GTCC ALUM WORKS ON LATEST SPIDER-MAN MOVIE

By Jana Carver

Guilford Technical Community College alum, Tyler Blythe, has always wanted to work in the entertainment industry, but he didn’t exactly plan to go into film.

TylerBlythe_The-Hunt_web“Originally, I kind of wanted to go into music and work in recording studios,” said Blythe, 31 of Winston-Salem.

But his career took an exciting turn that he wasn’t anticipating when he found himself gravitating toward sound production in film. Today, Blythe is a production sound mixer, boom operator, and sound utility for film and television through his Atlanta-based business Mixbot Audio. Some of his work includes sound editor for HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” and sound utility for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

It all started in 2004 when Blythe enrolled in GTCC’s Entertainment Technology program to pursue a degree in sound engineering. What drew him to the college was the opportunity to work with quality recording equipment and instructors who actually worked in the industry.

According to Blythe, learning from those with real-life experience was the most influential aspect of the program for him.

“It gave me a very solid understanding of sound engineering. …  It really started everything for me,” Blythe said.

Blythe graduated from GTCC with an associate of science degree in recording engineering in 2007. He then went on to study at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in filmmaking with a concentration in sound and editing. Upon graduating, Blythe moved to Los Angeles, where his transition from the recording studio to film sets began. But he soon found that finding jobs in L.A. was no easy task.

“When I was still struggling to make ends meet … trying to get on bigger shows in Los Angeles and seeing how difficult it was, I had a lot of friends that recommended moving to Atlanta,” Blythe said.

TylerBlythe_Frozen-Lake-2---PBCMaking the decision to move to Atlanta led Blythe to great opportunities, including the experience of working as a sound mixer on the post-apocalyptic American television drama, “The Walking Dead,” where he ensures that dialogue between the actors isn’t lost in the chaos of filming.  

“It involves us putting wireless mics on actors, hiding it so that the camera can’t see it, and then just trying to record the lines as clean as possible,” Blyth said. “That’s not always easy when you’ve got guns being fired and hundreds of zombies chasing people though.”

It’s that kind of challenge that makes Blythe love working in film.

“In film, every day is completely different; we’re shooting in different locations and dealing with different people.  It’s always just really exciting,” he said.

According to Blythe, much of his success can be attributed to networking (which played a significant role in securing his job on “The Walking Dead”) and his own perseverance when working toward his goals.  

“There were definitely times where I wanted to give up, or kind of had doubts as to whether or not I was going to ‘make it,’” he said. “But, I mean, if you really want it and you stick with it … eventually you’ll get there.”

He also said that the skills he gained while at GTCC and UNCSA gave him the confidence to keep going.  

“With these programs, it’s really what you put into it,” Blythe said. “The teachers and everything else are there to help you but, for the most part, with any program in any school, it’s what you put into it that’s really going to make a difference as far as what you’re learning and what you get out of it.”  

Blythe just started working as sound utility on his biggest project yet: Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which is set to release in 2017. He said what he’s looking forward to the most is the day when he will get to sit down in a theater and see the finished product on-screen.  

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– August 22, 2016