Sound Q&A: Nylon Studios Come to America

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Sydney-based Nylon Studios, whose work in the past year includes impressive spots for JC Penny, Farmer's Insurance and Herringbone, has opened its first international outpost in New York City. The shop's Sydney office is home to about 20 full-time and freelance staffers, while an army of two has established the New York operation. The new office and studio has been up and running since late December, and we spoke to executive producers Mark Beckhaus and now New York-based Karena Cameron about the reasons behind the move, why having the bulk of their composers Down Under is an advantage for U.S. clients and more.

First things first, what brings you to America?
mark beckhaus: The market is pretty small (in Australia) so sooner or later you start to look beyond your own shores. Usually the first port of call is Asia. For us, we're relatively big in the market here so we do a lot of work now in Singapore, Hong Kong and, in the last few years, in China. Because of the tyranny of distance, the U.S. is difficult because it is such a long way away and the time difference is a killer. But we did a few jobs there that got some international attention and we started to get more and more American work. We'd been looking at Shanghai as our first international destination but the quality of the work from the States was very encouraging so we decided to give it a go.

Obviously there are disadvantages to the time difference. What are some of the advantages?
karena cameron: It's great when we're delivering work to U.S. clients because we can get a brief and our people in Sydney can work on it over the U.S. night and have something ready for the client to look at in the morning. But in New York, to have the real-time communication and face to face dialogue has been invaluable. Plus, there's been less client phone calls in the middle of the night.

How do you characterize the shop?
KC: We're more of a boutique shop. We're known for our song-style tracks, in terms of composition, and we've got a plethora of musicians and singers in Sydney and a handful here. We're also a one-stop shop , in terms of music composition and sound design capabilities.

Does the shop specialize in a type or style of music?
KC: That's a tough one because we do have a pretty diverse range of work, in terms of sound. We are finding people do come to us for that sort of luscious, whimsical style of composition, the non-jingle. We put the JC Penny tune on iTunes and it sold almost 10,000 units, which is crazy! And that came about just because we were getting so many requests for it. What are your plans for growth now that you're in the U.S.?
MB: We position ourselves as that boutique shop where we're big enough to service the clients but not having to chase every bit of work out there. We'll see how things develop in New York, but obviously we'd like to build that studio up to the same scale as it is (in Sydney).
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