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Andrew Plain Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1953Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date of Death 13 December 2013Sydney, Australia  (cancer)
Birth NameAndrew Keith Plain

Mini Bio (1)

Standing at two metres, Andrew Plain was a very tall man but he was also a towering figure in other more important respects. One of Australia's most distinguished film Sound Designers, he gained a national and international reputation through the high quality and innovative nature of his work on feature films, documentaries, shorts and television dramas.

Andrew was born in Melbourne in 1953. He was educated at Marion High School in Adelaide and attended Macquarie University in the mid-seventies, graduating with a BA (Psychology). He worked as a government psychologist for two years but his long-held interest in film gained impetus when the New South Wales Institute of Technology (now the University of Technology, Sydney) implemented the BA Communication, the first degree of its kind in Australia. He was in one of the first intakes, completing a BA Comm. in 1980.

To read the long list of Directors with whom Andrew worked is to read a 'Who's Who' of eminent figures in the Australian cinema, while the high esteem in which his peers held him is also evident in the number of nominations and awards he received from the film industry. He played a significant part in shaping Australian film culture. Thus, although he had a huge interest in and knowledge of film history and global cinema, he was also famous for his unwavering commitment to keeping the Australian film industry strong and on-shore. While a career elsewhere would have allowed him to enjoy much larger budgets, he chose to support the Australian film industry by gathering around him at Huzzah Sound - the company that he created and co-directed with his partner, Adrienne Parr - a group of highly talented award-winning film sound personnel.

Andrew was known not just for his superb technical expertise and his prolific output but also for his ability to speak extemporaneously and for the width and depth of his general knowledge. The idea of the 'Renaissance man', often glibly evoked, can be rightly applied in his case. He was constantly in demand for lectures and master classes at universities and film schools all over Australia and despite a daunting and relentless work schedule he always managed to find time for such engagements. He gained a legendary reputation for the wit, lucidity and substance of his teaching and it is no exaggeration to say that he inspired a generation to go on to specialise in film sound.

Andrew's formidable intellect and his ability to communicate indicated that if he had chosen to pursue an academic career it would have been a highly distinguished one. As it was, he crossed with ease the practitioner and theorist divide, co-writing with myself on film sound for various publications, including the MIT book, Voices.

In 2001 he received the Centenary Medal in the New Year's Honours, 'For service to Australian society and to Australian film production', a fitting acknowledgement of his high public and professional standing and his dedication to Australian film. His vision was of a society in which creativity, critical thinking, technical skills and professional integrity, along with commitment to issues of social justice, are highly valued.

He will be remembered as an important film sound designer, innovator, writer, educator and advocate for the Australian film industry. He was also a generous and very brave man. He suffered chronic pain of an excruciating nature due to a rare form of osteoarthritis, and he underwent an extraordinary amount of surgery over the last two decades. So it seemed shockingly unfair to his colleagues and his many friends that he then also had to do battle with melanoma. But he never succumbed to self-pity, approaching the illness with his customary and unique mixture of equanimity and black humour. Up until the end he remained in life, vitally engaged with the issues and events of the world and interested in the lives and welfare of others.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Helen Macallan

Trivia (3)

He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Australian society and to Australian film production.
Haberfield, New South Wales, Australia [January 2009]
Andrew is survived by his partner Adrienne, their daughter, Isra, and his two siblings, Lisa and Rose.

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