Sound Supervisor and Composer, Pollen Music Group
Scot Stafford is an award-winning sound supervisor and composer in film, animation, and immersive formats. Following the success of his score for Pixar’s PRESTO, he co-founded Pollen Music Group in 2010. He has worked on dozens of AR and VR projects with Baobab Studios, Oculus Story Studio, Fable, and Nexus, and is primarily known for his pioneering work on all seventeen Google Spotlight Stories, which he served as Creative Director of Music & Sound from 2013 - 2019. The Emmy-nominated VR experience SONARIA was his directorial debut. He and his creative partners at Pollen have recently garnered an MPSE award for both the sound of BABA YAGA, and are currently working on several projects for Netflix, With.in, and Facebook.
Scot is speaking at
Spatial audio design for interactive VR animation is quite a niche and last year, we were fortunate to have worked with a director that was willing to take creative risks to pave new ground. Having an open mind coupled with a healthy sense of humility seems to be the best way to conquer the rapidly changing landscape of VR. Whether it’s new features being added to game engines to support higher order Ambisonics and new spatializers, or headsets with greater dynamic range and frequency response; the industry is a wild frontier that is served best with constant experimentation and rapid prototyping to discover what enchants the ears and what falls short. Despite these challenges, our small audio team at Pollen Music Group was delighted to be recognized by the Motion Picture Sound Editors earning the 2021 Golden Reel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animation Short Form for our work on Baba Yaga on the Oculus Quest – and we’d love to share our story!
The goal of our talk is to provide a postmortem of our work and share our successes, failures, and other nuggets of wisdom gleaned from our audio journey during 2020. We hope that it inspires our game audio community at large that might be curious about VR audio and perhaps motivate our fellow colleagues to take more creative risks in their work. Given that all our audio work was achieved using only stock Unity Audio, no third-party plug-ins, or audio middleware, we are proof to that it doesn’t require expensive equipment or software to achieve excellence in sound design. It just requires a passion to make the best sounding product that the hardware will deliver and a lot of experimentation to discover the best techniques that synergize in each scenario.
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