Post Sound For REI

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Hands On Sound was hired by Torin Scott to do production audio clean up and the mix on a nice piece for retailer REI. This video looks at Andy Browne, the company’s old employee. You can watch it here.

When the mission is as big as to make the world a better place, what can one person do? Ask Andy Browne and he’ll tell you; get more people to spend more time outdoors. In Andy’s case, that means backpacking and he’s been doing it for ninety years. Around a campfire, Andy will regale you with stories of hiking in Yosemite National Park and learning to take photos from Ansel Adams. What advice does he have for young people just starting out in life? Grab your gear and go backpacking, you’ll learn things that stay with you throughout your life. ANDY is a close look at one man who embodies the belief that a life outdoors is a life well lived. 

 Credits:
Directed, produced and edited by: Torin Scott
Cinematography by: Matt Silverman
Additional Cinematography by: Liam Delacroix
Audio Engineer: Will Mitchell 

Call Of The Valley- Documentary Sound Mixing

Just in time for it’s world premiere at the Sonoma International Film Festival, I’ve wrapped up the sound mix on the documentary film, Call Of the Valley- The Enduring Lure Of Sonoma. This piece, narrated by Peter Coyote traces the history of the area thru interviews and archival treasures. It was great to work once again with Leslie and James Simmons, whose storytelling craft is nicely captured visually. Go to the film festival site for screening times and to the project’s website for more information, background and further screening dates.

GRAMMY Hits And Misses

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Having just finished watching this year’s GRAMMY Awards on CBS, I got to wondering how many projects I’ve worked on that have garnered GRAMMY nominations and/or wins. Well…the answer would be 12 nominations with 2 wins out of that bunch. For some, I was involved in audio production and other video production. While many would argue that the GRAMMYs are more of a popularity contest than an accurate measure of what is “best”, it’s still nice to receive some recognition from one’s peers in NARAS.

56TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS (2013)

Nomination- BEST ROCK ALBUM Neil Young Psychedelic Pill

53RD ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS (2010)

Win- BEST ROCK SONG Neil Young: Angry World

Nomination- BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Neil Young: Angry World

BEST ROCK ALBUM Neil Young Le Noise

 52ND ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS (2009)

 Win- BEST BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE Neil Young Archives Vol. I (1963-1972)

Nomination- BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Neil Young Fork In The Road

 51ST ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS (2008)

Nomination-BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Neil Young: No Hidden Path

 49TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS (2006)

Nomination-BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Neil Young: Lookin' For A Leader

BEST ROCK SONG Neil Young: Lookin' For A Leader

BEST ROCK ALBUM Neil Young: Living With War

 48TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS (2005)

Nomination-BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Neil Young: The Painter

BEST ROCK ALBUM Neil Young: Prairie Wind

 

 

 

Nat Geo NASA Documentary

Often times it it a long time between production and the public release of projects. One such job is the location sound gig i had with a Nat Geo crew in the summer of 2017. Each week over that time we followed a group of middle school students in Campbell, CA as they participated in the NASA/ MIT S.P.H.E.R.E.S program and competition. The big payoff for the kids was seeing, live, code that they had written controlling robotic spheres aboard the International Space Station.

Entitled, Zero Gravity this 17 minute documentary has so far screened in the USA at the DC Shorts Film Festival and internationally at the Cannes Film Festival Short Corner.

You can watch it here with just one easy click.



Happy New Year 2019

It’s been a real busy last half of 2018 for Hands on Sound but now with a rare off day I can offer up a few updates on what’s been going on. Documentary projects both on location and in post. Everything from educational to political, social and nature doc work. We’ve gone on location for a reality/ travel show pilot and on a sound stage with electronic music pioneers as they prepare for a tour. There have been a few network one offs for PBS, TBS and Fox. In the world of music we contributed to a Bob Dylan box set, produced prom videos for Phil Lee and even composed some original electronic music. Currently we have 3 indie films in post mixing and one more coming up on location this month.

If you are a client or friend of Hands on Sound, thanks for all your support in 2018, where we invoiced a record number of clients. If you are a potential client…get in touch.

Post Sound Mixing- Locally & Globally

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July and August finds 3 indie short films in post here at Hands on Sound and I'm having a blast with this group. The modern world is so great in as much as it allows productions to work remotely yet collaboratively.  Projects get uploaded to me, work gets done, mixes go back up for review and notes...and we then make it to the finish line together.  It's a nice workflow.

I'v teamed up again with director and filmmaker Noah Weisel on his film noir piece Ghost Dick.  For this one Noah is shooting on the Fisher Price PXL2000 camera for a unique B&W look and all sound is being done in post here at Hands on Sound...ADR, SFX music etc.  With San Francisco as the backdrop to this detective story, this short harkens back to the classic era of film noir.

Following up on the production sound I did a while back for Travis White and his short Game Time, the film has gone to final cut and is back with me for mixing and sound design.  It's always a pleasure to cut dialogue that I recorded since I'm familiar with the source material and know it was captured well.  IMDB tells us that Game Time is "A film about nerds and the jocks that harass them, with a sci-fi/fantasy twist" and I can verify that is true.

On the schedule for today is a mix on the French film Zero One.  This one is a 17 minute tale that examines life and death on a somewhat philosophical level.  Zero One was shot in Paris and is presented simultaneously in both English and French, with subtitles. This is my first time working with producer/ directors Kirsten Russell and Frédérique Nahman and they are a joy.   Some of the audio fun for me has been sourcing SFX and backgrounds that are Paris and France specific...and keeping it real.  With this being filmed in Paris, edited in New York and mixed in California, the project is a true testament of global creative partnerships..

Over The Years- Graham Nash

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30-Song Collection Spotlights Nash’s Best-Known Songs From The Past  50 Years And Includes More Than A Dozen Unreleased Demos And Mixes 

Available On CD, Vinyl, And Digital From Rhino

Order your copy here: https://rh-ino.co/overtheyears

I had the honor and privilege of putting together this set of tracks for Graham with his long time friend and partner in crime, Joel Bernstein. I served as the project's engineer, compiling, assembling and pre-mastering the 2 CD/ double LP collection.  

Some of the highlights on this one were cleaning up the original demos of "Our House" and "Marrakesh Express", and mixing the demos for "Wasted On On The Way" and "Wind On The Water".  Our collective archival minds also helped to unearth an unreleased mix of "I Used To Be A King" featuring Jerry Garcia's original pedal steel track, recorded at Wally Heider's in San Francisco.  A superb mastering job by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering brought the  project to the finish line.

Learn more about Over The Years on the Graham Nash website.

What's Up? Doc?

Some of my most satisfying days are spent on location, doing documentary sound.  Whether we're in a room, out in the world walking/driving around or capturing an unexpected moment, this type of recording is a blast.  There are so many stories out there and an endless amount of interesting people with fascinating viewpoints that just call for attention.

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In this era where DSLR cameras, and to an extent mobile phones, are able to get usable footage in a somewhat stealthy manner, I'm often times the most visible member of the doc film crew.  I've got at least a bag with recorder/mixer and transmitters in it and once that boom pole comes out we attract more attention than we'd like.

This past weekend Hands on Sound and Bohanti Productions travelled to California's Central Coast to start work on a documentary piece about musician Phil Lee.  This was a run 'n gun affair with a couple of proper sit-down interviews tossed in as we got an overview of Phil's world before heading out on tour.  With 2 DSLR cameras we grabbed hour upon hour of footage with Phil and had him mic'd up for the majority of his waking hours.  Following Phil around town we got a good taste of his local haunts and the folks he encounters.  For many of the innocent bystanders our cameras just indicated we are photographers and must be hanging out with someone interesting.  It's the bag that gives the crew away, so my deal is to get rolling on the wireless mics and then cover the bag with a jacket or sweatshirt...ending up looking like a guy who is carrying around a bag on his shoulder or is the photographer's helper.  In the bag I keep a shotgun mic setup on a pistol grip and that serves as extra coverage when needed...such as when we encounter someone on the street or in a restaurant.

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This past December I went out on the road for a couple of fun weeks with the documentary crew from Kindness Films.  This was another 2 DSLR shoot + Sound.  Most days we had our subjects mic'd up for the day with boom added in controlled situations.  In the more guerrilla moments I once again employed the hidden bag and pistol grip shotgun.

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Documentary sound also give the opportunity to get creative in sound gathering and allows me to play with plant mics, PZMS, handheld recorders and even at times stealthy on my own body mics.  Thinking fast and being as invisible are strong skills to have on these shoots since there aren't re-shoots and multiple takes.  Interactions are real and in the moment, often fleeting and brief. Ya either catch 'em or ya don't.  I like to catch 'em.

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