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.
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!
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!
Photo by Flickr user Kit, used under Creative Commons License
I love building things. I spent a great deal of my childhood building all kinds of creations out of LEGO and K’NEX (and I still do). Of course, one of my favorite parts of the building process was the necessary destruction of the older things to make the new. Working with sound, especially taking apart the normal, everyday sounds to build new and interesting sounds, has always struck me as an extension of this. Though I’ve gleefully annihilated countless LEGO creations over the years, the scars on my fingers from sharp plastic bricks are there to remind me that while it can be a great deal of fun to destroy all the things, a tiny bit of caution can go a long way.
Following on from last month’s interview with The Chinese Room‘s Director and Composer Jessica Curry I was lucky enough to grab some time to chat with the studio’s Audio Designer Adam Hay.
Designing Sound: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me Adam. So, looking back through your credit list the first games you worked on were at Traveller’s Tales?
Adam Hay: That’s correct, yeah. I started doing music technology at University and when I finished my degree I knew I wanted to get into games. I’ve been a lifelong game enthusiast. The first game that had a big impact on me was Monkey Island 2. I saw that first when I must have been 7 or 8 and I was totally enraptured by the sound and music of that game. I’ve been a bit of an adventure game addict since then. I got into early things like Click and Play and Games Factory so after University it seemed like a natural extension of my two passions, music & sound and games, to try and get into the industry. So I sent my post-University CV of to every games company in the UK and as luck would have it TT were looking for a junior sound designer at the time and I was lucky enough to get in there.