This week I sat down with Sound Designer Derrick Espino. Derrick is not only an amazing human being, but has also worked on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War III, Twisted Metal, Soul Sacrifice, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, The Last of Us: Left Behind, and so many more. You can check out all of his titles here. It’s really incredible stuff.
- Originally from Modesto, CA
- Moved to LA
- Currently livin’ the dream in Tokyo
- Working with an international team has its challenges
- It pays to radiate positivity and people dig enthusiasm
- Japanese banks close at 3 pm.
- Family has a musical background. Derrick grew up around music.
- When Derrick was 6-7 he discovered he could use his mom’s portable tape recorder to capture sounds
- Beatles fan at an early age
- Wanted to play guitar and that really set the stage
- Had a 4-track in High School
- Started out wanting to be an illustrator
- When Derrick decided to do sound he went to the Expression Center for New Media in Emeryville California
- Worked with Ann Kroeber when in school. She ended up liking his stuff, and Derrick became her intern.
- Used a Nagra back in 2001, but generally used DAT
- Edited Sound on American Gun
- From there worked at Earwax with Jeff Darby
- Moved to LA started working at Sound Dogs and met Andrew Bracken
- Was offered a game audio gig, and turned it down. Was offered the job again five months later, and passed it along to Jeff.
- The same group had a ton of extra work and needed a contractor. That’s when Derrick joined and met all the folks at Sony.
- They then offered him a job, and Derrick turned it down again.
- Later they had some more freelance work, and Derrick took that.
- Got into a tight spot financially, and a friend ended up calling and offered another game contractor job. This led to Derrick getting the job he had turned down 3 times. This was the game changer.
- You can make through even the darkest times.
- You can’t appreciate the good moments if you’ve never survived the bad ones.
- Everything can change on a dime. Good fortune can go away just as easily as it comes, and vice versa.
- We’re trying to educate folks on audio, so that life can be better for all audio people.
- EPIC DISCUSSON OF THE LAST OF US
- Derrick’s High School Band: Rhythmic Sushi
- A big sound design inspiration: Eddie VanHalen
- Discussion on sound philosophy
- Michael poo poo’s the orc calls in the Battle of Helm’s Deep
- Derrick recommends Steal Like an Artist
- Discussion of the Wilhelm Scream and it’s permeance in games and film
- Always serve the story first and foremost.
- A discussion of the Beatles and isolated tracks.
- If you’re going to do Sound Design, you’re going to tell stories to other people. You need to understand them.
- Big fan of David Lynch
- Derrick’s been playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Don’t get hung up on things that don’t matter.
Best Piece of Advice
“You become by doing… and that’s it.”
Connect with Derrick on: