Space Sound Design With Full Circle Werks’ Chris Wiseman Interview

May 18, 2012 by Administrator in Interviews, Sound Design, Sound Effects

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 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.”