Hey there, here’s a list of resources I referenced in a session hosted by IUPUI SIGGRAPH, along with a few others. Email me at my name at gmail anytime. Add me on LinkedIn. Follow me on Twitter. Don’t skip class, you’ll be mad at yourself when you have to pay your student loans back.
So you’re graduating into a pandemic and a recessed economy. Hoo boy. As a Spring 2009 media program graduate, I have a feeling what’s going through your head right now and yeah, it’s not great is it? I’m sorry about this timing. It sucks.
When I graduated in 2009, the economy was tanking. We could see it coming like some kind of slow-moving train wreck throughout our senior year. The housing bubble burst and media jobs as we knew them were evaporating, with job descriptions being completely re-written. Postings that would have been appropriate for entry level were being targeted and filled by mid-career professionals – for entry level pay, so we were all equally screwed. To top it off, the H1N1 pandemic was lurking in the background. We were lucky though. It never came close to the impact COVID-19 is having, but we weren’t allowed to shake hands on stage at graduation. (I remember the brief conversation around if commencement would even happen, but it was just rumors. To live through the end of my senior year in COVID is not imaginable to me.)
I’m not going to begin to draw direct comparisons to say I had it just as badly as you did. I think you’ve got the worse deal now by far. After four years, you can’t even celebrate your achievements with so much as a brunch with friends. Many of you had your senior projects derailed completely. I watched a number of student capstone presentations virtually which was really cool but also weird. We’re all stuck inside, watching the country argue over something as simple as wearing a mask. The entire film and television industry is shut down. Nobody has any real idea of when things will be safe enough to resume work, and nobody believes things will ever truly go back to what they were before the pandemic began. You’re entering the workforce when the majority of that workforce has more questions than answers for you.
You can watch our session on bringing 4K and HDR to anime on NAB Show Express for free if you log in. This was originally going to be presented as part of the Creative Masters Series at NAB in Las Vegas, but since it was canceled it all shifted online. Haruka used Adobe Character Animator to create and utilize an anime character to serve as her avatar, and I edited in her slides and some movement to keep things interesting.
Earlier this year as we were in the finishing stages on the 4K HDR anime short Sol Levante, we made some decisions about how to handle the music and sound that I felt should be documented. With such a compressed timeline and short turn around, the only way to make it happen was if I produced it myself. So I put that hat back on, hired some camera operators, and story produced this short behind the scenes piece (edited by my stunning BFF Katie Toomey).
It’s a great look at what Dolby Atmos can bring to a story and illustrates a lot of abstract concepts about immersive sound mixing and music.
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Kelley Slagle began her career in entertainment as an actor, so it’s not surprising the communal storytelling of Dungeons and Dragons caught her eye. Originally self-described as “gamer adjacent”, Kelley first become deeply involved with the concept of table-top gaming through directing and editing the feature film Of Dice and Men, a story about using gaming to tell people what you really need to say to them.
Director Penny Lane’s documentary Hail Satan? opens with a sequence of events from a small scale rally: a few people gathered on the steps of a Florida government building, a handful of protesters and media, and a man with horns creating fire from thin air as he thanks Governor Rick Scott for signing a bill into law that would allow prayer in public schools – ”if you open the door for God, you open the door for Satan!” Even the title card – Hail Satan…? – is questioning if any of this is, like, for real. That sets the tone for a wild ride that follows, which traces the massive growth of The Satanic Temple worldwide, from minor pranks to nationwide news and bullet-proof vests.
And no, it’s really not at all what you think it is.
Death row drama Clemency debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival (winning the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize) and explores themes of the prison industrial complex through the eyes of warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) as the emotional weight of state executions begins to take its toll on her. Directed by Chinonye Chukwu, the film has created a renewed conversation around capital punishment, and editor Phyllis Housen worked alongside Chukwu to bring impact and realism to the story.
New York-based editor Phyllis Housen first fell in love with movies at a young age and had that love reinforced by a high school teacher who taught film history instead of English class. Her first love to spring from this experience was toward writing about film theory, which naturally evolved into editing, including both chapters of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga, among many others.
“I was an English Lit major and a drummer,, and I think those two things – storytelling and rhythm – came together and made me an editor.”
I talked to Phyllis on the challenges of working with difficult material contrasted with the joy of collaborating with someone who loved going to work.