A Musician’s Trials of Separation

This winter I worked along with INeedVid on a web-based promo for a gym in New York City called As 1 Fitness.  As 1 Fitness is built around a program that coordinates group workout with timed exercises. The program makes you work as a team in order to boost your endurance and strength in order to get the fit body of your dreams. Production for this project was similar, we all worked as a team in order to further our knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production tasks, worked together on making sure the right edits went through, and as a result, we gained the body of work that was best suited for the gym.

But like any fitness program, there are obstacles that can create challenges to your workflow. I live on Long Island, which brings it’s advantages and disadvantages to the picture.  I get a nice view of the water, rent-free house, and a space where I can record without any distractions. But it is not near the location of where INeedVid meets.  So, post-production supervisor Justin Hromada and I travel about 90 minutes in order to discuss edits and issues that occur with post-production.  Sometimes, this works out well, but when on deadline you’re reduced to one of two options: spend a night at someone’s apartment in order to get to the studio early, or work from home and work using Google Hangouts. But when it comes to editing, I find that Google Hangouts is not the best choice to use.  You cannot be hands on with the artistic director, and in my case, as a sound designer, with the video editor.

So what is the solution to this issue? The obvious one is to move into Brooklyn, but that comes with it’s own drawbacks (such as a drastic increase of the cost of living).  Concerning the As 1 project, I learned that I needed to find more time to travel into Brooklyn in an affordable way.  Car pooling is great, but if I need to go alone, sometimes sleeping on a couch will need to be an option in order to be physically there with the artistic director and production coordinator for notes, critiques, and suggestions to better the sound design process. I also learned to research editing tactics on my own using youtube tutorials and asking other sound designers how to manage issues at hand with editing on certain programs (in my case, Logic Pro 9).

Each project while starting out in this business is a learning experience, especially when distance is involved. Facing these challenges head-on makes one a better artist.  But sometimes distance works for artists.  For example, Whaki, a band that we have in our catalog,  work together from two different parts of the country. They made the distance work and create compelling and diverse music!

So, is distance for everyone?  Not always but I can learn from bands like Whaki and research tactics of communication that they used in order to produce music and collaborate via the internet. Dropbox and google drive are definitely helping the process.  Eventually I can build up a muscle I wasn’t using to it’s full potential: internet-based communication.

Keep on listening and watching, and exercising your mind!