After hundreds of hours, 5 or 6 all-nighters, hundreds of gigabytes of audio files, voiceover sessions, guerilla foley tactics, and agonizing session trying to debug Logic Pro—my first 5.1 surround mix has been completed. Camp Chapel , starring Joey Richter and Kris Reilly, has been shipped off to the Traverse City Film Festival where it will play in a retro-fitted opera house in front of a large crowd from the indy film industry. I'm nervous but thrilled just the same. True surround sound is a rarity for any independent film, yet alone a student-produced picture, but I saw the opportunity and gunned for it and I believe it was the right decision.
Half a century ago, Alan Blumlein pioneered the idea of stereo—music and sound consisting of two independent tracks of audio intended for the left and right ears. The concept was employed simplistically and tentatively, used more as a tool than an opportunity. But slowly, music producers and sound engineers(e.g., Bruce Swedien and Quincy Jones, engineer and producer for Michael Jackson) began to appreciate and apply the power of the stereo image as a creative means to design a unique, more spacially-engaging sound. I believe that surround sound has reached that point, and in choosing to mix Camp Chapel in 5.1 I had the opportunity to toy around with the unique spacial options at my disposal. The low price and commonality of 5.1 home audio systems means that more people than ever have the ability to experience film in "3D" without the need for glasses (and music as well—see my post on iTunes Music in 5.1).
Camp Chapel will be pressed to DVD and potentially Blue Ray? I will make it known what happens, but for now I am proud of the work that the entire cast/crew has done to produce a film that I believe solidly holds it's ground as a short version of a compelling romantic comedy.
To conclude, I want to leave you with the pure reason that I want to be a sound designer for LIFE, in the context of Inception :
I would die (or retire) happy with just one opportunity to work on material like THAT. Go see Inception , you shall not regret it.