Post Magazine

December 2014

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Page 30 of 51 29 POST DECEMBER 2014 STRENGTHS: "An obvious strength is that the economy is no longer in a free-fall. It's been picking up a bit so you see it industry wide, in advertising and other creative fi elds. Another positive trend is the growing number of devices that people consume media on. That's good for com- panies like ours because we're now mixing not just for broadcast and the Internet but also for tablets, smart phones, and laptops. So there are a lot of markets we are cover- ing that didn't exist before. "'Quality rules' has always been true and it's ultimately what people prefer when given the choice. If you have a dedicated and creative staff , they will come up with solutions that work for the client and there's always been tremendous value in that." WEAKNESSES: "There's downward pressure on pricing. Maintaining a budget that pays for the quality we deliver can be tricky. In addition, the low cost of entry into the fi eld has fl ooded the market with dis- counted options that may look attractive to content producers but those options don't factor in which companies might provide the best work for the project. This can make it tough to be profi table. And, of course, poor quality is what you risk getting with a low price." OPPORTUNITIES: "Multiple platforms create new sources of revenue. The Inter- net itself presents great opportunities. For example, the online ad we mixed recently, Hello Flo scored over 28 million views for what was basically a two-minute spot. That's tremendous reach. Its success has scored us a campaign with the company Zipcar. I would also add that the creative potential for the Internet means agen- cies can take more risks that can result in groundbreaking work. "It's instructive to remember too that every obstacle is actually an opportuni- ty in disguise. Using an earlier example, the low cost of audio gear allows easy entry into this fi eld, but if you look at that only as a negative, you'll have trouble surviving. Increased competition has the potential to elevate our game. Any company that recognizes that and takes action to improve should do well." THREATS: "One of the biggest threats to our industry is the consumer who may not care how the audio sounds. People listen to music on some of the poorest formats imaginable and they are okay with it (per- haps partly because they didn't pay for it). A lot of audio for spots that stream on the Internet is poorly compressed and the au- dio suff ers. They sound weak. In addition, a lot of cable shows are mixed by editors simply because they don't have the bud- get for proper audio post. But cinematic sound is a joy to behold and that's where the salvation is. The audio is as important as the video. If you don't believe it, just try watching a movie without sound and see how enjoyable it is. "Another threat is downward pressure, on creative companies like HOBO, to do more with less. They need a price all in, or they want revisions or to work after hours but don't have the money to cover the cost. That means it's vital to build strong client relationships so that the company you work with sees you not merely as a service provider, but as a creative partner in the process. "An ongoing factor is that larger agen- cies tend to want to keep their audio post work in-house and that presents some interesting puzzles for us as well." OUTLOOK FOR 2015: "I view what we do very much like a sport, so if someone told you they were going to be playing in a winning season, I wouldn't trust that information because they don't know. Many factors are not in our control. The only thing that any of us can say about 2015 is it will show up January 1st and that working hard brings results. So our goal is to become stronger at what we do cre- atively, technically, and to bring it on with exceptional client services. "We have a very loyal client base and our company will continue to serve them as well as look for new opportunities to grow, so I'm looking forward to 2015. I see the day-to-day challenges that any business faces, and the unexpected turns that happen. But we've been in the indus- try long enough to be prepared for the unexpected, so I continue to see strong potential as we move into 2015. There's also more competition to produce better content for the consumer and that's good for everybody in this industry." BRIAN PAMINTUAN Director of Audio Monolith Kirkland, WA AAA-game developer Monolith doesn't play around. Since 1994, they've creat- ed serious gamer favorites like Shogo, No One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R., and Condemned. Their latest release, Mid- dle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has not only garnered high praise from a notori- ously hard-to-please gamer community, it's also a nominee for Game of the Year at the Game Awards 2014 in Las Vegas. Monolith has also been nominated for Developer of the Year. OUTLOOK AUDIO O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK The only thing that any of us can say about 2015 is it will show up January 1st and that WORKING HARD BRINGS RESULTS."

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