Interviews enterprise-manhattan-1600

Published on May 18th, 2012 | by Administrator

Space Sound Design With Full Circle Werks’ Chris Wiseman Interview

It was a breezy Thurs­day morn­ing last month when New York­ers and Jer­seyans clam­bered to their office win­dows as the nation tuned in to catch space shut­tle Enter­prise make its <a href=“” onclick=“javascript:_gaq.push([’_trackEvent’,‘outbound-article’,‘’]);“s+last+flight/G3779” target=“_blank”>final flight over Man­hat­tan. The fol­low­ing day, in far away Ger­many, Chris Wise­man uploaded this short: a NASA video sim­u­la­tion of future space shut­tle Orion, out­fit­ted with new, tailor-made audio effects.

That week­end a con­sid­er­able pocket of the inter­net tuned in to check out the clip. In just three daysamassed 60,000 hits across some 150 dif­fer­ent countries—numbers that sur­prised the video’s chief archi­tect, for one. “I had no idea that the won­der­ful gen­eral pub­lic would embrace it like they did,” com­ments Wise­man. “It’s been very gratifying.”

Wise­man is the prime mover of Full {Cir­cle} Werks, a ven­ture he began in 2005 “pri­mar­ily as a music pro­duc­tion com­pany,” he says, before merg­ing into more spe­cial­ized waters in 2010. These days, Wise­man finds him­self man­ag­ing a ”trusty team of free­lancers” on post-production projects both large and small, chiefly in film or advertising.

But in this case, things were a bit dif­fer­ent. “When I saw the beau­ti­ful ani­ma­tion that NASA had com­mis­sioned, I instantly knew that it had to flow,” he says of the Orion demo. (The shut­tle will make its maiden voy­age in 2014.) Wise­man cites a fas­ci­na­tion with space dat­ing back to his crawl­ing days as a tod­dler, lis­ten­ing to tales of the space race that his par­ents imparted and sit­ting in front of the TV for the US moon land­ing in 1969. “Ever since then I’ve had a fas­ci­na­tion with NASA and all things space-related,” he muses, adding the Apollo mis­sions as a chief fix­a­tion of his youth.

For Wise­man, the project was a rather natural—if not obvious—choice. And it adds to his body of space-related pro­duc­tions, which include a sound col­lage com­mem­o­rat­ing NASA’s 40th anniver­sary and an ambi­ent assem­blage to cel­e­brate shut­tle Discovery’s final flight last year. When asked which record­ings from Pro Sound Effects’ share of offi­cial NASA sound effects he might have con­sid­ered had he known of the the PSE online library prior to the clip, Wise­man loosely men­tions sci-fi effects before call­ing out the surround-sound space atmos­pheres: “The 5.1 sounds would have been interesting!”

Less is more,” Wise­man expounds. “It isn’t about drown­ing out and over­pow­er­ing, or slap­ping on some stock library music.” It’s familiar-sounding advice, but cer­tainly evi­dent in his “Flight of the Orion.”

What’s next from Wise­man and co.? The Full Werks founder men­tions some prospects he finds inter­est­ing, but ulti­mately con­cludes that the follow-up is still unde­cided. The Orion short was begun out of pure pas­sion, with hopes of it going viral, Wise­man says. After some prod­ding, he admits, “Yes, it would be great to get a com­mis­sion out of it and develop fur­ther pieces that inspire gen­er­a­tions, like this one has.”


Back to Top ↑