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December 2017

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Page 29 of 43 28 POST DECEMBER 2017 OUTLOOK AUDIO O I t's an exciting time for audio. VR headsets and Dolby Atmos home setups are bringing immersive sound experiences into everyday routines — like crashing on the couch and streaming Baby Driver in UHD (with Dolby Atmos) on VUDU or getting in some trigger-time with the Supermassive Games horror title Until Dawn: Rush of Blood on PlayStation 4's PSVR headset. The growing prevalence of immersive sound formats is causing content creators, audiences/players and tech innovators to think more about what we hear and how we hear it. That's opened the door for new microphones, new sound file formats, new DAW capabilities, new processing tools and the list goes on. But that's just a small slice of the audio industry. There are opportunities for change and growth across the board. Here, leading audio post pros weigh-in on what's been happening in their com- munities over the past year, and where they see their industries headed next year. Post talks with supervising sound editor Mark Mangini about film sound, supervising sound editor Mark Lanza about sound for TV series, sound super- visor Tim Gedemer about sound for VR and audio engineer/mixer Ron DiCesare about audio for advertising. TIM GEDEMER Source Sound is a leading provider of audio services in the VR/AR industry. The studio handles VR audio for everything from live broadcasts to location audio services for cinematic VR projects, plus audio post for VR, including the creation of spatial audio design and mixing for linear and game engine- based virtual reality experiences. Its work includes the scripted VR series Invisible, created by Doug Liman (director of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow), several VR concert experiences from artists like Paul McCartney and Jack White, and an interactive VR experience called NASA: Mars 2030, created by NASA, Fusion and MIT. STRENGTHS: "On the linear side, it seems to be slow going. We did a 35 to 40 minute film-based series called Invisible ( visible) last year and as of right now, I don't see anything else like it out there in terms of ambition and/or scripted episodic content that is narrative and similar to a TV show. There are plen- ty of reality-based monoscopic 360 projects happening because they don't require hefty budgets. But there isn't much in the way of episodic scripted VR content. That seems to be eluding the industry and I think it's because no one has figured out how to make money from it yet. So I would say that it's almost like the pause button has been hit on the linear side. There's a lot of content being created but it's mostly short form. Mostly, we're still stuck in the five to 15 minute range for linear experiences. That's what I've seen a lot of last year. However, I have heard of several more ambitious scripted VR projects in the works, so this is encour- aging; we're not seeing much feature film length scripted content yet. "On the interactive side, that area is growing rapidly. There are large companies/corporations we're working with in this space. For example, we just finished work on Pixar's Coco VR ex- perience. Pixar is an example of a large corporation that is dipping its toe in the water with VR, trying to find a way for it to integrate with its traditional ani- mation studio work. We're working with other corporations in the same fashion on the interactive side, so we see that as an overall positive sign for the indus- try. They see the value in jumping into IMMERSIVE SOUND HELPS DRIVE NEW OPPORTUNITIES AUDIO PROS WEIGH-IN ON NEW PROSPECTS AND GROWTH FOR 2018 BY JENNIFER WALDEN Invisible

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