Friday, December 28, 2012

Moments in Sound: My Favorites for 2012

As has become one of my year-end customs, I'd like to share a few of my favorite sound experiences from 2012.  Though a few of this year's favorite moments have been editorial in nature, some of my just-as-fond memories stem from seeing projects I've worked on in previous years finally get some distribution.  Let's get into it!

Editorial Highlights of 2012
I've mentioned SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden (previously known as Code Name: Geronimo) in previous entries, and I've just gotta reiterate how crazy fun this experience was for me.  I had the opportunity to blog about it on The Post Lab a week or so ago, so if you'd like to read about the Monkeyland sound design process, please follow this link!  Director John Stockwell was a cool straight-shooter when it came to what he wanted to accomplish with sound, and I feel our work reflected his desires.  The film aired on National Geographic this past November and is currently available on Netflix!

Monkeyland Crew with director Eric Heisserer (center)
Hours is another film that I really enjoyed designing with my fellow Monkeylanders.  The story - about a father's struggle to keep his newborn daughter alive during one of the worst disasters in New Orlean's history - has a lot of heart, and I felt we could do quite a lot with the sound to convey the magnitudes of both the literal hurricane and the more personal chaos that our lead character encounters.  You couldn't ask for anyone more personal or enthusiastic than our director Eric Heisserer (who also wrote and produced this).  He enjoyed the sound process as much as we did.  Thanks Eric!

Cut earlier, released this year
There are quite a few projects I've worked on in previous years that saw some nice distribution in 2012, but if I had to narrow it down to just my top three, I'd have to say that Sushi Girl, Yellow Rock and Climate Refugees make the cut.  I've blogged extensively on both Sushi Girl and Yellow Rock and I'm happy to see that both these films have generated much buzz online, with the critics, at film festivals and upon being distributed.

Yellow Rock dazzled at quite a number of festivals before being released on DVD this past summer.  Please read my post about working on this film.  It was fast, furious, gritty and intense all rolled into one, but I managed to inject a sense of spirituality and peace into my editing.  Thanks Lenore and Steve for a great experience!

What can I say about Sushi Girl that I haven't said over a million times already?  The internet was ablaze for over a year with this film, and I have to bow down to Kern, Neal, Suren and Destin for making the type of film I've always dreamed of working on.  Sushi Girl, for all intents and purposes, is the reason I got into this business!  Thank you guys, from the bottom of my heart.  The film made its official premiere On Demand this past November, and in just a few days will hit select theaters nationwide.  Look out for it!

I must include Climate Refugees in this short list because it is the true embodiment of what one would consider a passion project.  This documentary - about the "human face of climate change" chronicles director Michael Nash's journey across the globe, to areas most heavily affected by the massive shifts in the Earths' climate.  The sound team and I were really touched by the director's message, and are excited that it has finally found a distribution outlet.  
The feature documentary was released this past summer and is available now on Netflix.

So, that's it for now!  I am extremely grateful for 2012, and I look forward to whatever challenges, opportunities and experiences 2013 has in store for me.  I hope each of you find happiness, peace and success in the coming year and in the years to come.  Blessings!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Monkeyland and The Post Lab: Serving Independent Film

My passion for storytelling and writing has come full circle, and I am happy to announce that I am now a contributing writer on The Post Lab, an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers.  My first article posted today and I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts on audio post production in the coming months.  Big thanks to Chris Russo for presenting me and Monkeyland Audio with this super cool opportunity.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reflecting on the Year: A Moment of Gratitude

I'm coming up for air again, this time to simply acknowledge the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me this year.  I learned so much during 2012 and have had quite a number of character-building experiences.  My patience and stamina were tested regularly, particularly in trying to find a balance between an impossible and maddening work schedule, and the more important demands of being a father.

As with the previous few years, I found 2012 to have its own particular tone or meaning.  2007 was a year of reflection for me.  2010, a year of preparation and planting seeds.  In 2011, I watched the fruits of my sonic labor blossom.  This year was an endurance test, one where the biggest task was finding an acceptable and healthy pace, finding my inner peace, keeping my head down, doing the work, and getting to the top of the proverbial hill.  Another year of preparation, one might say, but also one of absolute gratitude for every step taken.  I look back on the number of projects I participated in - both as a staff editor and as a freelancer - and I am amazed at how we got it all done.  I thank the Universe daily, for allowing me to follow my instincts and allowing me the strength to carry on with my chosen career path.  

I wish nothing but great success and lots of work for my fellow sound editors, and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that 2013 will bring.  Many blessings!
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