Poutnik is the creation of the animation team at ANOMALIA. The director, Keith Lango, had a unique vision with the creation of this animated short, he wanted to see how to make a film of perceivable quality, that only utilized a fast paced animation team without the hollywood budget. Keith’s team wanted to see how artistic choices could perform within the the creative limitations of a lower budget production.
Arsen Gogeshvili called me up one day after he had spoken with Keith about creating the sound design and ambience for the film and asked me to join in on the process. During this period of time, I was employed as the audio director for local content production company, and was knee deep in a tight production schedule. When I got the word from Arsen that we had to turn around this completed work in two weeks, I knew what it would mean on my sleep schedule, but the moment I saw the footage I knew this project was for me.
Arsen and I immediately began mapping out every sound we would need on an excel sheet: footsteps on rocks, grass, concrete, dirt, and wood, train sounds and industrial ambience, street sounds and passing cars, thunder, rain, lighting, splashes in rivers, rocks thrown into rivers and other rocks, and not to mention the character sounds that included a four story crab monster. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us.
We decided that even though time was a factor, the sounds for this needed to be entirely original and not from a sound effects library. The time and energy put into this film from the animation team, made it obvious to us that if we went the direction of a stock library, the sounds would not be in the spirit of the intention behind the film.
We began the process by using our field recorders and hunting out sounds that would work. because of how busy I was at my audio director job during the day, we had to record separately, and whenever we could. By working to a sheet of exactly what we needed, Arsen and I were able to cover much more ground together. Arsen would text me while I was in a shoot at work and say, ” I got the train sound”, then I would text him at 12am that night and say, “got the street sounds”. We worked this way for several days. (Luckily for me, I live in the Pacific Northwest, so rain sounds and thunder happened to coincide with our recording process!) We would then come together when we could and check off our list.
After the recording process Arsen focused on editing the sounds of the creatures together, while I edited all of the footsteps and background environmental sounds. To handle the individual chopped up samples of footsteps from all of the multiple ground types we recorded, I used a combination of Izotope RX5 for isolating the samples and pitch shifting, and Kontakt 5 to physically place each step, slide, fall, and plunge into the water.
After all was said and done Arsen and I through careful planning and communication, were able to deliver the sound assets for film on time.