As one of the industry’s foremost talents in the world of film and TV score recording and mixing, Casey Stone has put his signature touch to some of the biggest and most successful titles this century, including Frozen, The Hangover trilogy, Ant-Man, Don’t Look Up, WandaVision, Vice, The Nice Guys, X-Men: Apocalypse and many more. Here, he tells Headliner about his journey into the business and his approach to work in the studio…
How did your career in music and audio begin?
I started guitar lessons around age eight, and when I was 10, my mother, who was an amateur singer/ songwriter, went into a studio to record some demos. I went to some sessions and knew then I wanted to be recording and mixing music.
I attended the University of Southern California (USC) and took a degree in music recording. As completion of that degree approached, I already was doing internships at studios with an emphasis on music for film and television.
So, the beginning of my career was doing runner and assistant engineer work at a few smaller studios but at the same time also engineering projects for student film scores and a bit of small album work.
How did you establish yourself as a professional in your field?
Connections I made at USC certainly helped. One studio I worked at was called The Sound Chamber and was owned by the head of my department at USC, Richard McIlvery. I had done some assistant engineering there and one of the projects that came in was to record (and compose really) the score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s first feature movie Hard Eight (1996).
Paul and composers Jon Brion and Michael Penn were there and the engineer was Brian Foraker. Besides a little mistake of not having the Studer 24-track resolved to house sync during the making of a DA88 sub-reel to send to Aimee Mann to record vocals elsewhere, I acquitted myself pretty well on that gig.
On the next film, just a year later, the same group wanted to return to Sound Chamber and do it again, but Brian Foraker had recently moved to Nashville and was not available. So, I got the gig! That was Boogie Nights and yes, it is mostly songs, but there is some score in there and I recorded and mixed that.