Post Magazine

December 2011

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on the economic outlook. People who are in business, if they can't find a way to thrive, they find a way to survive. Otherwise they just go under. But I feel great about the bottom line of the post industry. "For the people who are creative and are functioning in it, it's the best it's ever been. You've got these killer tools these days. It's also so much more integrated on a facility-wide level. That's fantastic. You can have a picture change show up on a server, and you just put it in. I mainly mix television, and it used to be they'd lock a picture and then we'd mix. Now you find shows making changes up to the end, but you can actually pull it off really quick. The mentality is, 'Great, they can Russell Smith, a freelancer who works out of Sony, tackles the TV series Justified, among others. RUSSELL SMITH Re-Recording Mixer/Owner Soundsmith Services Northridge, CA Russell "Rusty" Smith's Soundsmith Services is con- tracted by Sony Pictures Post Production to mix some of their television series. He does most of his mixing on the Sony lot and is fluid on Harrison and Icon systems. His credits include Beverly Hills 90201, Justified, Big Love and The Simpsons. STRENGTHS: "There is no shortage of creative people in the entertainment business, producing content that needs quality audio post work. There's a big enough percentage of quality content, so the audience is still big enough, there is still enough viewers for television and movies to keep the business viable and going. The demand for the post work is supported by a sizable pool of high-quality talent that is providing good work and some fantastic technology." WEAKNESSES: "It's still the age-old problem of low-balling to get work in the door. I see that as affecting not only small facilities but major motion picture studios and sound departments as well. The large studios have an advantage because they can subsidize the post work with other revenue streams, but it's still a weakness for the industry." OPPORTUNITIES: "There's been a lot of growth in high-quality video Web content. I don't work for delivery in that area myself but I can see that as a huge opportunity for growth. I can imagine that's great news for those who do post work for Web content." THREATS: "The threat to the audio post industry is the same for all the other businesses — the meltdown of capitalism essentially. You read daily about the financial woes of Western Europe and the amount of debt both there and here in the United States. You take away a thriving economic environment and replace it with a tattered econo- my and you lose the will to invest in content that would require the post work." OUTLOOK FOR 2012: "I see 2012 starting out well. There is a lot of content in the pipeline right now that will speed the first half of the year well for anyone who is in business. I know I have work lined up for the first six months of the year. The second half depends a lot do that now, so we'll do that now.' Now that the post industry in televi- sion and film is digital, it gives us more flexibility. Everyone asks, 'Can you do this faster?' Well, maybe you are doing it faster but then they're asking you to do more things, so your day isn't any shorter. You are just essentially getting closer to what they have in their head. That's what I think is cool." MARK LAMPERT Audio Director Bethesda Softworks Rockville, MD Bethesda is a videogame publisher and home to developers Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames and ZeniMax Online Studios. Recent titles include The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: The Oblivion. STRENGTHS: "For the game industry and audio post in general, it seems like there continues to be more and more resources — almost to the point of ridiculous — of tools and hardware, and know- how on the Internet to affordably do high-quality audio work if you take the time to learn how to use them. There are more and more free plug-ins or cheap plug-ins. There are lots of DAW options out there, whether it's something as advanced as (Steinberg) Nuendo, or something that's a little more simple. There are all sorts of affordable Bethesda's Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Post • December 2011 43

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