While most audio and video workers find themselves behind the scenes, our two new Video Department hires have center-stage skills. Their respective careers have taken them from coast to coast (and beyond). As seasoned video and sound producers, they are using their experiences to shape outstanding, dynamic pieces for Trilix.

Cole and Phillip go off script to tell us more about their professional and personal lives in this issue of the Trilix Journal.

Cole Bates Norum, senior video producer/editor

From serving up aces on the tennis court to serving drinks at The Lift, our new videographer sets the scene for an exciting work and personal life. His artistic and creative talents are cultivated nearly everywhere he goes — just don’t make him stop in traffic to show you.

Can you tell me a bit about your professional background?

I got my start in video as a rap music video director. I found other work in the arts and with local businesses and nonprofits, eventually doing freelance work in Beirut, Lebanon, and in Puerto Rico. I recently worked as an assistant editor on the feature-length documentary, “Hockeyland.” 

What are your strengths professionally?

My strengths professionally are my creativity and my eagerness to learn from others and to incorporate new techniques into my work. 

What is your favorite aspect of the job?

My favorite aspect of the job is being able to collaborate with my talented colleagues on different aspects of the production timeline. 

Tell us about your life outside of work! Any family?

Outside of work, I like to golf and play tennis. I enjoy writing and leading a book club with my high school buddies. You may see me working the occasional weekend bartending shift at The Lift. I recently bought a home with my fiancée, Casie, where we live with our cat, Diggity. 

Favorite film, food, drink and furry friend?

My favorite film is “The Social Network.” My favorite food is pad thai. My favorite drink is the Negroni. My favorite furry friend is Diggity (no doubt).

What would be your superpower and why?

My superpower would be to stop time because I hate traffic.

If you could do any other kind of work, what would it be?

If I could do any other kind of work, it would be to write long-form nonfiction at a magazine like The New Yorker.

Phillip Young, Sound Design/Producer

The soundtrack to Phillip Young’s career has been as dynamic as the list of artists he’s worked with. From producing music to growing vegetables in his dome greenhouse, Phil’s artistic talents resonate in nearly everything he touches.

Can you tell me a bit about your professional background? 

I have been a full-time audio engineer and music producer for the last 12 years, having worked with well over 150 Midwest artists. After I graduated top of my class from the Los Angeles Recording School, I worked at Night Bird Studio in West Hollywood. While there, I worked with artists such as Drake, Lil Wayne, Carrie Underwood, John Oates and Green Day. I returned to Iowa to start my own recording studio and to pursue my own sound and musical endeavors. In 2017, I was awarded a Dedication to Developing the Des Moines Music Industry award by the Des Moines Music Coalition.

What are your strengths professionally?

I have been self-employed for the last 10 years. I pride myself in my task management abilities and attention to detail. Both of those strengths come in handy when working on multiple large projects at one time. I enjoy working with people and building relationships that, through open communication, will help clients to fully realize their creative vision.

What is your favorite aspect of the job?

I love working with sound design because it can undeniably intensify the emotion and feeling of a project when executed properly. Sound design can be like putting on 3D glasses and looking at a picture you didn’t realize was in 3D; it can really bring a piece to life. I get true joy from a client expressing their appreciation and excitement for bringing their idea to life.

Tell us about your life outside of work! Any family? How long have you lived in Iowa?

I grew up in eastern Iowa but left in 2005 and traveled across the country. I eventually settled back down in Des Moines in 2012 and have lived here ever since. This past year, I have spent a lot of time with my partner, Kaley, working on our geodesic dome greenhouse that we built from scratch in our backyard. We do a lot of gardening and built our dome greenhouse for seed germination and to just hang out in. We have been collecting data on temperature and humidity. Over this winter, on sunny days, it has regularly hit 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. We also enjoy traveling, camping and kayaking quite a bit.

What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies or unique talents?

I spend a lot of my free time making music and retro video art. I have played in a lot of bands over the years and enjoy making music with friends. I have had the pleasure of playing the 80/35 Music Festival many times as well as other festivals across the state. In 2021, I received a grant from the Iowa Arts Council for my work creating synchronized visual art for live music. I also enjoy building and modifying analog sound and video equipment. I also run a short-run vinyl record duplication label (VianylRecords.com) where I make handmade lathe-cut vinyl records for local bands.

If there was a song that could serve as an anthem to your life, what would it be and why?

“Dayvan Cowboy” by Boards of Canada would probably fit the bill for my life’s anthem. It’s a slow burn and takes a while to get going, but once it settles in, it’s pretty groovy.

Favorite film, food, drink and furry friend?

I have a lot of favorite films, most of which are campy horror films from the ’70s and ’80s. My favorite food is either any home-cooked meal that dirties every pan and utensil in the kitchen to prepare it or ice cream. I love ice cream. Plus, I start almost every day with a cup of coffee, black as midnight on a moonless night. I live with three cats. They are definitely my favorite furry friends. But I do love all animals, especially alpacas.

What would be your superpower and why?

I work on computers a lot and having the ability to “Ctrl+Z” in real life would be amazing. Forgot to look both ways before pulling out into traffic and got in a fender bender? Ctrl+Z!

If you could do any other kind of work, what would it be?

During my years of making countless records with bands, I regularly thought to myself how cool it would be to do sound design full time. So, this is my dream job. But, if I had to pick something else, it’d be stage design for touring musicians.

What motivates you at work?

I am extremely lucky and privileged to be able to work in my dream profession — sound. I know not everyone gets the opportunity to have their dream job, so I do not take it for granted. I am motivated to give clients a finished product they didn’t realize was possible or maybe never thought of before. I love to show people the possibilities of sound!