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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : CBNAT SEPTEMBER 2013
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 CAMPAIGNBRIEF Andrew Stevenson + Hylton Mowday, We Love Jam So many people get caught up in the equipment, it's the talent and experience that creates the soundtrack. The dollar seems to be always on a roll one way or another. Sometimes the craving to play with new gear and toys out- weighs the dollar challenges. Ramesh Sathiah, SongZu Our busi- ness is driven by our people and gear is not that big a deal any more in audio... everyone can have a DAW on their laptop that is capa- ble of anything, but it's all about the ideas. Ralph van Dijk, Eardrum N/A. Mark Beckhaus, Nylon Studio It's not so much of an issue for our business. Equipment has consis- tently dropped in price since the advent of computer based recording so, in terms of overall costs, it's not a big part. Way more of an issue is the cost of talent as, for us, our people are full-time and the cost of training and retaining the best tal- ent is very high. We always to have the best full-time people in-house at our disposal but this does add pressure when it occasionally gets quiet. But that's still preferable, to me anyway, than going the free- lance route. Dan Higson, Smith & Western We're always buying gear. Aside from all the software needed (which we buy from all over the world) we tend to hunt down dusty old 70s compres- sors and beaten up banjos on ebay and gumtree! We're always buying weird and wonderful instruments and outboard gear from strange lit- tle shops in Newtown and Erskinville. Every time we see a sec- ond hand warehouse we're in there hunting down a rusty old trombone or a scratchy old parlour guitar. One of our most successful pur- chases in terms of gear was a $30 mellodica which we bought in a toy shopinBondi.Weuseitonalotof our productions. We like using real instruments and love the sound that old studio gear gives our music so we're not really affected by the Aussie dollar in that sense as we're buying a lot of stuff other people don't actually want! We have a wall of retro synths from the past 30 years which we're very proud of. Klang Buying new gear from inter- national sellers was great about four months ago! Now it is back to where it was before the dollar peaked. Rafael May, Rafael May Music The higher the dollar means cheaper equipment but much less overseas budgets. What proportion of your business is local versus international? Charlton Hill, Uncanny Valley UV's projects vary from month to month with both local and o.s. projects. Across a year we could say around 70% local, 30% international with the o.s. activity steadily increasing. Barry Stewart, Sound Reservoir The day the A$ dropped below 95cUS, the phone started ringing and our overseas work kicked back in, at levels similar to pre GFC (about 15%). Feature Film anima- tion voice recording, ADR and the odd foreign ad are all part of the mix. Andrew Stevenson + Hylton Mowday, We Love Jam We Love Jam Studios is cemented in Sydney and Cape Town, we collaborate between the two studio locations giving resources and ideas to one another to offer a better service to all clients. Ian Lew, SongZu It varies from year to year but on average it is pretty evenly split between Australia and Asia. The US work dried up with the high Aussie dollar but hopefully we might see some of that come back now that it has dropped so much. Ralph van Dijk, Eardrum We've done well at the international award shows over the last few years, so we're now getting about 20% of our work from outside of Australia. Mark Beckhaus, Nylon Studio It's around 50/50. Probably 50% is Australia and of the international part 40% is from US and 10% Asia. Dan Higson, Smith & Western 70% local, 30% international probably. We're doing more and more over- seas work - we're doing Pan-Asian, European and American work. And more recently things are starting to come in from New Zealand as well which is great. Klang Klang is always pushing into the international markets at the same time as the local markets sim- ply because it is now so easy to communicate and deliver work on an international stage given people are more accepting of working by remote. Rafael May, Rafael May Music About 25% of our business is inter- national. It varies year to year. What are the issues that really bug you? Charlton Hill, Uncanny Valley Poor scheduling and time management continues to be a classic pitfall in the production process. Underest- imating the time it takes to re-con- form audio to an edit change can lead to an unnecessary rush at the point of final delivery. It always seems a shame to undermine the passion put into the job up to that point. Barry Stewart, Sound Reservoir On very rare occasions, clients, more than agencies, have difficulty grasp- ing why music production and audio post services cost what they do. The simple answer is, audio costs, in general, have not changed in the last 20 years, well done us. Andrew Stevenson + Hylton Mowday, We Love Jam Timelines are always tight, and rushing the process is to the detriment of the final produc- tion. Pitching, a pointless exercise. It more than often falls on personal interpretation and taste, not on what is most suitable for the pro- duction at hand. Ian Lew, SongZu You probably won't believe me when I say this but I spoke to Ramesh about this and we agreed there is very little that annoys us about the industry. We both agree it's certainly a lot better than having a real job. There seems to be a lot more beards around, particularly in Australia but am sure that will pass. Ralph van Dijk, Eardrum Suits that quote for production before the radio script is even written. Mark Beckhaus, Nylon Studio I think I've been doing this so long I have learnt to cope with most annoying situations. Also, the use of alcohol helps. However, probably the toughest thing to deal with is in the US with the number of revi- sions that agencies expect these days. It seems to increase over time. This is not just my experience as editors and fx houses are in the same boat. Fortunately, of late, at least they are finding money for overages, although often you would rather forego the extra cash and just get the thing out the door. Dan Higson, Smith & Western It bugs us when a creative team doesn't give us the trust to find them the best musical solution to the brief. Often we're asked to do things that are not musical and don't allow us a voice - they back us into a corner and almost force us to do things we would never do. When we deliver our first run at the music, we're showing what we believe to be the best way of reply- ing to the brief but then we find ourselves going through numerous revisions and changes over the course of a job, only to find our- selves back at the original demo we delivered. Sometimes the first thing you hear is the best thing. You don't always have to over-think it and tamper with it. Allow the com- posers a voice and perhaps you will get exactly what you want first time. Klang The main problem is that sometimes agencies seem to want to have a final track delivered at pitch stage rather than engage in a collab- orative process in the creation of a great sound and music track. Rafael May, Rafael May Music There is no point complaining about an industry that pays you to make music and in my case in a studio next to Bronte Beach. What does the future hold for your industry? Charlton Hill, Uncanny Valley More challenging briefs under tighter schedules are leading to a more direct line of communication between suppliers of music and sound and the creative decision makers on a project. It appears that the industry is naturally streamlin- ing itself down to a core team such that there is a more pure and much welcomed level of collaboration. Barry Stewart, Sound Reservoir Our industry is poised for another growth spurt off the back of faster broadband and HDTV. Both media require higher quality, more exacting sound to match the higher resolution pictures. Andrew Stevenson + Hylton Mowday, We Love Jam The industry is excit- ing. There will always be a demand for innovative great work. We have only just scratched the surface of the possibilities of what is creatively out there. Ian Lew, SongZu I think we will continue to see more online pro- jects that require a lot more work from us from a music and sound point of view due to their length but are great meaty projects to get stuck into, they are like mini films or tv series in many ways. Ralph van Dijk, Eardrum I think music composition is becoming commoditised and the quality will inevitably suffer as less experienced composers will tempt clients with demos produced for next to noth- ing. There's a danger that the same will happen with audio post, because although you can buy a great post facility, you can't buy the experience you need to operate it. Mark Beckhaus, Nylon Studio I think the music business, of which we are a sub-category, continues to readjust to the digitization of music. Record companies are still strug- gling to define their roles and to work out a business model that makes sense in the current age of streaming distribution services. This has an ongoing affect that trickles down to what we do, as var- ious music rights holders continue to try to get a foothold with agen- cies. Music houses react in different ways but for us it has meant becoming more bespoke and more niche and working internationally with clients who appreciate our point of difference. Dan Higson, Smith & Western We've all found that we have had to diver- sify. Rather than relying entirely on traditional ad work, we have had to seek out work in emerging media such as online and the like. But we're also heavily involved in long form work as well. We've just land- ed the composing gig for Channel10's latest drama series called Wonderland which we're real- ly excited about. We believe the industry is in good shape but it's an evolve or die scenario for the sound houses out there. Klang There are certainly many more players in the industry making it that much more competitive although there are new markets opening up in the digital domain that never really existed before. Things are certainly in a state of flux although there'll always be a need for good quality music and sound design. Rafael May, Rafael May Music Radical changes are happening in the scope of projects and the source of them. TV continues but digital films are more and more important as well as non traditional installa- tions which still require music and sound.
Campaign Brief May-June 2013
CBNAT NOV-DEC 2013