We’re three days into Hall of Fame Week 2011, and just when we thought we couldn’t be more impressed with the caliber of speakers and subjects for this year’s panels, we go and get more impressed. Even though it was the last day of lectures and presentations for the week, our grads and faculty were still surprising and inspiring audiences with their insight and advice. And yes, even though our feet are tired and our camera-trigger fingers are getting blisters, the FSBlog crew was out all day checking out the events to bring you the scoop. Check out some highlights from Wednesday, Nov. 9:
- On Wednesday, students got to hear from Emmy-nominated producer and 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Troy DeVolld who shared some of the lessons from his new book, Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to Television’s Hottest Market. DeVolld has worked on hits like The Osbournes, The Surreal Life, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette. Currently he’s the supervising producer for Basketball Wives, Basketball Wives L.A., and Baseball Wives, which premieres Nov. 30. Every show needs a story, and reality TV is no exception, said DeVolld. He talked about the important role of the story producer in a medium that, when done well, appears as natural as possible. “If you’re characters aren’t fragile, even your villains, you don’t buy them as characters,” pointed out DeVolld. His current book is written with a focus on story, but he is working on a second book that will look at working on reality TV from a crew perspective. To read more tips from Troy, check out his blog, Realitytvtroy.com.
- With nearly two decades of success both in the studio and on stage, it’s hard to imagine someone better suited to host a lecture on the audio industry than Sean Spuehler. This 2011 Hall of Fame inductee spoke with moderator John Yandell (Recording Arts Associate Course Director) about working his way up from a runner at L.A.’s Music Grinder studio, to becoming engineer and programmer for artists like No Doubt, Beck, and Madonna – with whom he’s gone on four world tours. During the talk Sean also took questions from the crowd, which included 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Martin “Tike” Santos, who asked about his approach to professionalism while collaborating with these artists.
- It’s no secret that the music business has gone through some significant changes over the years – in many ways, it’s almost unrecognizable from the “glory days” of the 20th century. That was the main idea driving the Music Business 3.0 panel discussion, but the mood was hardly somber. Instead, the event’s Full Sail faculty speakers – Entertainment Media Publishing & Distribution Course Director Kim Craft, Entertainment Media Publishing & Distribution Associate Course Director Brandon Egerton, Music Business Department Chair Jackie Otero, Entertainment Business Master’s Final Project Course Director Bill Thompson, and Music Merchandising and Retail Promotions Course Director Israel Vasquetelle) drew upon their years of experience in the music industry and gave students a look at the different tools that are available for artists in the 21st century. Topics included the merits of eschewing major labels to go the indie route, digital vs. physical product, the ways in which college radio can still be used to promote artists, and more. Throughout the presentation, the panelists also answered questions from students and gave them their advice.
- There have been a lot of really cool events during this year’s Hall of Fame Week, and watching 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Leslie Brathwaite mix a song live before an audience of students was definitely one of the coolest. Before he sat down behind the board in the Audio Temple next door (where multiple cameras and mics were set up to facilitate two-way communication), Leslie and Director of Alumni Jay Noble had a conversation for the crowd in Full Sail Live that focused on how Leslie got started as a mix engineer – duplicating cassettes at Jermaine Dupri’s Atlanta studio got him his foot in the door, mainly because he decided “to be the best cassette duplicator ever” – and his career path after that. Leslie encouraged the students in attendance to “ask me anything,” and he meant it, answering questions about the technical aspects of the mixing process, but also the non-technical things that go into a successful career. “The first few years out of school, your life will probably suck,” he laughed. “Just because you paid your tuition, that doesn’t mean you paid your dues.” He then went on to open the ProTools folder of an as-yet-unreleased song by Yelawolf, and demonstrated both his mixing prowess and his problem-solving techniques (a file was missing, but Leslie quickly patched it up), answering questions throughout the entire process.
- In Wednesday’s “Transmedia Storytelling in the New Age of Branding” panel, several of Full Sail’s brand, marketing and design experts talked about the importance of creating marketing campaigns that allow consumers to participate in the “story” of the brand. Transmedia storytelling is about “letting the audience get involved with product rather than telling a one-sided story,” said Media Design MFA Course Director Ricky Neath. “The idea of transmedia is to tell the story and let the story spread.” The speakers, who also included faculty members Don Larson, Eric Rosenfeld, Chris Burke, Laura Biase, and Triesta Hall, offered examples of brands with great transmedia campaigns: Lost, takethislollipop.com, The Blair Witch Project, Starbucks’ RED cup campaign, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Matrix, and more. “You’re not just creating something in a vacuum,” said Digital Arts & Design Department Chair and Course Director Triesta Hall. “You’re trying to create something that will reach somebody else.”
- He’s been involved in a few of the Hall of Fame events this week, but Martin “Tike” Santos got the chance to take the stage all by himself during “The Role of a Monitor Engineer” presentation in Full Sail Live 1. The Recording Arts grad/2010 Hall of Fame inductee has been on the road with concert tours for more than 17 years, serving as a live sound engineer/technician for high-profile artists like Peter Frampton, Faith Hill, and Paul McCartney. During his presentation, Tike spoke about the important relationship between the artist and monitor engineer, shared his philosophy about attaining the perfect mix, engaged in some tech-talk, and answered questions from students in the audience.
- Hall of Fame inductees David Farmer (2011) and Marc Fishman (2010) paired up for the film audio lecture “The Fusion of Sound Design and Re-Recording Mixing.” Full Sail Dub Stage Manager Mike Orlowski moderated the event, and discussed each grad’s role, and respective challenges, in creating a film’s soundtrack. As sound designer, David spoke about the art of creating audio effects out of different elements, while Marc explained his responsibilities as a re-recording mixer to blend those effects seamlessly with the dialog and music for a final mix. Students took advantage of the duo’s collective knowledge during the Q&A session, asking about their preferred gear and creative methods.
- The “Where the Gaming Industry is Headed” panel gave students the chance to hear thoughts on the future of game development from 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Jameson Durall, as well as instructors Roy Papp (Asset Management), Rob Moye (Final Project), and Patrick Kelly (Final Project). The discussion was led by Michelle Wess (Department Chair for Game Design), who asked a series of thoughtful questions on the influence of the mobile-phone market, attracting new audiences, and the rise of indie developers. Students also chimed in with inquiries, including something near and dear to most gamers – the tradeoff between gameplay value and software prices.