The first day of the 2011 Full Sail University Hall of Fame Week kicked off the festivities with a bang. After a red carpet walk featuring current and past inductees as well as celebrities and other notables, the signature event – the 2011 Full Sail University Hall of Fame induction ceremony – took place. After the induction ceremony and the unveiling of the latest installations in the Hall of Fame itself, the day’s panels and lectures began in earnest. The FSBlog team was out and about all day, and this is what we saw:
- One of the first panel events for Hall of Fame 2011 was a discussion about audio design for film and television entitled “Beyond 5.1: The Future of Sound for Picture.” The discussion featured 2011 Hall of Fame inductee David Farmer alongside previous Hall of Fame inductees Gary Rizzo and Marc Fishman, as well as award-winning sound designer Harry Cohen (Star Trek, Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill). The conversation focused on the best ways to utilize – and not over-utilize – the multiple channels currently available to sound designers when it comes to mixing audio for film and TV, so as to best amplify the directors’ visual message using subtle methods of soundfield manipulation.
- Also in the early afternoon was a panel on “Rigging and Special Effects.” Although the panel featured some impressive effects artists – 2011 Hall of Fame inductees Laurie Brugger and Culley Bunker, as well as Full Sail grad Brett Novak – the discussion included quite a bit of information beyond just a behind-the-scenes peek at the facial animation of Doby in the Harry Potter movies or the frozen diamonds in a Lady Gaga video. In fact, the graduates emphasized how, beyond creativity and technical prowess, networking plays a crucial role in developing your career in the entertainment industry.
- There’s a big difference between shooting a movie on a soundstage versus on location, and who better to explain the pros and cons than a group of filmmakers who have spent hundreds of hours producing features in pretty much any environment you can name. The Film department hosted a panel discussion on the topic titled “On Location: Film Production,” which featured past and present Hall of Fame inductees Steve Cainas (2010), Steve Switaj (2009), and Darren Lynn Bousman (2011), as well as cinematographer Joseph White and actor J. LaRose. Each shared their unique perspectives about filming in different locations, and fielded questions from students about the industry and starting their careers.
- During his presentation, The Motion Graphics World of Jayson Whitmore, 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Jayson Whitmore offered students a glimpse of what it’s like to run a successful motion graphics company. Jayson’s studio, Royale, is a design and production studio whose primary focus is commercials and network branding. Jayson showcased the studio’s versatility with a spectacular demo reel of projects they’ve done for Comedy Central, Blue Moon, Nickelodeon, PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Lexus, Nike, Disney, Fuel TV and more. He talked about the process of pitching to clients with storyboards and concept art and offered practical advice to students seeking entry in the industry. He encouraged students to be realistic about their strengths and weaknesses and to work hard, but to be proud of their progress, no matter where they are in their journey as designers.
- The four speakers in the Artist Relationships and Touring presentation have a good deal of experience working on the road with some impressive headliners in the music industry. Throughout the lecture, 2011 Hall of Fame grad Sean Spuehler (Madonna), 2010 Hall of Fame grad Martin “Tike” Santos (Paul McCartney, Faith Hill), and Show Production Course Directors John Sheldon (Guns N Roses, Marilyn Manson) and Henry Nophesker (Al Di Meola, Beach Boys) spoke about their careers in live sound. They spoke about the differences between working for a production company vs. going the freelance route, their technical setups, and what life on the road is really like.
- 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Cordy Rierson knows gaming, and she brought her industry experience to our 2011 Hall of Fame week with a presentation that covered her work as director of university talent development at Microsoft Game Studios. During the talk she outlined a typical game development cycle – highlighting what it takes to bring the titles you play from the concepting stage to store shelves. Afterwards she transitioned into a presentation on Microsoft Kinect, the innovative gaming platform for the Xbox 360. She fielded questions from students about the technology, and even brought them up to demonstrate the ways in which it’s helping create new gaming experiences through vocal, facial, and gesture recognition.
- The still-growing genre of reality television was the topic of “The Reality of Reality Television,” a panel featuring 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Troy DeVolld (author of Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market), as well as Adam Sher (CEO of Ryan Seacrest Productions), Michael Murray (President and Director of Photography at Adrenaline Films), and Full Sail Creative Writing instructor Anne Watters (who has worked on The Bachelor). The four spoke at length about where reality television has been and, more importantly, how new developments are shaping the genre’s future. They also advised students on how important it is not just to have an idea or concept for a show, but to have unique assets or a proprietary connection with the talent or topic of the show.
Did you make it out to any of the Hall of Fame events today? Which were your favorite? Did you pick up any tips? Let us know in the comments.