So what’s next?
After finishing up Deus Ex: Human Revolution – one of the carrots that got me through the last two months – it’s back onto some great, detailed Foley and SFX work for Red Rabbit, a student film we’re polishing up for festival submission at the end of the month. Red Rabbit is a Tarantino-esque slice of cinema that tracks badass bounty hunter Babs Eaden through a small New Mexican town on her run to the border. I’m pretty psyched to get back into cutting blades and guns despite just coming out of the trailer redesign; there’s always more to learn. I’ve been handling the dialogue and music edits/mixes so far and it’s going well. The final cut should be done by the end of the month.
I’ll be doing some production sound work on the side and chasing leads wherever I can. Most importantly, I’m laying out a couple independent sound projects/Thing-A-Week type deals to keep the skills sharp – some thoughts:
- Ambiences – I love backgrounds, but after a DX:HR playthrough I am newly re-sold on their power to captivate and immerse. The EIDOS Montreal sound team killed it with the ambient beds in the Detroit and Hengsha hubs, and the way everything’s mixed, it’s difficult to know where the beat of the city ends and the game’s own music begins.
- Whooshes/Trailer Impacts – These two things are part of the bedrock of Hollywood sound design, and I feel like they’re very minute-to-learn, lifetime-to-master. Fresh off that DX:HR trailer redesign, and I’m really eager to push past what I was able to do there and generate some new, personalized stuff and find my own favorite methods for these.
- Synthesis/Zebra – I had such a great time with Zebra and Massive for creating all of the music and some of the inorganic sounds of my final, but have really barely scratched the surfaces of these two powerful synths. The nice thing with synthesis is that so much of it is based on the same fundamentals, so diving crazy deep into a particular synth is still pretty transferrable onto the next big thing, the Absynth or Reaktor of the 2010s. Lots to explore here.
Abstract sound design is another idea. I’ve got an animation lined up that’s much less literal than my most recent trailer and it’d be nice to just cut loose, generate a ton of crazy source and explore some avenues I haven’t yet. There’s creatures, hard effects, neat vocal processing techniques, tons out there – I’m still many thousand hours away from my personal 10,000.
I’ll be back around New York City for the coming holidays and am looking forward to spending some time with my family, most of whom I haven’t seen for the whole year. The plan after that is to head back out West, put a few roots in Seattle and its great game development scene. Of course, a great work offer would change everything – so you never know.