AUS220 - Blog 3 - Post

This AUS220 series belongs to an assessment from college.


  • How are the skills that you are learning in you specific intensive transferable into other areas of audio/music production? 

As much as I dislike group work, I recognise its importance: to prepare students to real-life collaborations, where our interpersonal skills are key to the success of a project and even a job. That said, I've been working really hard on improving my shyness in order to be as helpful and open as possible to my teammates. Doing that in the current post production scenario is quite hard as we're all making decisions as to what sounds could fit and how could they be processed to enhance the picture. The challenge here is really the 'language' inequality; whereas music is my teammates' way of commutating, film is mine. The situation is going to be exactly the same when we switch to the music intensive. 

In the first couple of weeks I was very apprehensive to give opinions, try things out with them and look silly. I was also going through a hard time and my mood was all the way down. However, last weekend I seized the good weather to go out for a long walk, swim and do some yoga, and the outcome definitely made this week much better than I was expecting it to be. I've been waking up at 5:30 filled with energy and optimism. On Monday and Tuesday we had two great sessions where everyone contributed with excellent ideas to the overall outcome of the project. 

I believe that having a positive attitude and being open to suggestions are the key skills that will make the next two intensives work out well. 

  • How is your soundtrack compared to the original and what changes could you make? 

The original soundtrack is meticulously well designed. In many ways, the sound design has a musical tone and it builds up from being calm and gentle to intensive and dreadful. Being limited to using (mostly) our own recordings, we are being challenged into being as creative as possible with what's at our disposal. 

We've decided to go with an abstract sound design, where hit points would be interpreted as a metaphor instead of the actual sounds. The way I see it, going with such approach is likely one of the best way to get into the world of sound design as it forces you to think outside of the box.

I don't regret any decisions that we've made so far. We're not trying to re-do the original soundtrack exactly as it is, but rather create our own 'voice' on top of it.

AUS220 - Bonus Blog 1 - On Writing

I've always loved writing, and writing in English is a particular challenge as it's my second language. When I was a kid, my mum enrolled me in an American school, which I attended from kindergarten to 4th grade. That experience gave me a solid base in grammar, literature and the spoken language. A while after I stepped away from studying English everyday, I began to lose my fluency and didn't practice my writing skills until high school, when I started to think about studying abroad. 

My first exchange program was to Cambridge, England, and there I realised that I needed to recuperate my fluency if I were to, one day, live overseas and pursue a better life. I chose Cambridge due to Harry Potter--I grew up watching the movies and it was my dream to visit England. This is a story that I would tell in around 10 pages, so I'll leave as it is and move on to the main point.


designsound.jpg

What I truly want to talk about in this blog, are my contributions to DesigningSound.org. Designing Sound is one of the most respected and recognised websites on sound design in the industry, run entirely by volunteers, and getting on board was definitely the achievement I'm most proud of. In 2015 they put out a call for new volunteers. I was fresh out of Vancouver Film School and had practically no experience, but I gave a shot anyway and sent them an email explaining the reason why I wanted to contribute, which is to write to people around the same level as I am and help them succeed in the industry as well. A few weeks later I received an email asking for an interview, and as soon as I finished reading the email I shouted: YEEEES!!!!!!

That was THE most scary interview I have ever faced. Why? First, it was via Skype. Second, it was in English. I hate speaking in English over the phone, partially because sometimes I don't understand anything. Anyways, the interview was great, and a few more weeks passed until I received another email, and that's when I got accepted to write for the site, with one condition: I'd have to contribute twice as a guest and once I was ready to submit the third, I'd gain a login to the site and officially become a member of the team. Since I've got impending academics, I'm contributing as a correspondent, which allows me to contribute in my own time, at my own pace. 

The responsibility of writing for Designing Sound is huge; I'm writing alongside people I've come to admire over the last year, as well as to the entire sound design community. I've gotta make sure that everything is grammatically correct and that the article is clear, cohesive and professional.

My first two guest contributions are comprised of a tutorial on workflow and organisation, and an interview with my friend and former boss, Marcelo Goedert. You can access both of them below:

http://designingsound.org/2016/07/strategies-to-improve-your-workflow/

http://designingsound.org/2016/08/from-audio-to-executive-producer-an-interview-with-marcelo-goedert/

My first contribution as a correspondent was a review of the Zoom H2n portable recorder, which you can find here:

http://designingsound.org/2017/06/zoom-h2n-review-a-portable-storyteller/

And, most recently, I've published a reflection on the way I perceive competition as part of a series called Sunday Sound Thought:

http://designingsound.org/2017/10/sunday-sound-thought-89-upside-down/


As you can see, writing is a big part of my life nowadays, and its significance will dramatically increase within the next year. My next article is prone to be a big one, and definitely the most challenging one so far. 

The opportunity of contributing to a well-regarded website has given me plenty of confidence in my abilities, as well as provided me with the ability to think critically about my career and the community. 

 

AUS220 - Blog 2 - Post

This AUS220 series belong to an assessment from college.


How do you feel about all of the different projects that you have to manage between now and the end of the trimester? 

Well, since last trimester I've been working on several aspects of my life in order to improve my productivity at work and at college. What's good of starting the trimester with the post production intensive is because it's such a natural part of me already, that it doesn't feel like more work I have to do. The end of the intensive is getting closer, and I'm feeling relaxed about it. Therefore, I'm provided with enough time to organise myself and work towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

The music and live intensives will be the hardest one as they're entirely outside of my comfort zone, which is great. Over the last year at SAE I had to step out of my comfort zone more than I probably have in 25 years. Last trimester I was more concerned with scoring an HD rather than adapting my learning experience into a HD. I'm still keeping an eye on it, but I want to live the experience, be challenged and absorb as much as I can rather than to strive just for a high mark. 

In terms of the podcast, I think the team has started well. Speaking for me, one of my biggest difficulties in life has always been working in groups. I do love to collaborate across departments. What I don't like is doing research and preparing a presentation together. I don't know if that's something I necessarily need to improve or if it simply part of who I am--I've been trying to since my childhood and it never worked out well for me. 

Nevertheless, by acknowledging this weakness of mine, I've decided to focus my energy on improving my team work skills rather than focusing solely on the project, and I'm feeling positive about the challenges I'll be facing within the weeks to come.


(Post) Respond to the statement “Sound is bigger than music” 

There are two ways to answer this question. 1. If you wan't to go literal, one contradicts the other. 2. It depends on your point of view regarding a specific piece. Let me explain.

1. People say that music is organised sound.. so if we were to inverse that logic, music would be unorganised sound. Therefore the statement is essentially saying that sound is bigger than sound. Enough with abstract philosophy, let's move on to the second one.

2. I recently watched this video about the forgettable music of the Marvel cinematic universe (it's quite lengthy but worth watching):

I guess that in Marvel's case, we could say that sound is bigger than music. I vaguely remember the Avengers' theme, and the only soundtrack I can hum with confidence is that of the new Spider-Man movie as its iconic music is used in the story, and the guitar is quite catchy as well.

From a technical point of view, it would be accurate to assume that sound is bigger than music; in sound, you have the dialogue, foley, sound effects, background (or atmosphere depending on where you're from), and on top of all this maybe even sound design playing practically all the time. While dialogue and foley must be synchronised with picture, music doesn't have such requirement--it comes and goes whenever it pleases. However, from an artistic point of view, I think one complements the other to emphasise emotions. One of my favourite scenes--one that illustrates perfectly the aforementioned sentence--is from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Pay attention at how the sound design transitions to a moment of practically nothing but music and dialogue to give us hope, and then comes back at full intensity, as to remind us that we're still at war. 

And here's the opposite. Notice how the music persuades Sméagol into craving the ring for him self, and as soon as he attempts to steal it from Deagol, the sound design takes over emphasising the ring's frenetic power and mind control, so to speak.

...and that concludes my response to the statement 'sound is bigger than music'.