A Couple of Updates

Men Can’t Make Beds

Over the past week or so I’ve been exchanging messages with David Jones regarding what is left to be done with Men Can’t Make Beds. This lead to a Skype session the other day whereby we further discussed these details. It turns out that there isn’t a great deal left to do as far as the sound design is concerned. A couple of the scenes have been altered so, obviously, the sound has to be edited to correspond with these changes.

It has also been decided that both myself and David have been over-thinking the use of sound in the film, in that we both were thinking that with it being a live-action film all the sounds have to be diegetic and realistic. At the same time, we were trying to create a more cartoony feel to the film and thus subtly adding more cartoony sounds. We have now come to realize that the original idea for this film was to create something of a live-action cartoon and, with this in mind, we agreed that there should be a lot more freedom in terms of how sounds are used. So I am now in the privileged position to go back through the film and be even more experimental – these are exciting times!

It may turn out that only a few things get added and kept, but (as I’m sure other sound designers would agree) its definitely a good position to be in. Besides these sonic tweaks, we are just waiting on the original music to be completed, and the illustrations for the final credit sequence. Once all these are in the bag we will be able to move to the final mix and actually getting it out to you beautiful people.

Contamination Europe

The big news for Contamination Europe is that there will soon be an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money toward actually hiring some programmers to work with the current team, so as to increase productivity. The team is still working on a few things before creating a demo video that should be used with the campaign, and an official website is being developed – the IndieGoGo campaign should be live once the website has been completed and put online. Obviously, I will be keeping you updated as to when that will be, and I do hope people will help with whatever they can afford so as to help get this game off the ground, and to further show your support for the team.


Happy New Year 2012

A very happy New Year to everyone! After a refreshing break for the holidays it is time to return to the fun and adventures of sound creation and manipulation. For my first entry at the start of a new year, I thought I would take a moment to give updates on my current projects and talk a little about some upcoming ones.

Men Can’t Make Beds:
This project is currently racing closer and closer to it’s completion. A rough sound mix has been achieved, although there are still one or two elements that are being worked on with regards to my sound design – these being to add more depth and to give a few options of how the sound could be used in particular moments. Once the film is finished I plan to post an article going into further detail about how sounds were created and used.
The major announcement for this project is that it now has an official trailer with a mention of a release date! This was uploaded yesterday and features music composed by Christopher Blake. You can watch this trailer below, or you can head over to the official page where you can also read more details about the film.

Hollow Village:
With this being a student project, within two weeks of filming being completed a video edit and rough sound mix was completed so as it could be handed in by the students. Despite it originating from an assignment from their university, it is hoped that more work will be carried out on the pilot episode (particularly in it’s sound design) with the possibility of presenting it to TV networks. A timescale has not been discussed as of yet and the further work has yet to have started, but once there is any further news on it’s development I will be sure to mention it here.
Director, Ian Vaughan-Jones, has created a teaser trailer for this project as it currently stands – this can be viewed below:

Betrayal’s Wings:
This is a PC/Mac-based game currently in development by Sausage Pie Entertainment, and I have recently been welcomed on-board to create sound effects. I am not at liberty to give out many details about this game at the moment, although I will be sure to give updates about it’s progress. What I will say is this is something that I am very excited to get my teeth into.

In other news, the Killing Time project is still in post-production, with the work being carried out by Ray Bird. No release date has been announced as of yet, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Over the past month there has been some other work I’ve been doing – one being film-based, the other for a game. Sadly, I am unable to give out any information about either until they have been released but, again, as soon as I am able to I will give full details.

A Quick Update

Hello there! Just thought I’d give a quick update about what I have been up to since my last (and first) post…

Men Can’t Make Beds is still ongoing. Another day of shooting took place on the 29th October for pick-up shots, which means the final cut of the film is currently being put together (including VFX). While the visual side of it has been progressing, I have been keeping busy fleshing out the sound design – this has mostly meant recording foley, which has included flicking an elastic band at the shock mount holding the microphone, being found in my kitchen amongst my equipment with the microphone aiming at a cupboard door, and recording the sound of screaming while gagged (OK, this is ADR not foley) – see the pic below:

Hollow Village is at the tail end of shooting – in fact, November 15th it was it’s 11th day of filming. Most of the footage has been captured, with possibly only one or two more days left. I have been working for most of the days as the location recordist with help from Derek Smith (the writer of the project) and Andrew Campbell, both of whom has assisted on days when I have been in attendance and taken over when I have not.
Most of the days have used rather standard techniques with a boom microphone and radio microphones – the only acception (so far) being on the evening/night of November 9th, when a place for the boom couldn’t be found for recording/filming interior car scenes and the solutions included using the one radio microphone at hand at that time on one character, placing a handheld Zoom recorder on the dashboard, and (later) taping the radio microphone to the ceiling of one of the cars.
This project should enter post-production next week, while some video editing is already taking place.

When I have time I plan on doing a post (or a few posts) to discuss some of what I have done in terms of foley recording and creating sound effects. Both projects mentioned above are currently full-steam ahead and there is a chance that there is more on it’s way, but that is for another time.

Let’s Make Some Noise…

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be involved and enveloped in sound, although it was always music. As a child I would spend most evenings with my mother and listening to her vinyls. As time past I further expanded what I listened to through my brother and my friends, then began playing guitar and attempting to write songs.

After high school I decided to take a course in sound engineering, believing it would simply be useful knowledge to have to record my songs and my band (at the time being with some of my very good friends in Hereford). It was only a matter of weeks into the year-long course at the Herefordshire College of Technology that I started falling in love with the process of recording music and the history, technologies and techniques behind it. So it was then decided that if I couldn’t be a full-time musician, maybe I could try to be a full-time studio engineer or producer

The desire for furthering my knowledge lead me to doing an undergraduate degree in Derby – while there I got the opportunity to try my hand at mixing sound for live gigs. From there I went on to the Masters course that I am currently finishing at Edinburgh Napier University. During this course I got my first hands-on experience of working on the sound for films…and I fell in love yet further with sound.

My first out-of-class (but still part of an assignment) experience was to do location recording, ADR/foley recording, and dialogue editing for an student film, written and directed by Ralph Smith, called Arrears (sharing all roles with, fellow student and friend, Neil Steven). In September, I also worked as the boom-operator for the final 2 days of shooting of another student short film called Killing Time (written and directed by Fiona Johnston). A few months ago I got involved with (my old band-mate from Hereford) David Jones and co. at Wind-up World Films to work as sound designer (and location recordist for one day) on their latest short film: Men Can’t Make Beds. At the same time as teaming up with Wind-up World Films, I was taken on to create sounds for, new mobile-phone game development company, 4th Wall Games‘s first game: Droggon Attack – this is now available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

From all this, I now have a huge desire to do more sound for film work. Men Can’t Make Beds is currently in post-production, so I am busy working away on that. I have also recently been brought on-board for another student project, an original TV show pilot episode, called Hollow Village (written by Derek Smith, and directed by Ian Vaughan Jones) – this is currently in pre-production and will begin shooting in less than 2 weeks. Also, after my experience with 4th Wall Games, I would love to do more with creating sounds for games…and I would still like to be involved in music.

With this blog I plan to keep a record of the work I am doing with sound – whatever aspect of it that might be. We shall see. Here’s to entering new territories once again…