Multi-award nominated sound design and composer Walter Thoma has established himself as a key player in the world of music. His journey to excellence began when he transitioned into music for visual media and received an award nomination for Best Original Score at the prestigious festival “International Sound And Film Music Festival”. Since then, Walter has gone on to produce music with multi-platinum producer Andrew Lane for several releases through major labels and motion pictures, as well as working with well-known musical artists.
After years of hard work, Walter was given the opportunity to take part in the “Academy Gold Rising” production track for sound program where he learned and honed his skills from the most renowned professionals in the world including Teri E Dorman, Gary C Bourgeois, Bill Kaplan, and Thomas Giordano.
Walter now is working as a freelance sound designer/composer in Los Angeles, helping filmmaker’s visions come to life through the power of storytelling through sound.
We caught up with Walter to chat, music and more!
We are thrilled to talk with you Walter. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Yes, I am Walter Thoma, a Mexican German sound designer-composer based in Los Angeles. I started my career as a music producer in Mexico City with my first project for “Disautonomia”, an electronic music group who later became just “Dis”. We played in the biggest electronic music festival in Mexico (EDC Mexico 2019) and also opened for one of the biggest talents in the world of electronic music “Nervo”. After that I released my solo project “Thomahawk” which was a blend of 80s nostalgia and electronic dance music. The music gathered a lot of momentum on YouTube and digital music platforms.
Eventually I decided to quit content creation and focus on sound design and composing for visual media.
What was it like working on the “Academy Gold Rising” production track for sound program?
It was a life changing experience, I met with amazing people and mentors who I’m glad to call my friends. We learned about the industry from the biggest people in the industry and were given a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Tell us about working with Teri E Dorman, Gary C Bourgeois, Bill Kaplan, and Thomas Giordano?
Ok so Teri E Dorman, Gary C Bourgeois, Bill Kaplan, and Thomas Giordano are sound legends! I will never forget Teri’s first words to me: “Breathe…” I was so flabbergasted I couldn’t formulate a single word. Teri is my hero, she’s not only an amazing professional but an amazing human being.
Gary is a world-renowned audio engineer, he worked on both worlds film and music. He is also a fantastic teacher; we mixed the short film “Estelle” together for the Academy and it was a fantastic experience. He taught me so many amazing techniques that I’ll never stop using. His talent and charisma are legendary.
Bill and Tommy are the most patient and focused people I know. They both work together like a united force ready to take on whatever set is thrown at them. I have so much respect for the line of work that they do, the amount of experience they have trouble shooting is invaluable.
What makes you unique?
If I had to say what makes me unique is my ability in both realms, as a composer and a sound designer. A lot of projects that I work on, I do the sound and the score for. I have a dream to hopefully be remembered for excelling in both realms. I also have the added bonus of speaking three languages:English, Spanish, German.
Any project that tells an important, impactful story.
What is your creative process when preparing for a project?
I usually talk to the director and their vision, a thing I always love to do is ask them: If you could summarize your entire story in one word, what would that be?
Tell us about the work you did onthe TV project“Very Lost In LA”.
We’re in the process of getting started on this project. Sebastian Feichtinger (Seb Vines) and I are working on planning our strategy for sound at the moment. There are many moving pieces to this project.This series is an entire season and will have extensive work all over it. We need to be sure the sound supports the comedy and becomes a character of its own.
I’m particularly excited to work on this one as it’s a comedy and most of my work so far has been drama, so it will definitely be an interesting experience to work on.
Have you set any goals to achieve?
I would love to get recognition as a sound designer as well as a composer, I love working on both.
Any upcoming projects?
At the moment I’m working on a few horror projects, one of them is called “They’re Here” which is a really fun sci-fi horror, as well as a newfound footage horror which will be particularly fun to record and plan.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m optimistic about the upcoming projects in the next few months, as I’ll try to make sure that every time, I do these projects I push further than last time, making sure every time I work on something I improve on my own work.
How can people find you?
My Instagram is @walterthoma_sound.