With credits like "Die Hard," "Hannah Montana," "Will & Grace," "The Green Mile" and "Two and a Half Men," the Hollywood professionals who visited Ball State over the weekend had a lot of knowledge and experience to share.
Ball State hosted Cinesonika Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The event showcases international works of film and video with soundtracks, idiosyncratic sound design and electric scoring.
This was the fifth year of the event, and the first time it was hosted in the U.S. Five of the most well-known sound and Foley sound effect artists in Hollywood hosted workshops:
- Peter Damski, a production sound mixer and two-time Emmy Award winner for his works
- David E.Stone, a sound editor and Academy Award winner
- Vanessa T. Ament, an award-winning Foley artist and a Ball State telecommunications professor
- Steve Lee, a sound effects “wrangler” and archivist
- Rick Altman, the keynote speaker and a legend in the field of film sound, film theory and film narratives
This event was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for students to experience and learn from these Hollywood professionals. Each speaker was filled with stories from their time in Hollywood.
“The most memorable film that we worked on, I would say, would be a film for Disney called 'The Goofy Movie,'" Lee said.
He was the sound designer, Stone was the supervisor and Ament did the Foley for the film.
Damski recalled his time working on another popular show, "My Wife and Kids."
“I was shooting 'My Wife and Kids,' and Jennifer Garner was shooting 'Alias' next door and I always got a little flutter every time I walked out and saw Jennifer hanging out,” he said.
This was the first time the speakers had been a part of the Cinesonika event, and by the end of the first day each of them was thrilled by the turnout they had at the workshops.
There were also many international film and sound workers who came to Cinesonika to present short films and thesis papers. Nick Nylen was presenting a short narrative film about sound archives and Adam Melvin came from Ireland to present a joint paper on applying embodied sound theory.
“The main appeal for the festival for me is that it brings people and ideas together and gives us as a platform to debut our work,” Melvin said.
The event was chance to learn about a process in film that is not highlighted as much in the film industry. It also allowed students to learn from those who work with the technology and sound in film and interact with professionals in the field who have had a part in shaping what film and television shows are today.