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Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 | 1 comment

News: The History of Animation Sound

Jimmy MacDonald holding the roll of bamboo that  was used to create one of the sound layers for the devastating forest fire in Bambi.

Jimmy MacDonald holding the roll of bamboo that was used to create one of the sound layers for the devastating forest fire in Bambi.

It has been said that during times of national economic hardship, people look to entertainment for relief. Taking that with a grain of salt, Walt Disney couldn’t have revealed Mickey Mouse at a better time. Though on the verge of the Great Depression, and with the film industry making its swift yet awkward transition into synchronized sound, Walt Disney Studios released Steamboat Willie in 1928, securing animation on the cutting edge as a medium capable of expressive sound effects and coinciding scores.

In her blog post, Kate Finan of Boom Box Post, explains how the Big Three – Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. – developed their signature sounds for a form of entertainment as undeveloped as its film stock. Through compatible relationships and mentorship, these legendary sound teams were able to transform the initial utterances of animation sound into a dialect where KOs naturally produce a flock of warblers and pointy objects always make a nice sharp “poing!”


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Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 | 4 comments

The Business of Foley

For the last 6 months or so I’ve been an avid reader of Stephen Follow’s blog. I stumbled across it when I was looking for some ideas for a class I was teaching and I’ve been hooked ever since. Amongst other things Stephen writes about the business of making films and offers a tantalising glimpse into the murky world of budgets and film finance.

Beyond some of the more eye-opening content on there (Iron Man 3’s 3,310 strong crew for one) I was drawn to a few sound related stats e.g. the average size of sound departments and also the proportion of a £1 million film budget which is allocated for sound (£16,882 in this particular case). Clearly there’s nothing like a good stat to confuse the issue and a figure like this presented on its own means very little but it did get me thinking about the economies of film sound and for this month, the specifics of the business of Foley.

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 | 1 comment

News: The Sound of Killer Instinct, Season 2

In a recent video, some members of the Killer Instinct sound team, including Zachary Quarles, Adam Isgreen, Mick Gordon, Chase Ashbaker, and Jeff Dombkowski, discuss some of the unique approaches and techniques they used in creating the sounds for some of the new characters featured in the second season of the game, including how they created fire effects, scarab attacks, and raptor vocals.

And if that’s not enough enticement, you also get to hear Mick Gordon throat-sing!

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Posted by on May 28, 2015 | 0 comments

Actors of Sound, A Foley Art Documentary, now on Kickstarter

As many of our readers know, sound design is frequently overlooked when people start talking in-depth about media production. It’s no surprise, then, that we here at Designing Sound get pretty excited when we find out someone is taking a closer look at an element of the craft. In that spirit, we wanted to bring your attention to a Kickstarter for Actors of Sound: A Foley Art Documentary. This film by director Lalo Molina and his team (listed on the KS page) seeks to bring attention to the human and performance elements of foley, as well as the fantastic artists who do it, but they need your help to produce the movie. Head over to the KS page and check it out, but do it soon; at the time of posting, there’s only 16 days left!


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