk about her experiences in TV production and her fame. My father was a prominent NorCal DJ in the ’80s, SAG/AFTRA agent, and event producer. From an early age, my father immersed my sister and me with 80’s music and trivia, EDM, and ongoing real-time movie critiquing, always pointing out audio cues, directorial choices, crossfades, and relentless movie trivia. My favorite childhood memories are of family movie nights (almost every night, even on school nights) with my night-owl family. I grew a love for the art of filmmaking and I’ve been following my passion as a Video Editor.

By the 7th grade, I had built my own custom computer, designed and optimized for video editing. In high school, I began to work out of my home studio and excelled in my school’s video and filmmaking program, “COMACAD” (Communication Academy). My student film “After” was awarded 1st place at the Marin County Fair and an honorable mention in Lark Student Showcase. After graduating high school, I completed an internship with 32Ten Studios (the legendary original home ILM and the first-ever THX theater). Currently, I’m finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at The New York Film Academy here in Los Angeles and working freelance in the industry. My daily arsenal of tools includes Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Avid Media Composer, Avid ProTools, Final Cut Pro, and Davinci Resolve.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve stayed dedicated and passionate about video editing and have edited over four dozen short films, music videos, web series, spec-ads, and I’ve recently begun a new stream of projects with a director from the Directors Guild of America. I have a solution-oriented mindset and I bring unbiased ideas to every project that elevates each film to the highest quality achievable; Great post-production begins in pre-production. With COVID-19 slowing down on-set production, I’ve taken it as an opportunity for more time to work with the director and for me to ensure that the footage that the crew will be getting is something that matches the director’s vision. I’ve approached every edit with patience and dedication to ensure that the story is told clearly to the audience. I accomplish this by having a keen, trained eye for detail that translates into seamless cuts, intimate connection with characters, captivating scenes, and an inevitable admiration from audiences.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m most proud of my attention to detail. I have a constant drive to improve every scene through editing. I take time to ensure that everything is perfect. I’m no stranger to using the power of visual effects to stitching shots together to create the perfect take, removing excessive blinks or moving someone’s eye when they glance into a camera lens. I’m a stickler for both visual and audio details. My own stories and scripts are rich with details and direction.

Cold Start is my most recent project, an upcoming American drama short film I wrote, directed, and am currently in the final weeks of editing. This crowdfunded film stars Sebastian Perez, Wendy Hammers, Spencer Rowe, and Abel Lysenko. Cold Start takes place in 1985 San Clemente and has insightful character development through dialogue, imaginative flashbacks, and intense live racing scenes where we rented a northern raceway and a 1965 Mustang Cobra. Cold Start tells the coming-of-age story of Carter, whose childhood was centered around a home project muscle car that he and his father, Donnini, spent many years perfecting together. Almost a decade after witnessing his father’s tragic death; the car sits untouched by Carter. The teen boy knows that the only way to move past the emotional damage that roots from his father’s death is to continue his legacy by finishing the project car. I’ve spent over a year in pre-production developing the script and details. I had an amazing support team, production crew, and talent on location this summer. Now, I feel like a conductor at a symphony; timing each piece of the orchestra into an exciting concert; complex editing with emotional cuts, high dynamic range color grade, recording and adding subtle but meaningful sound effects and foley, a breathtaking original music score, and a final mix in Dolby Atmos-certified 7.2.4 surround sound; Cold Start is my 2021 labor of love.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Looking forward, I have several new scripts I am writing, films to edit, and my journey here in LA is just beginning. Networking is critical; reputation and hard work are rewarded through word-of-mouth referrals and an impressive track record. I have already met and am working with some amazing people. My circle of influence is ever-expanding. I continue to hone my craft every day, looking to the past for clues and embracing the newest technical advancements. In many regards, I believe COVID has been an absolute game-changer to the industry, pushing creativity and technology plus the adoption of streaming content by consumers. It’s a brave new world of infinite content and bandwidth. The market is quickly becoming oversaturated and segmented by demand, and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of endless media, therefore I need a unique niche or value proposition. In order to thrive and stand out, I will continue to be on the leading edge of technology and surround myself with other like-minded creative filmmakers and dedicated production teams, telling compelling human stories that have passion, grit, and connection to the human spirit. Like my main character in Cold Start, I am starting on my own Hero’s Journey. It’s going to be an amazing story. Won’t you join me?

Pricing:

  • Video Editing rate: 50 USD/hour
  • Sound Design, Mixing: 40 USD/hour
  • Foley: 35 USD/hour
  • Boom Operating/Production Mixing: 200/day

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Photographs by Zach Goodwin, 2021.

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