Tag Archives: Behind The Title

Behind the Title: Audiomotion managing director Brian Mitchell

NAME: Brian Mitchell

COMPANY: Oxford, UK-based Audiomotion

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Audiomotion has been around nearly 20 years, providing motion-captured character animation to video games, film, TV and a whole host of other applications.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Managing Director

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
The job consists of many disciplines. All the usual forecasting and planning requirements, working closely with the management team to ensure we maintain the quality of service. I also get involved with the day-to-day running of the studio itself when time allows. I enjoy being part of the team especially on location shoots. We have a wide range of regular clients who are based all over the UK, Europe and beyond. I also like to get out and pay them a visit from time to time to maintain the relationship and make sure we’re aware of any new workflows and of any new opportunities for evolving our collaboration.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I’m not sure if it’s a surprise but as a small company we all get to wear several hats, which means there might be an odd occasion when I can sneak off to the workshop and help build some crazy props. Last time it was a full-size “mocap-friendly” helicopter.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
The thing that gives me the most pleasure is the wide variety of characters, creatives, sports celebrities and actors that we work with. Whilst on screen the workflow appears very similar, the final results are pretty amazing. I have to say that on most occasions no two shoots are the same.

We have worked with the likes of Liam Neeson, Brian Cox and Andy Sirkis. Sport stars such as Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale and Harry Kane, as well as Robbie Williams, Take That and Will.i.am to name a few, and I have to say that every one of them has been a pleasure to work with. We make it our business to ensure every client, actor and crew are supported and looked after from pre-production through the whole process to delivery and beyond if necessary.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
I would say the admin. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good spreadsheet, I’m just not a fan of spending lots of time wading through a flood of emails or coming up with answers to this type thing!

From a shoot perspective, packing up from a horse capture location shoot. There’s a lot to do even though the party is over and you never know what you might step in!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
I think for me it has to be first thing in the morning because I can get in early and get the jump on the day. I achieve far more that way.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I constantly have a list of alternative ventures floating around that occasionally get discussed over a beer with friends. I’m sure I would pick one of these to develop into something. There’s no shortage of ideas and opportunity, just a lack of time.

Liam Neeson, on set.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I had no idea until the opportunity presented itself some time back. I had shared the running of the company with one Mr. Michael Morris since 2003. Now I’m flying solo.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
A Monster Calls, which opened in the US in October, 2016, was a great production to be a part of. We had Liam Neeson in the studio for two weeks and he was great to work with. There’s a real buzz when everything is in full swing: streaming realtime characters on screen and having the director, JA Bayona, exploring the virtual world with the virtual camera.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Our in-house tracking software is very cool, my damn phone is a love-hate relationship, although I’d be lost without it, and the Bluetooth in the car makes life easy.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
The “usual suspects” — LinkedIn, Twitter and a little bit of Facebook

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
The tunes get cranked up during studio set-ups and location shoots, and my dancin’ trousers get pulled on for an after party. Other than that, I resort to an audio book in the car, which has become commonplace.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I enjoy a spot of golf now and again, and heading off to the coast as much as possible. I play FIFA with my 11-year-old son who beats me every time! I’m quite fond of a charity run followed by a charity beer. Happy days.

Behind the Title: audio post pro Stephen Harrison

NAME: Stephen Harrison (@theaudiosuite)

COMPANY: Phoenix-based  The Audio Suite — Creative Sound Services

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service digital audio post facility. We provide sound editorial, design, recording and mixing services to film, television and video production companies, trailer houses and more.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Owner/Sound Editor/Designer/Mixer/Juggler

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Just about everything. Mainly I oversee the daily operations and engineer most of the sessions myself.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Aside from handling all the non-engineering related duties involved with running a business, probably the amount of detail that goes into every aspect of the different services required on any given project.

Mark Skalny Photography

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
The endless learning and creative stretching. Hearing all the pieces of the sonic puzzle come together in the end. Capturing the client’s vision.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Accounting and sales.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
In the studio…. it’s whenever I’m sitting behind the board and can smell the coffee brewing. Otherwise, it’s when I’m home with my family.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’ve often thought about that, but I really don’t know. Probably something outside that involved lots of traveling. Yeah, that sounds good.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?
I think it chose me actually. As a kid I loved music and wanted to know how to make records. So I answered the call and never looked back. After 18 years in music production, I jumped tracks into audio post and here we are keeping the dream alive.

3 Mark Skalny Photography

YOU ARE AN INDUSTRY VETERAN. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE INDUSTRY CHANGE OVER THE YEARS?
Outside of the technological advancements, which have just been stunning, it’s the way these tools have enabled the creative process and workflow to surpass all previous limitations.

As well, you can now collaborate with virtually anyone, anywhere around the world, which is quite amazing. It’s also afforded many others to jump into the arena to design, produce, mix and compete directly for work that was usually reserved for established companies and seasoned technicians. This might be the biggest change and we all know the mixed results it’s had over the last 10 years or so.

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Marketing and sales are now necessary again. Production companies, networks and agencies have more options than ever when contracting services. They also want more for less. In-house finishing operations have become the norm. So it’s been a tough ride for many in our industry lately, something I certainly haven’t been immune to. So if you want to stay current, vital & in the game, I think adapting to market trends and diversifying is the only way to go. Of course, endless passion, determination and perseverance certainly helps.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Power’s War – a feature length documentary. We provided sound editorial, design and mixing services.
– Hewlett Packard – corporate marketing campaigns. We provided sound design and mixing.
– Lego, Marvel, Netflix, WB – TV spots and trailers.
Sharknado 3 – film for SyFy. ADR recording with Frankie Muniz.

Sharknado 3

Sharknado 3

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
It’s hard to name just one. Other than some of the music projects I worked on long ago, I’d have to say the variety of indie films and docs I’ve done over the last nine years. I generally provided all editorial, design and mixing services, which was very challenging, but rewarding as well.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Pro Tools rig, iZotope RX4 and my laptop.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Get outdoors and not look at screens! A cold beer never hurts either.

Behind the Title: Roger’s Dane Macbeth

NAME: Dane Macbeth

COMPANY: LA-based Roger (@RogerTVLA)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Roger is a multimedia company that brings a unique and creative vision to a wide landscape of projects. We offer design, animation, original content, branding ID, live-action and post services.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Creative Director

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
The best part of being a creative director at Roger is the wide range of work that entails. For every project that comes through our doors, we aim to give a unique and personal feel, from concept through delivery. As a creative director, I am in charge of all creative decisions from pre- through post. Depending on the size and scope of the project, my specific role can change drastically.

On smaller projects, I may do the design and storyboards myself alongside other artists. On larger projects, I will oversee a large design team and make creative decisions along the way. It also depends on how many projects I am overseeing at one time. I can be overseeing up to 15 or more projects at once, which makes it virtually impossible to make any time to get behind the box. The job also requires a lot of time on sets working as a live-action director. It’s the constant blend of working with different mediums and wearing multiple hats that makes the creative direction position so appealing to me.

The set for

The set for the KPMG project.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I think because the word creative is in the job title itself an outsider may think it’s only creative decisions that are made. While making creative decisions makes up the bulk of my position, there is a lot of management that comes along with the title. Putting together teams of artists that are the perfect fit for an individual project can go a long way. Working with producers to oversee schedules, calendars and budgets also plays a major role in my position.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
My favorite part of my job is getting a new project in. I love starting from little to nothing and thinking about all the amazing possible directions that it can be taken. Writing treatments is the best way to show off and sell an idea, and I love the creative and competitive edge it brings out.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
My least favorite part of my job is making creative sacrifices. It’s very rare that a project comes along and your total and complete vision comes to be. At the end of the day, as a creative director, it’s your aim to create something interesting, compelling and unique that pleases both your internal team and the client. Often, a great concept and idea can be watered down through the process. Over time, you learn to pick and choose your battles — what is worth sacrificing versus what you feel is important to fight for. On the flip side, I’ve been surprised by what seemed like a sacrifice at first that turned out to make a project better in the long run.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite time of day — creative breakthroughs and inspiration can come at any point in time from anywhere. When I solve or help solve a problem with a creative solution, that’s my favorite time of day.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I have several other areas of interest that I could see myself doing professionally if I were not in this position. I am an avid scuba diver and could see myself travelling the world as a dive master and underwater photographer. I also love creating original comedic content and writing.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I tend to think that I didn’t choose this position it chose me. I always knew I would be working in some form of a creative position, I just didn’t know what field. Growing up, I was always creating something. From drawing, writing, filming, and playing sports, I was always looking from one creative outlet to another.

I was very drawn to the video game industry at a young age. I surprised myself when I pivoted more towards production as I began my professional career. Working in the game industry you can work on one project for years. If you’re not in love with the creative direction of that project, it can become very tiresome very fast. I was drawn to the fast-paced and diverse work that goes along with motion-graphics and production. It was a great fit and a decision I am very happy I made.

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Stills from FYI’s What the Fung?!

WHAT ARE SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
My most recent delivery was a television commercial for a financial firm KPMG. The work came through the agency JWT. It was KPMG’s first television commercial and a fun and exciting project from start to finish. We’ve done several projects for Disney, which includes Disney Junior, Disney XD and Disney. We recently worked on the marketing campaign for the launch of “Miles from Tomorrowland” on Disney Junior. This was a fun project that had us filming scientists and astronauts. I was also CD on promos for the show What the Fung?! on FYI  network.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
I had a lot of fun on a recent project that came in from TBS. It was completely open with no direction from the client. We had very little time to execute but always want to create compelling content. The only restriction was to use the new TBS logo. Our idea was to 3D print the new logo and stuff it with explosives, confetti and paint. We used a Phantom camera to capture the explosion and were very happy with the results.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
That’s a tough question, as I often ask myself if I have an unhealthy addiction to tech. From when I first wake up to when I go to bed, I’m interacting with tech on all levels. If I had to name three it would have to be my phone, laptop and camera.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I’m an avid user of Instagram and Facebook. I never got into the Twitter craze. I also use LinkedIn on a regular basis when looking for new talent.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Depending on my workload and what type of project I’m working on, listening to music while working can be very difficult. We always have music playing in the background at work, which is a must for me. I spend a lot of day talking to clients and artists, so it’s hard to completely zone out with headphones and music.

Later in the day and when working from home, I will put on some headphones and music to help inspire creativity. I have a very wide range and eclectic taste of music. I pretty much listen to everything. I enjoy working to a wide range of music and often find myself shuffling through genres to find inspiration.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I love playing sports. I think it’s my greatest stress relief. I can fully focus on the sport I’m playing and not think about any stress that work may have. Basketball, football and scuba diving truly take me away from the real world and its stress.

Meet The Artist: Meetal Gokul

Behind the Title….

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Dark rooms, polorized glasses and making 3D visions a reality

NAME: Meetal Gokul

COMPANY: Park Road Post Production (www.parkroadpost.co.nz) in Wellington, New Zealand

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY:

Park Road Post Production is a post production facility located five minutes from Stone Street Studios. Park Road was established as a one-stop shop and offers all post services for a feature from digital rushes, stereoscopic alignment, digital intermediate, Foley, ADR and sound mixing through to the final completion of all film and digital deliverables for distribution. Continue reading