Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We're looking for a few good designers...

TWO in fact!

It's January, which means that soon it will be LATE January, which means that soon Prof. Mike Hooker and I will start looking for two exceptional sound designers to join us at UCI for their graduate studies.  That could be you!

Are you ready for graduate school in sound design?  Well, go ahead and check us out at our official home on the web. We've got a dandy site there with information about faculty, staff, student, curriculum, and facilities.  If you've got any questions, you can always email Prof Hooker or I for more details.  We're both happy to answer any questions.

Choosing a graduate program is not easy. When choosing the right program for you, you'll need to consider curriculum, faculty, student colleagues, facilities, geography, design opportunities, and cost! Everyone considers these issues differently, and how they weight these factors can dramatically affect their choice of graduate programs. Prof Hooker and I are both happy to answer any questions you may have about our program here at UCI.  We want you to make the best decision for you!

One common concern that I often encounter when talking with potential design students is cost. There is a common belief that grad school is expensive. It can be, but at UCI, we have a generous financial package. It's too early to talk details, but if you are concerned about paying for graduate school, email me, and I'll be happy to explain things in more detail.

If you are interested in UCI's Sound Design MFA program, then there are two avenues available to you for an interview:

  • On 31 January, Prof Hooker will be at the URTA interviews in Chicago.  If you're going, he'd love to meet with you.
  • If you are not registered with URTA, then you can apply directly to UCI through this link.

Prof Hooker and I are both very proud of the Sound Design program we have built at UCI. It's among the best in the country, and our students are all talented in many different ways.  But two will be graduating this spring, and we're going to be looking for two more to take their place.  That could be YOU!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Final Project: Film clips!

In last term's Trends in Modern Sound Design class, the MFA Sound Design students tackled a huge project.  I paired them off and gave each group two two-minute video clips. Their assignment was to completely replace the audio.  They had to conceptualize (I asked them to be true to the original movie, and not, for example, replace footsteps with bell rings).  They had to write or pull new music. They had to record/pull and edit sound effects. They had to cast, manage, and direct voice talent. They had to pull all of their elements into a ProTools session, keeping things organized and flexible for edits.  They had to bring all of these elements into alignment, blending them into one aural image.

I tried to give each pair of students two contrasting videos.  One was more sound effect-y, and one was more dialogue-y.

I was fairly blown away by the results. There's some exquisite work here, and in some places, I think the students' final projects were better than the source audio.  But, why don't you be the judge?

Thanks also to all of the vocal talent that ended up in these projects, including some MFA Acting students. The cast for all six included: Mark Caspary, Matt Glenn, Matt Eckstein, Leslie Lank, Matt Koenig, Blake Morris, Josh Odess-Rubin, and Jade Payton.

(I should be clear here that since these projects were done in a university setting and for academic credit, I did not secure rights to any of the video or music content. If you are a rightsholder for any of the content here and want me to remove it, please email me and I will gladly do so.)