CAS Quarterly

Spring 2019

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56 S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y This is the fifth year that the CAS has presented its Student Recognition Award. The award this year went to Anna Wozniewicz from Chapman University. Women have been traditionally underrepresented in the sound business. But the future, it seems, is female. All the finalists this year were women and of the five finalists last year, four were women. This year, IMAX and Aaton Digital co-sponsored the Student Recognition Award and, as a result, the prize went up to $5,000 for the winner and $1,000 for the other finalists. Both the winner and the other finalists also received a valuable collection of software and other gifts. Anna Wozniewicz is passionate about sound and a veritable go-getter. While still in college, she and her friend Helena McGill formed a company to explore the world of immersive sound and virtual reality (VR). Her website is www.noctvrnal. com. I sat down with Anna in her new office and asked her some questions. What brought you into sound and, specifically, sound for film? I went to film school, didn't know what I wanted to do, knew I liked film but didn't know sound was a path. I really liked editing and post-production and through that realized post sound is a field and a career path. Some upperclassmen became my mentors in sound. I got super into it. I was also into music and played drums. Sound is a cool mix of my love of music and the visual side of filmmaking. Student Recognition Award Winner Anna Wozniewicz by Peter Kelsey CAS Did you do any production mixing? I did all throughout college and still do. I freelance and do production mixing for VR shoots. I do love going on set as there's something nice about being surrounded by people in such a collaborative environment. I definitely prefer post but I do enjoy production mixing as well. What does the CAS Award mean to you and what will you do with the money? I am super, super thankful to have gotten it! I am so grateful to the whole of CAS and to those who voted for me. It's a huge honor and a testament to the work I've put in in college. It's nice to have that recognized because it's easy to lose sight of my worth when I'm asking myself: "Am I doing good work?" "Will I have a job?" It was eye-opening to see other people being excited about my work when, while I was doing it, I was just in a bubble and just working. All the money I get, I put back into my company. It's nice to have the extra cash to do passion projects and improve our skills and get better. What prompted you to start your own company at age 20 before you finished college? In 2016, we worked on Chapman's first VR production. It was called The Harvest and was a Halloween horror film. It was a 360 video and the first time, I was introduced to VR. The tools at the time were super clunky and primitive. It was stressful but after it was done, we thought, "This is cool!" Building out sound in a 360 environment was something we had never done before but it was so cool that Helena and I just wanted to keep doing it. From fall 2016 to the beginning of 2017, we talked about it and then thought, "We both think this is the future, we're both really interested in pursuing sound and specifically tech, what's our company?" From there, we worked with other students, went to a ton of networking events in LA and got involved with the VR community early on. That helped lay the foundation for what we are doing now. It was hard doing it in college. It was mostly part-time up until this last September. Tell me more about virtual reality. The fears that VR will replace movies are totally unfounded. It's a supplement. People don't want to stay in headsets for too long. I don't think it's going to replace traditional media. I think it's a great tool for branding and marketing and as a complement to traditional media. Other applications include training and artistic and experimental films. For us, that means mixing in a 360 environment, which is my favorite thing ever. How do you mix that? You have to wear headphones, which I love because you can work in an office like this with other things going on. You can render it live, you can live preview on your desktop. You don't need special headphones. I use just regular headphones. All the rendering is done by the plugins or the headsets once you export it. It seems a lot more complicated than it is. I'm often

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