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Entries in Visual Resume (1)

Monday
Apr302012

Visual Resume For Sound Design??

Recently on twitter @colinhart, the man behind HartFX, threw out the following tweet:

This peaked my interest because I had never heard the term “visual resume” before.  So I googled it and got back a lot of different sites with a lot of different definitions of visual resume.  Some were for paper resumes that conveyed relevant information through charts, and images.  Others were for essentially elaborate powerpoint presentations to get across everything a resume needs to convey ( ex: Slideshare).  Really after spending quite a bit of time researching this topic, I still have no clear idea what the class Mr. Hart was attending was teaching him.

During this google roaming I came across a site that lets you make interesting animated presentations, called prezi.com, and started fooling around with it.  Before long I had made a little video that I thought might make a good intro presentation to put on the “About” page on this website.  So I captured the animation as a quicktime and started the process of doing a soundtrack for the thing. 

First up the video needed music.  I can play a few instruments, but I know my limitations as a composer.  While in college I scored a few student films but I am much happier doing effects editing.  So I reached out to my friend Jim Guthrie, who is a very accomplished musician and composer and asked if I could use a piece of his music for this little video and he graciously gave me permission.  The song is called “Popcorn pt 2” and is on his Children of the Clone album.  If you like it you can find it at Jim’s bandcamp page.  

Once I had edited the song to match the video, I started getting together the VO script.  I called in another favor and got a friend and colleague, Jason Charters, a television producer who also has lots of VO experience to come in and record the script for me.  We had fun getting a little campy in places and in only a few takes I had my VO in the can.

Next up was sound effects editing.  At first I tried some standard whooshes and swishes, but they quickly got annoying with so much visual movement happening throughout the video.  I needed to have sound effects that complimented the music track with out being a distraction to the narrative of the VO.  So I opened up the Stutter Edit plug-in made by Izotope and started playing around with Jim Guthrie’s song routed through the plug-in.  After trying a bunch of different settings I was able to find a few cool effects that twisted the song into cool synth-y whooshes, wind downs, bleeps and blops.  Here is a quick sample of the original song followed by some of the sounds that were made from it with Stutter Edit:

Once I started cutting to the picture with this new library of sounds I had created, they blended perfectly with the music (obviously since they were derived from the song to begin with).  Now I was able to add some audio movement to match up with all the crazy animated movement going on in the pictures.  

Next I did the final mix and added some cliched delay effects to the voice over for some comedy relief. 

Now here is the final version of my little promo video:

 

In the end I still have no idea what a visual resume is actually supposed to be.  I guess this was where my research lead me to and what I have done with the concept.

 

 

UPDATE: Jim Guthrie just won the Canadian Video Game Award for best Video Game Music, on the game Swords & Sworcery, beating out heavy hitters Dues Ex & Assassin's Creed.