The classic tale of finding success and romance in the big city is given a contemporary, and unconventional spin in Alan Brown's new film, Five Dances. Since this was my second dance-oriented film, I was fortunate enough to already have a background in the intricate foley sounds of a dance studio - many of which were performed by the actors themselves in post-production. The lush score and strong music selections also made for great moments in the mix, and especially in the 5.1 surround environment. Starring Broadway's Ryan Steele (West Side Story, Newsies), Five Dances has been an indie success, winning awards at festivals worldwide, and enjoying limited theatrical runs both domestically and internationally.
In "Standing8," a boxer begins experiencing seizures after killing an opponent in the ring, jeopardizing his next fight, his sanity and his entire way of life. Like so many great boxing films (and sports films in general, for that matter), Standing8 quickly shifts perspectives from the 3rd-person objective, to the 1st-person subjective. In this instance, the 1st person is hallucinatory, and the perspective shifts are often cued in by thunderous blows to the head. I took great care in this film to not only define the sonic extremes of both perspectives, but also the gray area in-between, when we slowly transition from a surreal dream state, only to wake back up in the boxing ring.
Burst Theory, a taut psychological suspense thriller, is the story of a scientist who questions the nature of a bird flu vaccine his team is studying when a colleague unexpectedly contracts the virus under suspicious circumstances. I worked together with sound supervisor Andy Fortenbacher to provide an intense, dynamic soundtrack for this feature-length film. As sound re-recording mixer, I also engineered the mix-down in 5.1 surround at Pomann Sound in NYC.
It Came From Yesterday is a love letter to 1940's serials and 1950's B-Movies. This project called for extensive creature and technology design, with a variety of monster and robot/machine sounds. My inspiration for the robots range from Sigourney-Weaver-in-a-Mech-Warrior to the Pixar lamp. The interdimensional bug creatures get their voices from a delicate layering of processed reptiles, lions, dolphins. Since it was shot 100% on green screen, layering in ambiences and realizing how the world of ICFY would sound was a huge task. That aside, I took this project from conceptual sound design through final mix in under a month.
Privacy is a feature film that centers around a college student who creates a spyware app, which allows him to remote view any cell phone in New York City. Since the storyline revolves around spying and surveillance, I drew inspiration from Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation.
Melon Head is a romantic comedy about Gordon -- a dimwitted but sweet man with pure intentions who follows some bad advice and tries to impress the woman of his dreams by scaring the daylights out of her. In addition to providing this film with a stylized, sensitive, eerie horror sound, I also voiced the Melon Head creature - a cannibalistic child with razor-sharp teeth and a swollen head. As part of a partnership with Columbia University, the director and I received feedback from legendary sound designer Skip Lievsay during a mixing session at Sync Sound, Warner Bros.' NYC audio post facility.
Penny Dreadful is a short film about a kidnapping gone horribly wrong. After receiving a grant from Columbia Universty, the film had its score recorded at Avatar Studios in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen. Dynamic use of music and sound effects help punctuate hilarious moments in this dark comedy. Penny Dreadful has taken home a slew of awards, including Audience Prize at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and Prix du Public at the Champs-Elysees Film Festival. The film stars Oona Laurence, star of Broadway's Matilda: The Musical.
Last Warrior Standing is a sci-fi piece that follows an Iraqi war veteran through other dimensions, where he must kill or be killed to return home. Sound design is dense in this film, with hand-to-hand fight sequences, gunfights, knives, computers, portals, and a robotic sci-fi voice. Many of the design elements were created in Logic Pro, utilizing its built-in vocoder, vocal transformer, and sampler instrument, and then brought back into Pro Tools for final mix.
Static Shock: Blackout
Static Shock: Blackout is a tribute to the WB superhero of the same name. To realize the sounds of "static," I created a sound library of buzzes, hums, whirrs, and thunder. By using some sonic elements thematically, I was able to bring the character to life. Key elements included bug zappers, EMF interference, thunder claps and rolls, a Van de Graaff, and a resonating wine glass.
Beautiful Girls centers around a young cage dancer, who befriends a classical dance teacher. The film was an enormous undertaking: due to technical problems, I deemed it necessary to ADR and foley it in its entirety. By experimenting with directorial methods in the ADR booth, as well as using unconventional foley techniques to replicate ultra-specific sounds, I was able to provide the film with a smooth, creative, musical soundtrack. Beautiful Girls is a selection of the Cannes Film Festival 2012. You can watch the film in its entirety at IndieFlix.com.