Jeff Payne, founder of Santa Monica-based audio post house Eleven, announced two new promotions and two new hires. Payne’s long-time assistant mixer Ben Freer has been promoted to mixer and now calls Studio B his home suite. Assistant mixer AJ Murillo has also been promoted to mixer and is working on his own commercial, TV, film and music video projects, as well as working directly with Payne on all his clients’ projects.
Additionally, Benjamin Tomastik has been hired from his intern position to staff assistant mixer. Eleven has also hired Melissa Elston as client relations and facility coordinator.
“I remember so clearly my first break in this industry given to me at POP Sound by Alan Kozlowski, a real visionary in our business,” said Payne. “Our business is so competitive now. It’s difficult for anyone to get that first break. I am thrilled that after years of working with me, Ben has now moved into the position of mixer. Over the past seven years, Ben has really earned this chance. He is a true asset and a fine mixer. I can’t wait to see where his mixing career takes him. And I would say the same for AJ. His work ethic is second to none and his potential is limitless.”
“[Tomastik] and Melissa are each unique young talents with a great deal to offer and very bright futures,” Payne added. “I’m excited to give them the opportunity to take that next step in each of their careers under the Eleven roof. As a business owner, it’s very rewarding to both be able to expand and give young talents their break simultaneously.”
Freer originally comes from Manchester, England, but grew up in San Diego. After earning his BA in film, TV and radio production from Cal State Monterey, he returned to England to earn his engineering certificate from The School of Sound Recording. After his internship at Eleven, Ben joined the staff in 2007 in client services and quickly moved up to assistant mixer. He has handled sound design and mixing for major ad campaigns and clients including Dodge, Chrysler, Geico, Jordan Brand and Vogue. He has also worked on music videos and various documentaries.
While attending San Francisco State studying audio engineering with a focus in music, Murillo switched his focus from music to post and began an internship at One Union Recording in San Francisco. After graduating in 2008, he moved to L.A., and joined Eleven as an intern. After six months he was hired as an assistant mixer.
The company recently finished a major renovation, adding two new mixing suites as well as two new voice-over recording booths.