It’s one thing to capture the reality of being in space. But how do you capture its sounds?
The Montreal-based immersive entertainment studio Felix & Paul Studios had to answer that question in order to produce the Emmy-award winning Space Explorers series, a virtual reality adventure that takes you on board and outside the International Space Station.
“As much as cameras need to capture images in all directions, we need a microphone that does the same thing,” says Jean-Pascal Beaudoin, Head of Audio for Felix & Paul Studios, explaining the various microphones used for their innovative cinematic VR projects.
However for Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, because the sound team couldn’t travel to space, the studio enlisted the astronaut crew to record the sounds of their daily lives, but audio recording was often limited to a single lavalier mic, which definitely does not provide full 360˚ sound! This meant that the Felix & Paul Studios sound team had to create a rich full 360 soundscape almost from scratch in post production in order to replicate the sounds of life aboard the International Space Station. You can see — and listen — here:
To explain how it has pushed boundaries in immersive entertainment, the studio produced the eight-episode series Inside Felix & Paul Studios — every episode, including the fourth episode above, speaks of the importance of providing a sense of “presence” for viewers.
“Spatial audio is absolutely crucial in producing this sense of presence,” says Beaudoin in the video.
The series offers viewers an inside look at the Studio’s creative and technological labs, featuring co-founders Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël and and Stéphane Rituit explaining their creative process and passion for capturing previously inaccessible experiences.
Told in 180-degree stereoscopic video, which offers viewers a sense of depth and three-dimensional space, the first four episodes of Inside Felix & Paul Studios are now available to stream on Meta Quest and YouTube.
Presented by Canon and shot using Canon’s RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens and the EOS R5 C camera, Inside Felix & Paul Studios is all about the creativity and innovation that has led the Studio on its decade-long journey into immersive storytelling. The series unveils the secrets behind their best-known productions and the Studio’s current goal to capture the future of space exploration.
Inside Felix and Paul Studios was written, directed and edited by Kalina Bertin and Ashley Duong. It was produced by Katarina Soukup and executive produced by Stéphane Rituit. Martin Gros and Daniele Tomelleri were the directors of photography, with original music by Jean-Olivier Bégin. Lajeunesse and Raphaël served as creative producers.
Main image: A scene from the International Space Station in Episode 4 of Inside Felix Paul Studios.