A Filmmaker’s Dream

Benny walks you through the basics .

With today’s movie-watching audience becoming more and more savvy with a keen sense what they like, they would just as easily hang your hide out to dry in the blogosphere as they would praise you.

This presents an ever-changing challenge for the filmmaker to continually be one step ahead, and above scrutiny. This is why you dropped in to see if sound improvement for film is something you should look into.

Since filmmaking is truly a collaborative effort, every one of the moving parts are important to the totality of the end product, and no director or producer can
single-handedly carry the load on their own shoulders. Sometimes outsourcing specific technical and human resources is just what is needed – over and above tasks done in-house.

In recent years we’ve seen incredible advancements in Visual Effects to appeal to the eye, but since films utilize two senses (sight and hearing) it’s important for sound quality to keep up with the visuals - especially since motion pictures are regarded as a form of story telling (note the word: “telling” – not just “showing”).

Sure, movies are thought of as visual media, but even George Lucas himself asserts that Sound is  50% of the total experience! However, advancements in sound technology for film seem to have stalled back in the 20th century, while visual effects continue to win the wow factor award and drive the box office.

Sadly, I read an interview with Tom Holman (the ‘T H’ of THX) where he had painfully observed the theater audience scoffing at the sound opens. This didn’t surprise me at all because I’ve had the same experience in theaters more than once. When the opening sound logos appeared, the cynical movie-goers were actually Snickering at it – as if to say; “We’re not all that impressed”,  “Show us something we haven’t already heard before”, "Please!"

Okay, I will.

My area of specialty is in the fine art and science of Auditory Perception - which is often misunderstood, yet a key aspect in getting your story told effectively to an attentive audience.

Where as, what’s on the screen consumes most of the production concerns, few filmmakers lose sleep wondering how to re-invent the sonic performance of their product and dumbfound the ‘savvy’. That’s okay, that’s My job.

Based upon a new technology I’ve developed as a solution specifically to address these issues,  Go Big Audio was formed with my team of creatives who are all about this subject. As a service provider, we are positioned as a unique ‘post-post’ boutique with the purpose of stepping up the overall production value for content creators’ product through better sound.

In the work flow, we come in after-the-fact where the final cut is in the can (pre print-master) and apply the most amazing audience captivation enhancement you’ve ever heard in a theater!

Though hearing involves an involuntary intangible, the ear can easily distinguish between naturally occurring sounds, and those which are merely electronically amplified. In other words; “It’s only a Movie” so “We’re not really witnessing anything.”

That precognitive disconnect unfortunately allows wiggle room for the viewers’ emotions NOT to become fully involved in a ‘pre-recorded’ presentation.

What sets us apart however, is the unique ‘acoustic modeling’ we re-create, to close that disconnect between what seems real and what seems artificial.

By drawing the attention of the audience in this way, now the story being told becomes more intriguing to them.

This achievement is accomplished in such a way that has never never ever been done before and, is not to be confused with any other reference to audio signal processing containing the terms “Wave”, “3D”, “Spacial”, “HD”, or “High Definition” as there is nothing that can live up to such claims. Any confusion stops here.

As an authority in this field, I composed a literary work on the subject of acoustic waveform propagation entitled; “If Speakers Only Could”, where I unpack and de-mystify the specific challenges facing Reality Simulation in audio - and point to the solution in a very practical way. This is an area of study so specialized that few recording engineers have more than a limited knowledge of.

Tech talk aside, pursuing better sound for picture is pointless unless it becomes so impressive as to reach out and touch the emotions of the audience in such a way as to draw them closer to the story being told on the screen – yet not calling attention to itself, or the means of delivery of a public address system.

Try to imagine photo-realism meets “Phono” realism where both senses are working together to better communicate the totality of the storyteller’s intent. Compared to the usual moving-goers’ low expectations, this surprisingly appealing expression is so much more Vivid and Compelling, it can only be described as Wow!

This is accomplished by re-animating all sonic elements of spoken word, music cues, and environmental ambience to become more Immersive and Meaningful - packaged in such a way that’s pleasant to the ear. All this regardless whether the final mix is particularly sound-intensive or not, (Dialog, Effects and Music in any proportion throughout). By establishing a better connection between listener and speaker, even dry narration is presented as more Intimate and Persuasive with the special enrichment we provide.

No one says they’re going to the cinema to hear a movie – only to watch one. The sound is regarded as merely incidental and not even on their mind. With their guard down and expecting nothing out of the ordinary, this then, becomes the area of sensory perception most vulnerable - and susceptible to influence.

By illuminating the NON-visible portions of a visual medium to work in synergy with what’s happening on the screen, the viewers find themselves in a “you are there” experience fully accepted, and with the pleasant surprise and satisfaction of being more emotionally involved with what’s going on.

Now we finally have a marriage between picture and sound with the audience becoming more consumed in the story being told, therefore not necessarily aware that better EARgonomics is influencing their attention.

Although using acoustic exposition as a means of invisibly connecting with the audience may be a new concept at first, this stuff isn’t rocket surgery, just basic logic applied. None the less, no amount of word description can equal a first-hand experience. The benefits are so obvious.

From time to time we conduct cinema sound demonstrations around town, which is something you should consider in your own facility (to eliminate any other variables) and invite whomever you like. It’s amazing sometimes who shows up to these events, but there always seems to be a few rotten apples who are determined not to enjoy anything to which they’re not yet familiar. We understand, and truly welcome the skeptic because they turn out to be among our biggest advocates!

In any case, ZERO of the attendees have ever stated they don’t get it. Instead, they wonder  why All movies can’t sound this good, and sometimes even refer to me as “The New Dolby”. In fact, Music Connection Magazine projected it as; “The new sonic standard in the Industry”.

Since the public has an insatiable curiosity for what’s coming next, plus an affinity for the sensational, this is big news for forward-thinking content creators.

Because consumers tend to gravitate toward the good stuff like a magnet, the special attraction our Post Process provides helps call attention to Theatrical Exhibition, DVD / Blu-Ray releases, CD sound tracks, TV Commercials, Music Videos – and is a killer advantage for film festivals!

As you would imagine, creating such an elegant solution to a long-standing problem would require a special acuity for things sonic, plus an extensive knowledge of audio electronics. True. However, for everyone to enjoy such a pleasant surprise which is not even seen, requires nothing more than mere consciousness.
This is no accident, but was expressly designed with that specific intent.

To release films this new way, you now have a serious game-changer working for you on your team - which perfectly resonates with the audience. This is truly a significant advantage over every-day movies that no one saw coming - as in;  “We can’t figure out how they did that”.  Hmmm.

Remember, the ticket-buyers want to be entertained and to have their emotions uplifted. So as a bonus for now delivering a more fulfilling total experience, the praise from your fans and reviewers goes to the film’s production team. “I Loved That Movie” . . .The Total experience - not just that it sounds better.

For those who enjoy accolades, the awards and special recognition waiting for you are won only by being Different, not by being the ’same as’ and this old notion of competing on a level playing field is nonsense. All that does is serve equity to others seeking the same spotlight as you. What’s the sport in that?

I don’t aspire to be number 2 Anything – which should be the common theme among results-oriented decision-makers in this, one of the most competitive industries on the planet. It’s time to step it up a notch and claim a new, high-end standard of excellence as your own!

If you’ve got a story worth telling, it’s worth telling like you mean it! I’m suggesting utilizing every resource available to you that your budget can withstand to blindside those who didn’t see this coming and send them back to the drawing board in jaw-dropping disbelief!

Competing is no fun unless you Win. This explains why I truly enjoy what I do and the recognition that comes from a job well done.

Isn’t that the same as you?

My sincere desire is to raise awareness so that future-thinking filmmakers can know that this special advantage is available to them right now.

Benny DeRose
Creative Sound Fanatic