Sound Design For Animation

In December, Hands on Sound had the pleasure and fun to once again work with the San Jose Sharks on their annual Holiday Video.  For this year, SJ Sharks Productions decided to do an animated cartoon featuring some of the team's favorites.

To capture the player's lines, I put together a portable version of "The Cone Of Silence" recording booth for a morning at the Shark's practice facility and cycled the players thru, as their schedules permitted.  From the session, cleaned up/ production ready files were delivered along with a bin of SFX, ambiences etc to spot to picture.

Once picture was locked, the project came back to me for mix and a quick turnaround to meet the holiday driven deadline.  Later after the piece had been up for a few days, SJS Productions put out to social media our usual outtake/behind the scene clip that the fans always love. 


The Town Kitchen- Entrepreneur/Staples

The San Francisco/Oakland/ Silicon Valley is known for innovation and it's entrepreneurial spirit.  Hands on Sound had the opportunity to be part of this piece created for and Staples recently.  Watch and learn how some young ex-Google employees joined together to make a unique and thriving food delivery company in Oakland. In the audio department, it was a fun challenge to capture and deliver clean sound in this busy and noisy commercial kitchen environment.

Looking Back- The Bridge School Benefit Concerts

October is traditionally the time when the Bridge School Benefit concerts are held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mt View, CA.  This annual star studded acoustic concert series raises money for the The Bridge School, an innovative organization educating children with severe speech and physical impairments.  2017 marks the first time after a run of 30 years of shows that the concert is not being held.

In that void, music fans and supporters of the school can still enjoy past performances (and raise funds for the school) by purchasing Music Collections that are available on iTunes, and on CD and DVD sets.

Two of these collections, the 2 CD set and 3 DVD set of the Bridge School 25th Anniversary Edition are very near and dear to me.  I co-produced both and was involved in recording many of the tracks and documentary portions.  The CD set and DVD have different songs and performances on get 'em both!

Please do the the time to check out these fantastic packages of concert memories and search on iTunes for The Bridge School Collection to find another 5 collections of acoustic performances from throughout the 30 year history of the event. 

A portion of  the proceeds from the sales of all of the above go to the Bridge School.

Making The Prius Challenge

Working on projects in The Bay Area's Silicon Valley brings me into an increasing number of projects involving robotics, autonomous vehicles, AI and other advanced tech.  

One such booking was at the Toyota Research Institute, where their mission is "To use artificial intelligence to improve the quality of human life. We are dedicated to making automobiles safer, more affordable, and more accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, and to expanding the benefit of mobility technology beyond automobiles."

Hands on Sound provided location sound recording for a piece that MKTG was doing on the Prius Challenge, a team-based, tech-centric driving competition that was hosted at Sonoma Raceway. The competition made use of proprietary data, strategy development, and simulation tools to assist participants in achieving the highest MPG over 9 laps in 42 minutes.

Mayday! Mayday! A US Coast Guard Rescue Story

Recently Hands on Sound got the call to provide location sound for an interview segment on a piece for Al Roker Entertainment and The Coast Guard Foundation, as part of the 2017 Pacific Northwest Awards. Teamed with John McConaghy from Advance Creative , I went to a local Bay Area marina and spent the afternoon with a seasoned mariner who recounted his harrowing adventure in a fierce storm off the Northwest coast and the bravery of the USCG, who came to his rescue.  


Hands On Sound is currently working with the Nat Geo on a project that is involved with the SPHERES program, put on by NASA and MIT.  Since we are still in production, there isn't much to share, but please read below to learn more:

SPHERES-Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites-Zero-Robotics

The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites-Zero-Robotics (SPHERES-Zero-Robotics) investigation establishes an opportunity for high school students to design research for the International Space Station (ISS). As part of a competition, students write algorithms for the SPHERES satellites to accomplish tasks relevant to future space missions. The algorithms are tested by the SPHERES team and the best designs are selected for the competition to operate the SPHERES satellites on board the ISS.


Jingle Jingle...4th Of July

Hands on Sound and Big League Ideas collaborated again recently to put together some jingles for the Bay Area auto dealer group DGDG.  In the ever effective, humorous and catchy "Big League Bob Kilburg" style, the result were some 30 second spots to air on Pandora radio over the Summer.  The commanding and easily recognizable voice of Dick Ervasti delivers the tags.

Here's the DGDG 4th Of July Sale's up!



It's Gonna Get Loud!-NASCAR

Hands on Sound received an assignment to go to Sonoma Raceway on June 23rd, for a shoot with Forza Motorsports.  Little did we know that it was a NASCAR weekend at the track, with the Toyota/ SaveMart 350 in full swing.

Arriving at Sonoma, our crew was treated to a golf cart ride thru the parking lots and crowd...taking us and our pile of gear right down into the thick of it, next to the Main Grandstand and into Victory Lane.  As the cameras got set up to do our bit with drivers Erik Jones and Chase Elliot, I turned on my rig and immediately got blasted with slammin' levels on my mics.  It was really my mic pres were turned down and still I was getting overs.  Next to us, the cars were exiting their garages and entering the track, where their competitors were already speeding by on practice laps.  Did I mention it was really loud?

I fretted for a moment, but then with a bit of creative mic placement on my part, coupled with past experience of recording around cars we ended up capturing some great results on the dialog and supporting tracks.  Later...back at the studio, I cleaned up the recordings to once again deliver Production Ready files to our client.  Cue the Checked Flag....


Emmy Award

Congratulations to the San Jose Sharks, SJ Sharks Productions and Division Of Labor for taking home an Emmy Award for their 2016-17 commercial campaign.  We have worked with the Sharks for a number of years now on these TV spots, contributing both production and post-production audio.  If you scroll thru the blog here, you'll find several posts highlighting the fun we've had with, both the new team and previously with Shark's long time Creative Director Bob Kilburg of Big League Ideas.  

Hands on Sound has now been part of projects who have gotten the nod for Grammy and Emmy wins.  We don't work for hardware, but a bit of recognition and appreciation always feels good and keeps us striving for excellence.

CyberWar Games at Symantec

Hands on Sound recently got the call to provide location sound recording services  for the Symantec 2017 CyberWar Games event at their Mountain View campus.  There, for 3 days, ten teams of Symantec employees from around the world competed in the world's largest civilian cyberwar game.  These elite teams earned the right to compete in the finals by besting more than 1,500 other Symantec employees from 33 countries.

This year's games focused on the global supply chain and in particular agricultural technology security,  The teams had to perform a series of cybercrime and hacking challenges to earn points and move up the Leader Board. More details on the games can be found here

Working under the direction of Fade To Black Pictures, we documented the 3 day event, capturing content for internal and social/ web video pieces.  Below is one of these, produced and edited by FTB's Tommy Jordan.