AUS220 Week 1: Post-production
To say I was over the moon to find out my group and I would be studying post-production for our first intensive would be a massive understatement. It would also so be seriously amiss if I didn't take a moment to say how lucky I am to have landed in a group with the students I have. Elysha, Joel, Sam, Christelle, Jack, and Pat are all artists I admire, respect and look up to. I am honoured to be sharing this part of the journey together. But back to the point in...
I've always been fascinated with the art of creating audio for film. As someone who is happily obsessed with sound and sound quality, I've always been amazed at just how much effort, attention and skill goes into creating the worlds in these moving pictures. Not only the undeniable importance of the score, without which almost all character and story arch would be completely lost on most audience members, but also the intricate details of footsteps, clothes rustling and pencil writing, etc. For me, even just the process of concentrating my attention on these elements is like meditation. I adore the precision. I adore the specificity. I adore it all. But for all my adoration, I, until very recently, was practically fully unaware of how any of it comes to be. As you can see in the blog posts below, I got my first taste of the process during the AUD210 Jingles assessment, which was where my true love for post-production started to blossom. Using Foley and sound effects sourced from various sites online and music that I composed and performed myself, I recreated the sound for a film trailer and two television advertising shorts. To see this work, click here. I really enjoyed creating this work, but it was simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of my interest. So, as I said, I was wrapped to find out I would be getting another shot at it straight off the bat this year. To top it off, not only did I land a great topic to study with an awesome group of artists, I then met the man who would be leading us through this intensive, and in a phrase, what a bloody legend!
Tristan quickly drew us all in with his passion and energy, and got us all on board with his clear love and respect for the work he does, and does well. Like other lectures at SAE, it makes a big difference to be taught by someone who has hands-on experience in the field, and as a working post-production artist, it's a box that he definitely ticks.
After a while of getting to know each other and talking about the craft, we quickly dived into selected our footage for the intensive. We were asked to choose a short clip or trailer from a film or television show and to recreate all audio for it. Unlike my previous assessment, this time we have to create all the sound from scratch, as opposed to sourcing pre-recorded materials online. This is a really great thing for us because it exposes us to the maximum amount of angles of the job. We get to experience first hand the process of creating sound for film, from the early spotting sessions to the dialogue replacement (or ADR) and Foley and effects creation to mixing and editing the final project. But first, we had to choose the visuals, and we picked an absolute winner.
This clip is so perfect as far as I'm concerned for many reasons, first of which is that it is one of my childhood favourites. I used to love this show, and especially this character, so I was secretly hoping as we scrolled through the options that the group would land on this one. Aside from that though, it is also incredibly diverse in terms of what is needed sound wise. Being an animation, the bounds of reality can, and certainly have been stretched, meaning this clip contains a massive amount of random and varied actions. There is, amongst many other things, a flying man, a plane crash, a TNT explosion, a car accident, and of course, a toaster. It means that over the next few weeks we will most definitely have our work cut out for us, but what a great way to get the most out of the opportunity, and to make this intensive truly... intensive.
Once we had a clip, it was time for a spotting session. We got to use the D-Command for this, which was great because none of us had ever used it before. We didn't get to wrap our heads around too much yet, but it was good to get a start. We all sat around studying our clip, noting down everything we heard. I recorded down all the dialogue, while the others looked after music and everything else. Once we had all of that marked down, we jumped straight into recording the dialogue. I've actually done quite a bit of work as a voice artist through my career as an actor, but it was great to see the process from the other side. Not to mention the fact that, although I jumped in to record the voice of Powdered Toastman, it was awesome and fun to see the other guys getting in the booth to do some characters too. We had a lot of laughs doing the voice-over work, and we managed to get some great results. What we didn't get done on day one, we all met up for an out of class recording session in the Tascam studio a couple of days later to finish off the vocals. This was so we could make sure that we hit the ground running in our next class with Tristan.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what we create together, and I have no doubt it will be high-quality work that we are all very proud of. Watch this space!
What genres or styles of music are most unfamiliar to me, and what production techniques could be learned from investigating these styles?
Like post-production, I also got my first taste of electronic music last trimester with Nick Wilson's class. This is by far the genre I most unfamiliar with, and it is one that I am now really keen to get my head around. The production techniques I'm thinking will be the biggest help will be Ableton Live and synthesis. These are both things I am fairly unfamiliar with so far, but I have bought the DAW and am actively trying to learn as much as I can about the history and current statis of the world of sythesis, so here's hoping.