Sundance Film Festival Day 3

Day 3 was our first day spent entirely in Park City – no Ubering to Salt Lake City and beyond.  That alone made the day exquisite.  We slept in, sort of.  After all, we did need to stay in midnight-mode for the number of late night movies we had throughout the week.  Sleep while you can, when you can, and as much as you can!  Stark was good enough to roll out of bed for nothing other than my desire to geek the freak out over the Immersive Sound for Virtual Reality panel.

While the concept of virtual reality sound is very obvious, it doesn’t appear to be as straight forward as your imagination would be in solving the solution of adjusting speaker reaction to the tilt or turn of someone’s head.  For now, sound artists are playing with immersive sound that grabs the attention of a viewer to one specific area of the screen.  So, for example, if you’re wandering around a mountain, the sound of an Eagle’s cry would cause you to turn.  With sound like that, the story can continue in this one frame of a possible 360-degree screen without the viewer missing anything.  Still, you have to plan for the rebellious viewer.

I have always been in love with sound.  It is engrained so deeply inside of me, that I find the genetic makeup of it all quite fascinating.

My dad was big into music, sound, recording, radio, you name it… but his career as a radio voice, a stand-up bass player, a conductor, and a producer were long over with by the time I was born.  Kids do that to you, and I was number four!  Yet, I grew up with that ear and that passion.  Somehow, with little practice, I was the one that could project a fine tune, scratch out Twinkle Twinkle on a borrowed violin, play piano by ear, compose, conduct, record, and find myself completely enveloped by sound in a way that I have to believe is unique.  I mean, how many people go to a movie to fascinate themselves with the concept of sound design and consider all through the storyline how everything might shift if the sound were slightly different?  *Raises hand*

I couldn’t help but think that Stark might be sitting there bored, rolling his eyes at the technical mediocrity of creatives when he comes from a world where these solutions seem so easy to fix.  He would correct me and say they are so easy to fix.  And that’s just one of the reasons why he’s so great… 🙂

Being together, there, reminded me of the last time we went to Defcon in Las Vegas – just days before we moved to Australia, really.  Knowing it would be the last big hoorah where life seemed the same (in a good way), I opted to get my own pass and participate in the classes, Q&A sessions, and annual group hacking of the Defcon badge.  While everything about it was more than interesting, my ability to get excited about possibility stopped short at capability.  I know my if, then statements, and… yea.  That’s about it.  I lovingly refer to myself as a “copy/paste” programmer.  I can do.  I can’t create.

The Immersive Sound panel was just the beginning of my geekdom.  Straight after the panel, we went to stand in the long, cold line for a very unorganized Celebration of Music & Film party at the Canada Goose (the coat, not the booze) lounge.

Sundance Celebration of Music and Film partyAs we shivered through sound check, the music sounded ammmmazing!  By the time doors opened, we were only able to see one band and spend 4 out of 6 drink tickets rocking out with this new UK sound hound before it was off to see Dark Night (a terrible, disjointed, completely unterrifying documentary meant to be about the movie theater shooting that instead, turned into what I think was a grotesque overstatement on humanities expectation for shoot ’em up scenes in films #overit).

The showing of Dark Night was at the Library Center.  After an awkward Q&A, we took advantage of walking back to the Yarrow and beyond.  We really wanted to take advantage of the freezing cold winter and glistening snow as much as possible.  The wonderment of it all completely replaced any perceived discomfort with the temperature.  There was no better way to turn the day to completely positive.

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