Contemporary Color Premieres at Tribeca, Wins Pair of Awards

It was a wonderful experience sound editing and mixing the new David Byrne/Color Guard hybrid concert film Contemporary Color, which had its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, debuting to outstanding reviews and receiving a pair of festival awards.

The film marks my fourth collaboration with directors the Ross Brothers, my second with music mixer Dan Romer, and my first time working with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. The film is an explosion of color and sound, featuring dazzling flag and rifle dance routines, a multitude of perspective shifts, and musical performances by St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, Ad Rock and Money Mark from the Beastie Boys, Lucius, and many more.

The reviews from Tribeca have been stellar:

Indiewire“David Byrne puts on a brilliant show in Contemporary Color”

The Playlist“I spent most of the film trying to blink back tears, close my gaping mouth and smile all at the same time”

Filmmaker Magazine“A radiant documentary on an American subculture”

The Hollywood Reporter – “A beautiful point of entry into a discipline many urbanites have never encountered”“Joyous and masterful no matter what angle one looks at it from” and “a truly great movie”

The film was also featured in Pitchfork Magazine, Rolling Stone’s 15 most anticipated films from Tribeca, Deadline, and had a wonderfully in-depth interview series written in Filmmaker Magazine.

Overall it was a fantastic project to work on, one that I am very proud of, and I’m overwhelmed by the reception at Tribeca.

Next it headed to the San Francisco Film Festival, where it had a unique free outdoor screening as part of the festivities, before traveling to Hot Docs and the Montclair Film Festival, where it picked up dozens more glowing reviews.


New Updates for Field of Vision

Both documentary shorts I mixed for Field of Vision, The Black Belt and Speaking is Difficult, are now available on their main website, in addition to continuing to play across the country in festivals, as well as a unique event at the IFC Center in New York.

The Black Belt also took home the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Dallas Film Festival last weekend, which is an honor.

And lastly, Field of Vision itself just won a Webby Award for Best News and Politics Series. The platform has done so much in its inaugural year, and I’m very happy to have been able to contribute to a pair of their first films.



Massive Amount of Film Festival Appearances

2016 has has featured a ton of films I’ve mixed at festivals across North America in addition to Tribeca, including the following since Sundance and SXSW:

Full Frame – The Black Belt, Speaking is Difficult

Hot Docs – Contemporary Color, The Black Belt

San Francisco Film Festival – The Boatman, Contemporary Color

Sarasota Film Festival – Rita Mahtoubian is Not a Terrorist, The Boatman

Nashville Film Festival – Two Cities, the Black Belt, Speaking is Difficult

Montclair Film Festival – Contemporary Color, The Black Belt, The Boatman, The Dean Scream, Speaking is Difficult

Seattle Film Festival – Contemporary Color, The Black Belt, The Dean Scream, Speaking is Difficult


Western and Killing them Safely now on Netflix

As of April, both last year’s Western and Killing them Safely can now be streamed on Netflix.

In addition, Hammer to Nail also published an interview with Bill Ross about Western and Contemporary Color.


Lecturing on the Art of Documentary Sound at Columbia University

And last but not least I had the honor of traveling to the University of Missouri to teach a class on documentary sound at the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism. Many thanks to the faculty that made it happen, as well as the students that let me impart my philosophies about sound and story and documentary world-building to them. It was tremendous fun, and I’m always happy to help spread the gospel of good sound.



Next I’m about to begin mixing a new feature documentary film called A Life In Waves, about electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani. It is directed by Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason whom I have collaborated before on their feature documentary films G.L.O.W. The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and County Fair: Texas. I’m excited to go from one creatively stylized music film to another, and I can’t wait to explore the world and wonder of Ciani’s sounds after spending time working with David Byrne’s collection of musicians and color guard universe. Farewell, until next update!


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