photo courtesy of Chad DeRosa Photography
Guest Contribution by James Bretz
The documentary Out of Nothing is my first feature, and the first feature for our entire P-51 Pictures team. It’s more than just a story about motorcycles. It’s a human story. It follows four men who follow their passions and dreams, and it tells one of many stories that are a part of a larger community of individuals and teams involved in motorcycle land speed racing.
When looking over the footage that Director Chad DeRosa had shot over the course of two years, one word came to mind. Scope. It was Chad’s and Producer Andrew Lahmann’s goal that the film should look and feel large. We wanted Out of Nothing to be experienced as more of an action/drama narrative than an informative style of documentary
The folks over at Pro Sound Effects have put together a video interview with Ryan Billia of Rumble Audio. This is the first in what will be a series of “Sound Design Spotlight” videos on the Pro Sound Effects blog. Keep an eye on their feed for future videos.
Pro Sound Effects are making available 100 copies of their newly Soundminer-enhanced Hybrid Library for USD 1500, until 31 December 2014. Two expansion libraries are also available at USD 500 each, and are designed to provide users with a free upgrade path as library content gets refreshed over time.
As an extra sweetener, Pro Sound Effects are bundling different versions of the asset management software Soundminer, at a reduced price:
- Soundminer HD (Win/Mac) USD 129
- Soundminer HD Plus (Win/Mac) USD 279
- Soundminer v4.5pro (Win/Mac) USD 599
These prices are only available when buying the Hybrid Library at the same time.
This Hybrid Library offer is available to qualifying freelance sound designers and media content creators.
Watch the trailer here.
Apply to qualify
SoundWorks Collection speaks with Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer Richard King about the sound teams extensive work on Director Christopher Nolan’s immersive sci-fi film Interstellar.
Designing Sound: Would you mind giving our readers a little bit about your background and how long you’ve been working in audio post?
James LeBrecht: I’m the owner of Berkeley Sound Artists, and we’re located in the Saul Zaentz Media Center in Berkeley. We’re kind of a small company. I think the term “boutique shop” would sound little bit pretentious, but we’re kind of the right size to feel personally involved in projects. We primarily focus in sound design and mixing, and our prime emphasis is in documentaries. I started the company in 1996, thinking that maybe we’d be doing a lot of multimedia work, CD-ROMS, etc.…and we did do some of that. We did some work for a now defunct educational software company called Theatrix. But very early on Patti Tauscher, who worked with me for many years, she came to me and said, “I met this guy. He’s got a documentary, and I think we should do the sound on it.” So we wound up doing this film for Steven Olsen, and it immediately became apparent to me that…here’s a niche that people weren’t really focusing on. A lot of houses do documentary work as “fill-in” work. Some people are really kind of dedicated to it, but that’s our prime focus. Plus, being in what is known as the Fantasy building…
The School of Sound has announced part of the lineup for the 2015 edition of the International Symposium. A unique series of masterclasses exploring the art of sound in film, the arts and media. We explore what sound does, how audiences listen.
Wednesday – Saturday
8-11 April 2015
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Choreographer SIOBHAN DAVIES in conversation with composer/performer MATTEO FARGION
Opera and theatre director PETER SELLARS
Sound artist and Foley specialist NICOLAS BECKER
Artist, filmmaker and writer JOHN AKOMFRAH
Installation artist IMOGEN STIDWORTHY
Radio producer PIERS PLOWRIGHT
Performance artist DICKIE BEAU
Sound/music composer GERHARD ECKEL
Filmmaker and composer NADIM MISHLAWI
Sound designer RANA EID
Interactive games sound designers MARTIN STIG ANDERSEN, JOANNA ORLAND with composer, audio director and consultant JOHN BROOMHALL
and yoiker ÁNDE SOMBY …
with more participants to be announced in the coming weeks.
Photo courtesy of Seth Emmons
Guest Contribution by Lawrence Everson
The relationship that documentary cinema has with truth, realism and subjectivity has long been a lively debate. Likely since its origins as a medium (do a quick Google search about Nanook of the North‘s impact and also its staged shots, for example). Documentary sound design is an often overlooked aspect of the craft that inhabits a particularly interesting and sometimes invisible corner of the debate. In narrative films, sound design largely fabricates fictional environments, but in documentary cinema we as sound editors, designers, and mixers are often tasked with designing a reality for, well, reality, as it were. But whose reality? And what even IS documentary reality in the end? Where is that line drawn between immersive world-building that makes a film come alive, versus blatant misdirection and manipulation of the audience? Is it possible that the realities we build can ultimately be more real than the reality of the moment a scene was shot? (And is recording documentary sound on a commonly mono shotgun mic plus lav even a particularly accurate way of capturing reality?) Is the emotion of a scene more true than the literal fact of a scene?
This is not specifically sound focused, but I thought this would be a relevant post considering so many within our community are freelancers. The Freelancers Union just recently came onto my radar. It is an advocacy group here within the U.S. to support all of those people who don’t have a staff job. In my mind, the most interesting thing about this organization is that they are organizing group health and retirement plans. If you’re a freelancer, this really is something you should check out. Membership is free; the only fees you can incur come with signing up for any of the benefits packages. They even have this handy tool to help you identify what benefit packages are available in your area. If fit one of these descriptions (and I’m quoting here), “freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temps, part-timers, contingent employees and the self-employed,” I encourage you to check this out to see if it fills any of your needs.
Since we’re in the middle of our documentary month, I though it would be worthwhile to point out the latest episode of the Tonebenders Podcast. It’s about a month old now, but if you should really give it a listen if you haven’t already. In it, Timohty Muirhead interviews Mark Levinson, director of the recent documentary Particle Fever. Did you know that Mark has also worked extensively as an ADR supervisor? You should probably listen to it now…good thing I’ve embedded it below. ;)
If you create independent sound effects libraries and would like us to consider your recently-released library for inclusion in a future roundup, use the SFX Independence Submission Form to tell us all about it.
Tovusound – India Ambience / CityBeeps Cologne
Tovusound have made available two ambience packs that will transport you to the heart of Europe and South Asia.
The India Ambience sample library contains the sounds of big cities, nature, people and vehicles. Featuring 178 sounds recorded in 96 kHZ / 24-bit ORTF Stereo, India Ambience should prove a welcome addition to sound editors, sound designers and audio producers needing to fill in backgrounds or transitions with sounds from the region.