On Monday 5th February, the Melbourne Section of the AES held a members-only tour of the State Theatre at the Melbourne Arts Centre.
Due to space limitations in some areas of the facility, we were limited to a maximum of 12 people. It was decided to restrict this event to members, and the quota was filled within a few days of the email notice going out.
As the venue is closing to undergo major renovations next month after 40 years of hosting world-class performances, it was seen as a good opportunity for one last look at the venue as it stands. The hope is that we can return in three years’ time post-renovations to appreciate the changes and improvements. Our host for the evening was Nick Walker, the Arts Centre Manager of Sound and Vision. Our AES Committee member, Rod Brown, who arranged the tour, was a founding Arts Centre A/V staff member and was also on hand to give us some interesting background on the early days of the venue, providing some details that were even news to Nick.
We assembled at the stage door lobby, where Nick explained the theatre’s history and the areas we would be visiting.
He then took our group into the auditorium, describing the configuration, sound reinforcement, and lighting.
Following the AGM, Academy Award winner Ben Osmo (Best Achievement in Sound Mixing 2015 – Mad Max: Fury Road) presented on the topic of:
Film Production Sound Through the Years changes and added responsibilities.
Newly re-elected Chairman Graeme Huon introduced Ben with a brief outline of Ben’s career.
Ben then took us through his career in location sound production from his start in 1975 at the ABC. He told us that the typical setup of the time was a Nagra portable battery-operated tape recorder and a shotgun microphone on a long boom pole. He explained that the shoots were often one-camera affairs with shots framed as wide-shot, mid-shot, and close-up with the microphone positioned accordingly to achieve the appropriate sound balance.
The next online meeting of the AES Melbourne Section will be held on Monday 14th August 2023 at 7:30pm – via Zoom.
It will start with a brief Section Annual General Meeting – non-members and other visitors are welcome to sit in on this part of the meeting.
Then Academy Award winner Ben Osmo (Best Achievement in Sound Mixing 2015 – Mad Max: Fury Road) will present on the topic of:
Film Production Sound Through the Years
changes and added responsibilities.
When Ben started his long and illustrious career in film location sound in the 1970s, capturing location dialogue and effects required little more than a Nagra tape recorder and a shotgun mic on a boom-pole. With advances in technology, the kit a location sound mixer now has to deploy on set can fill a medium-sized van and cover not only multi-channel wireless dialogue/fx capture and recording, but also communications, playback, and monitoring for the entire crew.
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