Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 31, 2011
It used to be a right a passage for young composers to pilgrimage to LA or NYC to cut their teeth in the entertainment industry, working their way up from fetching coffee and answering phones to years later, possibly getting an opportunity to write music on a low-risk, low-budget project. And while that “pay your dues” system still remains relatively intact, there’s a new wave of next-gen music production companies that are charting a new path: one that utilizes web and cloud-based services to source the best talent wherever they may be in the world at whatever career stage they may be in, and matches their unique musical styles to relevant videogame and emerging media projects. These companies virtually manage the client relationship and the production process in real-time over the web, improving collaborative workflow processes while simultaneously cutting overhead costs.
“There has been a perfect storm of activity in the music industry”, says Eric Rigaud, founder and creative director of Buoyant, a boutique production company specializing in music and SFX for games and emerging media. “We’re witnessing the disintegration of the music industry as we know it. At the same time, there is rapid expansion and diversification occurring in the game industry. More games are being created than ever before on consoles, and more faster and cheaper on mobile phones and on the web. The common denominator is that every game needs music or sound, or both, so opportunity abounds. Meanwhile the tools to create professional quality compositions and sound effects have been democratized and are accessible to anyone that has access to a computer linked to the Internet, and music software such as Logic Pro or Pro Tools – and let's not forget the perseverance to become a master of those tools and techniques. So now more than anytime in our history, great composers and sound designers are in abundance across the globe and are just waiting to be discovered. Buoyant finds that world-class talent and matches them to cool game projects.”
With the advent of cost-effective and reliable video streaming services such as Skype and iChat; secure file transfer services such as DropBox and Box.net; and real-time, virtual project management and collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Basecamp, virtual production companies can now hire composers and sound designers to work remotely on projects in different time zones, while keeping their clients in the loop in real time on their work progress.
Rigaud says, “Take for example our recent work on the Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty game for the iPad/iPhone/Droid. Buoyant’s headquarters are based in Washington, DC, however we worked remotely with Toronto-based composer David A. Logan, a top-flight, AAA game composer and Buoyant creative partner. The publisher, Disney Mobile/Marvel Entertainment, is based in LA. What’s more, the game developer, Sarbakan, is based in Quebec, so in order to have the teams working efficiently, we relied heavily on Google Docs, Skype and DropBox to collaborate between groups in real-time and ultimately to deliver David’s compositions to Sarbakan’s extranet for Disney/Marvel’s final approvals. My point is the web and cloud based services made it possible for seamless, real-time collaboration, allowing my company to look beyond my local talent pool to hire the best of the best for the project, regardless of geography. You need only listen to the music from the game to hear the final output of this process. The proof is in the product. And because my company is virtual, my overhead costs are much lower as compared to my LA or NYC based counterparts, which spend lots of money on the ‘client experience’; money they ultimately must recoup from their clients.”
This move to “musical telecommuting” may be in its initial stages for startups like Buoyant, but as we see more game developers emerging in cities other than LA and NYC, they will out of necessity need to look beyond their local creative gene pool to find the perfect match for their project, in order to make economically viable games in a very competitive game market. Companies like Buoyant and others that are building their music production companies in the clouds are betting that their approach will deliver the best results for game developers around the world.
To play the Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty app on iTunes, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/captain-america-sentinel-liberty/id434478300?mt=8
To hear the Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty Original Soundtrack composed by David A. Logan on iTunes, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/captain-america-sentinel-liberty/id449767522
Buoyant is a virtual, boutique production company created in 2009, specializing in music and sound for videogames and emerging media. Buoyant focuses on utilizing web and cloud-based services to identify top composer and sound design talent and match them to relevant game and emerging media projects, while virtually managing the client relationship and production process. Clients include Disney Mobile, Marvel Entertainment, and the United States Marine Corps, among others.
Eric Rigaud, Media Relations
Buoyant Media, LLC