Post Magazine

December 2014

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Page 29 of 51 28 POST DECEMBER 2014 his year has been a mixed bag for the audio post industry, with budgets continuing to be critically low for services and, according to Michael Novitch, chief engineer at Technicolor Sound Services, a seemingly "loss of value in what sound brings to a project." On the bright side, 2014 has also seen technology costs come down as the quality of the audio tools continues to improve. There's been a high demand for immersive sound, with the growing potential of bringing the experience to home audiences. Another highlight is the growing demand for digital content, from Web series and ads to mo- bile games, which increases the demand for quality sound. Audio post pros from across the industry, in television, commercials, fi lms, and games, share their 2014 experiences, and give us an outlook for 2015. MICHAEL NOVITCH Chief Engineer Technicolor Sound Services Los Angeles The award-winning mixers, sound design- ers, and editors at Technicolor Sound in Los Angeles have been busy over the past year working on summer blockbusters like Trans- formers: Age of Extinction, the Oscar-con- tender Fury, and most recently the antic- ipated release Fifty Shades of Grey. Chief engineer Michael Novitch is the mastermind behind Technicolor Sound's twin Dolby Atmos stages in Los Angeles. The beauti- fully-matched stages are not just twins in terms of gear — the acoustic qualities of the dub stages are practically identical. STRENGTHS: "A strength has been the explosion of immersive sound in the post production fi eld, specifi cally Dolby Atmos." WEAKNESSES: "I feel a weakness has been the loss of value in what sound brings to a project. Nobody really wants to pay for a good sound job. That's defi nitely an issue." OPPORTUNITIES: "An opportunity is using immersive sound capabilities in more markets [expanding beyond theat- rical releases]." THREATS: "People aren't budgeting for audio, and they don't want to pay for the audio to get done. It's been a polarizing year in that low budgets have gotten lower, and while there are still fi lms with large budgets, we've lost the whole middle market of decent sound jobs. Now we're stuck with extremely-low budgets that aren't sustainable in a business model. People don't understand the value of a good sound job and what that brings to post production." OUTLOOK FOR 2015: "I think we're going to see more of the immersive sound being developed for both theatrical and broad- cast projects. Right now we're seeing a big push for immersive sound for broad- cast. I assume that will expand to tablets and other devices. I see immersive sound as being the new kid on the block. There's a lot of movement in that direction. It's the biggest change in audio in quite a while. There's been lots of development in immersive sound headphones, and sound bars. Dolby is a forerunner; they have a really great system. But, there are many other companies working on the diff er- ent aspects of bringing immersive sound to home environments. The best expe- rience is always going to be in a good theater, but they want to expand on that so audiences can experience immersive sound in multiple places. Streaming sites will probably be the fi rst to off er immer- sive sound because broadcast has limited bandwidth; there's only so much data you can send in a broadcast signal. So, Netfl ix, Amazon Prime, and all the companies doing streaming right now are very interested in immersive sound because they can stream a show right now, today, for audiences to listen to at home on an immersive sound system if they have one at home. " HOWARD BOWLER President/CEO HOBO Audio New York, NY New York City's HOBO is an award-win- ning audio post production company pro- viding mixing and sound design services for fi lm, television, advertising, Internet and digital content. Their clients include Coca-Cola, P&G, Verizon, Sesame Street, many television production companies, and independent fi lmmakers. NEW OPPORTUNITIES ARISE IN 2014 STUDIOS IDENTIFY TRENDS IN WEB SERIES AND GREATER DEMAND FOR DIGITAL CONTENT OUTLOOK AUDIO O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK T BY JENNIFER WALDEN People don't understand THE VALUE OF A GOOD SOUND JOB and what that brings to post production."

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