New York Times Op-Docs and Virtual Reality
The past few months featured a variety of fantastic short film projects, including having the honor of mixing two documentary shorts for the esteemed New York Times Op-Docs series.
The first was a 360° Virtual Reality mix project titled Policing Flint, which can be found on the NY Times new VR app. Directed by Zach Canepari and Drea Cooper, it was a phenomenal experience crafting a fully immersive soundscape and mixing with an Oculus Rift and head-tracked audio in scenes that included wind, snow and a real-life high-speed police chase.
I also had the honor of mixing a second Op-Docs piece for the Times titled ‘Never Trump’. But Then What? Directed by award-winning filmmaker Margaret Brown and focusing on Glen Beck and other Republicans at their annual Red State Gathering and their pledge to never support Donald Trump.
The Swan Girl Wins Student Academy Award
I was overjoyed to hear that the hyper-surreal film The Swan Girl won a Student Academy Award in the Alternative section. Directed by Johnny Coffeen, a former student of mine from the David Lynch MFA in Film program, I provided the surround mix for the film. Congratulations Johnny!
Cinema Eye, IDA Awards, and Other End of Year Nominations
As the end-of-year awards season begins, I’m very proud that Contemporary Color has been nominated for two Cinema Eye Awards, including for Outstanding Achievement in Original Score.
The International Documentary Association has released their nominations, and in their Best Short Form Series Award four of their five nominations were for 30:30 Shorts, Field of Vision, NomiNation and the NY Times Op-Docs, all of which I had the honor of mixing multiple pieces for this year.
The Maggie Gyllenhaal TV series Truth and Power was nominated for an Environmental Media Award.
I was asked to return to the University of Missouri to once again lecture about the art of documentary sound design for their Documentary Journalism courses, in addition to advising their graduate students on their thesis projects. It’s an honor to be invited back to such a historic and respected institution.
I also traveled to Baltimore as an advisor for the Saul Zaentz Film Innovation Fund, helping mentor the lab fellowship recipients and guide their film projects as well as lecturing on the art of film sound. It was wonderful being surrounded by other amazing filmmakers and advisors, as well as seeing the new state of the art film center at Johns Hopkins University.
Film Festival Debuts, Awards, and Updates
The Sound of Blue, Green and Red, directed by Joshua Erkman, debuted in the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, and won a Special Jury Award! The horror short plays next at the Nighthawk Shorts Festival as well as the Nightmares Horror Festival.
“We used a guy named Lawrence Everson for the sound, and he’s the most fantastic sound mixer and sound designer that I’ve ever worked with…50 percent of what you’re feeling and hearing while watching this is due to his sound mix and his sound design.”
And lastly, the sad and newest update to Speaking is Difficult debuted on the New Yorker, alongside director AJ Schnack’s powerful statements about mass shootings. The film was also honored with a Special Jury Award at AFI Fest.
Stay tuned for the next update at the end of the year for some exciting updates on a variety of recent feature film projects and some big festival news. As always I’m grateful for the wonderful work I’ve had a chance to be a part of, and the fantastic filmmakers and collaborators I’ve been able to work alongside of. I feel lucky every day I get to go into the studio and work on projects that I love, and ones that I am constantly inspired by. It was something I thought of a lot during this past weekend of Thanksgiving, and I hold it in my heart next to my family and loved ones and everybody who has ever supported one another on their path towards their passions.