Category: sounddesign

Editors are storytellers – A tribute to Taylor Hawkins

Editors are storytellers.

Post production editors, mixers, motion/graphic artists, animators, composers, cinematographers, directors, and other creative technicians often work in secluded rooms using creative vision as a compass. It’s not for everyone, but for some, it’s the only thing they could ever envision doing.

Please excuse the sharing of someone else’s work, but when I saw this tribute piece for Taylor Hawkins I was floored. I don’t know who produced and edited it, but we rarely do, do we? It hits all the right notes and deftly combines the emotional impact of losing such an inspirational figure with the artistry of this production to generate a visceral reaction. The rhythm, the shot choices, the length of each shot, the song, the timing, all of it comes together to say what words never could. It tells a story succinctly, passionately, honorably and completely.

Music is what got me into this business and it’s what prevents me from ever leaving. I have to be close to it. It’s the same for many of us. As a vo artist/audio post mixer (and drummer) navigating a career path through the intersections of creativity and commerce, it hasn’t always been an easy business to be in. But I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

RIP, Taylor Hawkins. Thanks for the music and the joy. And thanks to the lifers in this crazywacky business who remain unsung, which is most of us. And we’re fine with that. #postproduction

Video Game Promo for “Hidden Deep” – Jay Smack VO

This is a recent promo trailer I voiced for the video game “Hidden Deep”.  Video games and the media associated with them are a massive industry and a huge part of the voiceover and post-production world.  It’s always a blast to work on a new project with game developers.  Their imagination and vision is incredible.  When you first receive a script for a part, whether it’s a trailer like this, or a part for a character, you don’t always have the benefit of a treatment, a video or even an illustration.  It’s up to you to interpret their vision and bring it to life while enabling it to match what will eventually be a (virtually) living, breathing character with a backstory.  It never gets old and it’s always a challenge.

Another interesting aspect, as an aside, is the audio, music and sound design.   As a post production mixer and musician, I hear elements of Ableton Live in the production.  If you work on Ableton you’ll hear some of the sounds and instruments.

Hidden Deep website

Steam online gaming platform

XBox Game Trailer – Jay Smack VO

I love doing gaming vo – characters, trailers, Kickstarter campaigns, ALL of it. As a voice actor you get to stretch out and inhabit a fantastic domain. You’re very aware of the community, the creativity, the producers, designers, writers, composers, coders – it’s an amazing world and one of the most important and fastest-growing genres of voiceover.

I voiced this trailer for an Amazon Video apocalypse flick called “The Last” a while ago.  So it’s, you know, FUN!  Just recently heard back from the client that it was finally greenlighted.  Such is Hollywood, or Atlanta, or wherever they’re making movies these days.  Which is just about everywhere as production companies and studios seek out higher incentives and lower taxes.

Production Tip – Renaming Regions In Pro Tools (VIDEO)

Today’s production tip is for renaming regions in Pro Tools using keyboard shortcuts and what to do if at first the shortcut doesn’t respond.  There’s always a reason for little things like this.  I recently set up a new computer and all my settings were wiped out, and I’m still finding little gremlins in my workflow.  Been there?  Thought so.

Werner Herzog’s Review of Trader Joe’s

This horrifying dystopian scene is Werner Herzog’s retelling of his experience at Trader Joe’s market which was actually written by Paul F. Tomkins in a satirical review intended to reflect Herzog’s less-than-cheery persona.  Click here for an article on Tomkins and the review and Herzog’s reaction upon finding out about it. It’s not for the faint of heart or those with a fear of crowds, confined spaces or humanity in general. Werner wrote the review.  I did the voice, sound design and ambient music.  The performance is not an impression of Herzog, but was inspired by the fake review.

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