Fall-out always accompanies disruption and the pandemic is no exception. Most of the local industries are struggling to adjust to the new working conditions demanded by Covid-19.
One of the hardest-hit, though, is the country’s audio-visual industry. Within the first few months of enhanced community quarantine, 865,000 workers in the Metro Manila audio-visual industry alone were displaced due to the pandemic.
But disruption also brings opportunity. Whether it’s the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic or burgeoning tech trends, local audio-visual house Hit Productions found that adaptability is necessary to make the most out of disruption.
No stranger to innovative solutions, Hit Productions had already come up with a sound studio-on-wheels by retrofitting a Hyundai van in 2019.
When the pandemic struck and both their Makati-based studio and the close-quarters of the van were ill-suited for social distancing, the company put together tablet-powered, portable recording kits.
These kits come with a professional pair of headphones, microphone, and all the scenes and scripts needed by the voice talent to record their parts.
The company also invested in upgrading their software and audio plug-ins to bring work-from-home recordings to studio-quality level.
“With the van, we would bring the studio to you. We’ve taken that a step further, we bring the studio into your house. That was a uniquely pandemic solution that we came up with last year,” shared Vic Icasas, president and managing partner of Hit Productions, during a virtual press briefing held on Monday, June 14.
Their willingness to adapt enabled the production house to not only sustain their operations in 2020, but even expand their portfolio.
Last year, Hit Productions was able to handle the sound production for the advertisement campaigns of some of the biggest brands in the Philippines, including Globe Telecom, McDonalds, Jollibee, and Emperador Brandy.
“Without discounting the negative effects of the pandemic, we can acknowledge that it also created a silver lining for the audio production industry by showing us that we can accomplish our work remotely. This opens up a multitude of opportunities for Filipino production houses, studios and the like to be discovered outside the Philippines,” said Icasas.
Other than the advent of remote work, Icases also emphasized two other megatrends that could help Filipino audio production stand out globally: fluency of Filipinos in the English language and the proficiency of Filipinos in digital technologies.
The adeptness of Filipinos with technology has opened up various opportunities for the country’s audio production houses.
As early as 2019, Hit Productions found itself working with clients to produce soundtracks for virtual reality (VR) exhibitions. Since VR requires ambisonic and spatial audio to give users a surround sound experience, the company’s engineers learned on-the-go and gradually mastered the specialized mixing necessary to create these audio types.
The different technology-based creative mediums gaining popularity in recent years — including podcasts, audiobooks, and advertising on social media platforms — also offer other avenues of growth for this industry.
Icasas highlighted how the rapid evolution of these platforms is driving the audio production industry to be creative with their ideas and approaches.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the audio business. This is the time to be agile,” Icasas said. “I believe the Philippines is set to take on a higher role in audio production for global film, television, music, gaming, advertising, and other key creative industries.”