Meet Jill Purdy, the Woman Who’s Been Making Canada Sound Good for Over Two Decades
As a prominent Supervising Sound and Dialogue Editor in the film and television industries of both Canada and the United States, Jill Purdy has an extraordinary record of achievements and awards spanning over two decades. After graduating from both Queen’s University and Sheridan College and initiating her career via a successful internship with Sound Dogs Toronto, Jill gained a distinguished reputation quickly and has continued to thrive at the top of her field.
My first job ever was… delivering the local newspaper, ‘The Oshawa Times’, in my neighbourhood when I was nine years old. Working consistently from that age – throughout high school, my post-secondary education and beyond – ingrained in me a very strong and driving work ethic.
I would tell my 20-year-old self that… aging is beautiful, to takes risks, to make my voice heard and to be aware that self-assurance and confidence increase with age.
Being a woman in the film industry is… extremely rewarding for me. Being a mentor to young women, encouraging women to pursue careers in such a male-dominated industry and supporting and championing women’s voices and work on an international playing field is important, inspiring and exciting.
My proudest accomplishment is… having a successful and recognized career that I love and am passionate about and having the respect of both my family and my colleagues.
My boldest move to date was… jumping into my career with little knowledge of the technology of sound. Although my film knowledge, both technically and theoretically, was extensive, I was nervous to delve into the sound world, but knew any skills attained would only further and benefit my overall awareness. I am extremely grateful I made this leap!
I surprise people when I tell them… that I am a goofy geek at heart and a lover of comic books, superheroes and horror.
I balance work and life by… dedicating time each day to myself, no matter how little, and planning last-minute vacation time whenever I can get it. ‘Work hard, play hard’ is one of my favourite expressions and one I wholeheartedly embrace. Also, as a lover of film and television, I am an active participant in my industry even when I am not working! I am able to view shows objectively and for the pure enjoyment of them, which I do often.
My biggest passion is… my career; having an impact on the enjoyment of others through the projects I work on and the potential of having a global platform for the distribution of media, however small or large a message.
“If you are passionate and skilled, your perseverance and hard work will likely be rewarded.”
My best advice to young people starting out in film is… to not be discouraged by rejection, a seeming lack of opportunity or the freelance nature of the business. Take initiative, create opportunities for yourself, be persistent and gain as much knowledge as possible through interning, volunteering and asking questions. This industry is an unconventional one; quite often, timing is everything when someone is needed. The ebb and flow of production in the city dictates the number of personnel needed at any given time. If you are passionate and skilled, your perseverance and hard work will likely be rewarded.
Engaging young women in non-traditional industries is… extremely important. The encouragement and mentorship of young women is essential for the fostering and continued growth of the voices of women, both individually and collectively. As the expertise of women in non-traditional fields reaches an expansive audience via growth in numbers and effectiveness, future generations of women will benefit.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I’m an extroverted introvert with a wicked sense of humour.
I stay inspired by… new possibilities that present themselves daily, both personally and professionally. With every day, the possibility of suddenly travelling internationally for work, which I love, or of working with directors and actors I’ve admired since childhood is a reality. On a personal level, I am inspired by the appreciation of life experiences, both on my own and with family and friends.
The future excites me because… of items I have yet to check off of my bucket list: creating an industry collective of and for women; developing, producing and directing my own projects; partnering with brilliant minds on ideas still in formation, travelling and growth.
Jill Purdy pictured with Fred Brennan, Stephen Barden, J.R. Fountain. Photo courtesy of Sean Bourdeau.