Next up in our ‘Introducing…’ series is Daniel, who kindly agreed to tell us a bit about himself and the post sound scene in Columbia:
I am Daniel Vasquez, a sound designer and re-recording mixer from Medellin, Colombia. My experience and academic background has been based primarily in the United Kingdom and Colombia. I currently work as the Head of Post Production in Clap Studios, a sound post production facility located in Medellin.
In terms of academic background, I hold a BA Degree in Recording Arts and an MA in Audio Post Production from Middlesex University in London; and I’m certified by Avid as a Pro Tools Expert for Post; and I’m also a full member of the Audio Engineering Society.
Beginning as an engineer for music and live applications during my stay in the United Kingdom – doing live shows, recording bands and mixing independent artists – I later moved into sound for picture, starting with sound editing for short films, video games and documentaries, and I started to move also towards mixing and began to work for larger productions, working as a freelancer, lecturer, and co-founding SoundNode, a sound production and post production company based in London.
Keeping a close eye on my home land, I decided in 2011 to move back to start working in the Latin American film industry, seeing it as an opportunity to apply the knowledge and experience acquired abroad. This is when I co-founded Clap Studios with film producer Gabriel J. Perez, who was returning from Barcelona, later joined by Daniel Jaramillo, a Colombian sound mixer residing in London.
Let’s talk about Clap Studios; it is a sound post production facility located in the Medellin Audiovisual Center. Since Gabriel and I founded the company, we have created the ideal conditions for the sound development of audiovisual productions, offering creative talent, and the best facilities and equipment to deliver to the highest standards, such as the first Dolby® approved commercial studio for 7.1 film mixing in the country.
Regarding the film industry in Colombia, it is small but growing, and our team have worked not only for Colombian productions but also for foreign films from Los Angeles, Cuba and United Kingdom, with great success. Renowned film directors and producers have trusted the sound post production of their projects to us (including our team of sound editors, Foley artists, and mixers) with excellent results. Some of them are: Pavel Giroud, Goya nominee and award winner at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema and the Cartagena International Film Festival; Simón Mesa, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; Carlos Cesar Arbeláez, award winner at San Sebastián Film Festival; Carlos Tribiño, award winner at the Cartagena International Film Festival; Simón Brand, awarded at the Huelva Latin American Film Festival; and Kirk Sullivan, experienced filmmaker from California.
Getting more location-specific, Medellin offers a great set of conditions for creative and technical work, with nice mild weather, charming people, accessible prices and great talent and professionalism. Bogota currently holds the majority of the audiovisual work in Colombia, but with the growth of the industry, more options are starting to emerge in other cities as well, opening the possibilities of taking advantage of local incentives from each region. For example, Medellin is offering an additional 15% cash rebate in film services, making it attractive not only for foreign productions, but also for projects coming from other Colombian cities, which benefits us as service providers to bring more foreign productions and expand our territory of action. The goal is to keep expanding the range of countries we work with, always committed to quality and a great experience.
Recent improvements in Soundcloud’s private sharing features have enabled me to put into action an idea that I’ve been wanting to set up for quite a while now but which I haven’t felt able to in quite the simple and fuss-free way I envisaged.
The Sound Collectors’ Club is basically a private account I’ve set up on Soundcloud. The idea is that people can upload their recordings on a given monthly theme to this account via the dropbox above. Once the recording or recordings have been transferred into that month’s private ‘set’ (by me) I will then e-mail you a private link which will give you direct access to all the tracks which that set contains and which you are free to download and use within commercial projects without any restriction (other than you obviously mustn’t go and sell them on as sound effects – individually or as libraries). Hence, from contributing just one recording you could end up with a small arsenal of sounds to add to your library. However, a contribution is necessary in order to even be able to audition any recordings within the private set.
Part of the big appeal for me of using Soundcloud for this venture is that some of it’s ‘Stat’ features come in really handy. Once you’ve gained access to a set you can comment on each other’s recordings and ‘favourite’ a sound – all of which I’m hoping will soon be able to be automatically documented on Twitter for people to follow (and, hence, within the ‘Activity’ feed above). The creator of the track that gets the most downloads (decided by the number of ‘favourites’ that a recording gets if download numbers are tied) gets to choose the theme or topic for the following month. In this way, participants get a chance to supplement their libraries in the way that best suits them rather than me dictating the subject matter every month.
As is probably evident from this idea, I’ve been very inspired by the flurry of activity that has occurred over the past year or so within this global sound community that is currently thriving online. The Sound Collectors’ Club borrows ideas from several of the products of this community that have come before it but tailors them into a package which best suits me and my interests.
In a nutshell, the club is basically inspired by 4 things:
- I love the (potentially) phenomenal productivity of crowdsourcing (nod to Tim)
- I love the idea of field recording workshops but I’m always a bit frustrated that the pooled results are just for listening purposes and cannot be used on commercial projects.
- I like the concept of Shaun Farley’s Sound Design Challenge but I want to participate in a field recording version of this.
- Soundsnap. I’ve begun to dip into this from time to time over the past year or so and have grown to quite like using it for grabbing a couple of fresh sounds here and there. In this way, I don’t envisage the club providing definitive collections such as Tim’s Hiss and a Roar ventures; rather an occasional supplementary boost to the palette of fresh sounds at your disposal.
My current priority is just to get this idea out there and see if anyone’s interested in joining in. However, if people are interested, I do have a lot of ideas that I would like to try out in this format. One such idea is to do a larger worldwide version of Noise Jockey and fieldsepulchra‘s Project MoMa collaboration that they did back in May and then pool the results. Also, I’d like to try and make this not just a virtual club but also organize field recording meet-ups with other local sound enthusiasts and then once again use the club account to bring all our efforts together.
The whole basis and appeal for me of this idea is it’s simplicity but please do bear with me if there are any rough edges that crop up over the coming weeks that I may have overlooked. I’m no web wizard: I have no idea how to set up a website (hence I’ve stuck with wordpress.com) and have no real intention of learning as I prefer to focus all my attention on my primary ambition which is to keep getting better and better at sound editing. This is still a work in progress: I’ve made a point of avoiding the inaction that overdeliberation can produce but as a result I will need to continue fine tuning things over the coming weeks. Having said all that, in theory the club should need very little supervision other than accepting submissions so I’m hoping this is a very straightforward yet fruitful venture!
Feel free to offer up any comments or suggestions within this blog or through Twitter. With a bit of luck, there’s a few of you folks out there that are keen on this idea too and we can start getting a few sounds together!
Look forward to hearing from you –