Media production might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Washington D.C., but this center of government is home to a surprising amount of television and film work. It’s a tight-knit but thriving area for audio and video professionals, and that community was the inspiration for the opening of Capital Audio Post, co-owned by Recording Arts graduates Frank Scheuring and Chip Sovek.
Located just outside the city in Merrifield, Virginia, the studio launched in late 2012 and houses three audio suites, two video suites, and a recording room for dub sessions. Capital primarily focuses on postproduction needs – video editing, sound design and mixing, in-studio recording – and has handled content for clients like National Geographic, PBS, Discovery, and TLC, among others.
“The good thing about the D.C. area is we not only have the TV and commercial work, but a lot of major corporations with a home base facility here because of the government, so we can get into that side as well,” Frank says. “The majority tends to be television shows, but we also do indie films, a lot of promo work for the networks, and then some commercials.”
Both Frank and Chip chose to grow their careers in the D.C. audio industry after leaving Full Sail, and have nearly 35 years of combined experience between them. Capital marks the first stab at studio ownership for both, which affords them a sense of professional freedom with the projects they take on, but has also been a learning experience as they balance the artistic and business sides of the company.
“When you’re an owner you’re not only thinking about what you have to do every day behind the console, there’s also the emails, phone calls, bookings, networking events, and then dealing with the invoicing,” Frank says. “There’s just a lot more to deal with outside of the work itself, but it’s all necessary if you’re going to run a successful studio. On the whole Chip and I have learned a lot, and we’ve both relied on friends in the industry, and at Full Sail, to help guide us along on our decisions in terms of technology and business.”
Outside of the paperwork, Capital Audio Post is ultimately a creative hub for these two audio pros. Walking in the door they’re in a space they hand built, working in studios designed to their own preferences, with no time limits behind the boards. Nearly a year and a half after opening, Frank still feels fortunate for the opportunity to bring clients into their own facility and continue to develop relationships with local media leaders.
“There was a point a couple months in where Chip and I were sitting in the kitchen and looked at each other and he goes ‘Holy crap, this is real,’” he says. “The way he and I work together we’ve developed this workflow where we can crank through things quick, and I think we offer something unique. There’s still those times where it’s 2 a.m. and I look around and can’t believe this is our place. It’s really cool and rewarding, absolutely.”