Since May of this year, Ringling College of Art and Design’s sound designers Nick Palladino and Troy Logan ’22, Film, have been working on the three-hour theatrical release of Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday concert, Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90 at the on-campus post-production complex, part of the Ringling College Studio Labs. The film was shot at a live concert that took place at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in April 2023. The sound designers wrapped the surround mix for the film release in June and were brought back in last month to work on an hour-and-a-half-long CBS special of Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday, a network prime time special, set to air December 17. Nelson is joined by a slew of special guest performers, including Snoop Dogg, Beck, Sheryl Crow, and Roseanne Cash, just to name a few.
Director of the special Rob Rauffer said of his experience, “Spending a day at Ringling College of Art and Design’s state-of-the-art audio facilities with Nick and Troy was an incredibly valuable experience. The project featured a mix of recorded music, live audience reactions, interviews, and SFX. Through Nick and Troy’s exceptional 5.1 mix, viewers were transported to the front row, immersing themselves in the unforgettable event that took place at the Hollywood Bowl in April 2023. Nick and Troy’s expertise in sound design ensured that the final mix surpassed CBS’s quality control standards, truly showcasing their exceptional craftsmanship.”
The project was also a great opportunity for the students. Logan described the experience for the students, “We mostly worked out of Mix B, the smaller 7.1 surround mixing room, that is perfect for mixing for television. Students had the opportunity to sit in with Nick and me, learning the ins and outs of mixing for television and all that goes into it, such as delivery specs and expectations.”
Ringling College Studio Labs is the first commercial and academic film and post-production facility of its kind in the state of Florida. The facilities span the length of a city block and house five professional, acoustically-isolated soundstages as well as 5,000 square feet of post-production space.
Students from every major have the opportunity to utilize Studio Labs. This asset is especially helpful for students studying Computer Animation, Film, Game Art, Motion Design, and Virtual Reality Development. Through community outreach programs, local high school students also have the opportunity to attend week-long workshops at Studio Labs and learn new skills.