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Georgian Entrepreneurs Beso Kacharava: Building a Career around a Love for Sound


Picture of Beso from Postred's website https://postredaudio.com/about

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how perfect the moment is, you’ve just got to start doing things now. I never had the perfect moment, but I started to do things when I was thirteen, and have been every day since.”

These are sound designer and entrepreneur Beso Kacharava’s words of advice to those who want to succeed. Beso is the founder of the Tbilisi-based sound-production company Postred, which he started in 2015 with the help of a few of his close friends and people. Since that time, the company has flourished and some of Postred’s current clients now include: Netflix, A24, HBO, Sony, Paramount Pictures, Tencent and others. This is an amazing amount of success in just nine years, and it raises the question: What was Beso’s journey like and what did he have to do in order to get to where he is today?


EARLY INSPIRATIONS


From an early age Beso was passionate about following his interests, and childhood

relationships and influential family members have played a huge role in forming his current

identity. A music-lover since childhood, Beso was always fascinated by sound and one of his

main influences in this regard was his mother: “My mother would often recommend new bands for me to listen to and helped form my interest in music, instruments, and audio.” But Beso’s curiosity wasn’t limited only to the artistic consideration of sound. His uncle was an engineer, often fixing computers and TVs, which allowed Beso to discover his love for and skill at working with technology as well. Beso was also exposed to the filmmaking process at a relatively young age as a number of his childhood friends also took an early interest in this field. These included: Lasha Tskvitinidze, director of the 2014 film “I’m Beso” (about a different “Beso”), Nodar Nozadze, film producer, and composer Rezo Kiknadze. In Beso’s formative years, he would often hang out with these fellow artists, spending time watching movies together and collaborating on various creative projects: “For example, when someone would be shooting a student film, I would join in as a sound designer. It was a whole friend group who really appreciated movies, and I was very lucky to have been part of this cinephile circle of friends.” Knowing these people, spending time with them, working with them and getting close to them

furthered Beso’s passion for film and sound.


PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE IS ESSENTIAL


Despite knowing relatively early on that he harbored strong interests in music, film, and

technology, Beso’s career in sound-design did not take off immediately. He initially started out following a more traditional, academic route, but an uninspiring stint doing European Studies and Philosophy at Ilia State University in Tbilisi convinced Beso that he should follow his true passion of film and sound. He then applied to the Shota Rustaveli Theater and Georgia State Film University (TAFU), but didn’t get accepted, after which he quickly questioned the methodology being used to teach there. Beso emphasizes that mastering the craft of filmmaking in general and post-production in particular is not a theoretical undertaking and the best way to learn is by studying with experienced mentors, who have worked in the field. “You need someone who has actually done it, who has been involved in the political, technical, and creative sides of producing and filmmaking,” Beso says. This was the main area in which Beso found the local, Georgian film school options to be lacking: “The people who were teaching at TAFU were promoting things they weren’t necessarily very practiced in. If they did possess any valuable information, they wouldn’t make it easily accessible and in a way would ‘gatekeep’ it,” Beso says of his experience. Whether this approach stemmed from a fear of others being better or something entirely different, it was absurd to Beso. “In this day and age there are so many resources and opportunities, if a person truly wants to learn something, they will, regardless of

how many refuse to openly share the knowledge,” he says. Beso believes that in order to

accomplish something you have to make it happen. You have to love your work and have

passion for what you do if you want to be the best at it. If you’re in it for the money, or some

alternative motives, you will never be the best.


THE PATH LEADS ABROAD


Unhappy in Tbilisi, Beso sent applications to various film schools abroad to complete his

training. He was accepted by many, but in the end chose to attend the Vancouver Film School in Canada, a program which emphasizes learning filmmaking’s technical elements, such as editing visual effects, creating and designing sound, and video game development. This is where Beso learned the value of a hands-on approach: “All of the professors were either active or veteran professionals who had had years of experience in their respective fields. I think that's what matters most in positions regarding film production: having real-life experience,” Beso explains. Finally, after successfully completing film school, Beso returned to Tbilisi to set up his own sound studio, the project which became Postred.


TEAMWORK, FRIENDS AND A SENSE OF PROFESSIONALISM


While Beso Kacharava is Postred’s founder, he emphasizes that he didn’t do this all alone. Tina Babakishvili and Zviad Mgebry played huge roles in helping Beso establish his company, and are actively involved with it to this day, as managing partner and creative lead. Postred started out as a minor sound-design company, with a small team. They worked on Georgian films, local projects, and sometimes even with ad companies (though this didn’t last very long). However, it wasn’t always easy and in its early years Postred struggled to establish itself.

As more members joined the team and more people were trained as professionals, everything was kicked into motion. Establishing a solid, international reputation is not easy and it takes a lot of focus and attention to detail to gain the trust of large Hollywood companies when offering to provide creative services: “If they don't trust that you will do your work with the highest quality, they won’t work with you,” Beso says. That’s why when Postred first started to sign contracts with such companies, it took them many meetings and lots of talking to convince their potential clients of their legitimacy. Besides being able to provide the best services, it is crucial that these companies have a guarantee that their intellectual property – film, show, or game content – will be safe and not be leaked. That’s why USAID has helped Postred gain the Trusted Partner Network Certificate, allowing them to strengthen their IT infrastructure and work with large companies. Now it is safe to say that Postred has established itself as a trusted audio service provider.


AN EVER-CHANGING INDUSTRY


Currently, Postred is extremely busy and is constantly fielding new offers from film and

production companies worldwide. Beso’s most recent projects have been the Netflix TV series “Griselda" and director Michael Mann’s latest feature film "Ferrari". These are the two projects that Beso takes the most pride in at the moment, especially since “Ferrari” was honored by both the Cinema Audio Society and the Motion Picture Sound Editors for its achievement in sound. However, Beso says that he doesn’t really have a favorite project as his most fulfilling work is always bound to change the more he and Postred work on different projects. After all, the film industry is a fast-moving world, where a lot can change in a quick time-span. At least this is what Beso’s experience has been. He always has to be in shape and on his feet in order to keep up with the complicated business of film: “I thought that the more projects I would take on, the easier everything would get, but almost every creative project is unique, no matter how serious or big. So it doesn't get easier as you become a bigger deal, you just need to manage it better. I understand that even though it all sounds like a lot of fun, it can be very stressful, and you have to be prepared to work under pressure. You're going to be pressured by how fast the industry is moving and how fast things are changing – by how proactive you have to be just to

keep up with everything.”


BUSINESS-MINDED ARTIST OR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR?


One of Beso’s greatest fears is regret. That’s why, if there’s something he really wants to do, no matter how impossible it may sound, he always gives it a try: “I've seen people being too careful and too afraid to take risks or try new things, because they were afraid of the opinions of others- too afraid to lose followers for example. But I don’t understand, why would you care about a group of people that don’t even matter to you, that aren’t going anywhere? Why would you bring yourself down to their level, when you can be much higher, do much better.” Beso’s plans for the future are yet to be known. While he knows that he will definitely only continue to move forward, exactly what this entails remains vague. As of now, Beso is both an artist and an entrepreneur, and he hopes to keep it that way: “I see myself doing more art and business. I will leave it at that. I love doing both, I love being an entrepreneur AND a designer. Maybe in the future I will do one more than the other, but now I will leave it 50/50.”


Edited By: Anthony Schierman

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