Sound For A Film Noir

Post Production is now wrapped on the detective short Ghost Dick, a film noir piece shot in San Francisco on a vintage Fisher Price PXL2000 camera. This somewhat toy video camera came out in the late 1980’s and originally recorded picture to an audio cassette tape. in later years, avant garde and experimental filmmakers modified the camera to record to a digital format, making very pixelated and stylized works and continues to be used today.

Watch Ghost Dick:

For Ghost Dick we didn’t record production sound of any type except for some field recordings i made on site to capture location correct ambiences and backgrounds. Once editing was completed, we brought the show’s actors in for ADR sessions at Hands on Sound and then I went at it to fill in all the other sounds needed…doing foley and mining the sound library my collection of field recordings. The director, Noah Weisel, composed the soundtrack and played trumpet and drums. I added bass guitar and later put together the credit roll music, with was based on the film’s main theme.

Submissions to film festivals are just beginning and Ghost Dick has already been accepted in the Los Angeles PXL THIS Toy Camera Festival in November.

The 29th annual toy camera film festival features Pixelvision films made with the Fisher-Price PXL-2000 camcorder. PXL THIS, one of the oldest film festivals in LA, celebrates visionary moving image artists from seminal experimental filmmakers to 10-years-olds to homeless to professionals. This year includes entries from across the US.

Gettin' A Kick Out Of Soccer

Hands on Sound was on location last week with Major League Soccer for their coverage of the annual California Claciso match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy. The camera crew I was with went to Avaya Stadium for some interviews with Earthquakes player and to follow them thru team practice. The following day it was off to Stanford Stadium for the big game in front of a sell out crowd. After some pre-game interviews, it was down to field level for the contest and post-game coverage. I’d had to say one of the highlights of the day for this sound mixer was when the Earthquake’s mascot “Q” grabbed my boom and started waving it around like a banner. Oh…and San Jose won 3-0.

Post Sound For REI

REI Andy.jpeg

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. 

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


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.


Nomination- BEST ROCK ALBUM Neil Young Psychedelic Pill


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


 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


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


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


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


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..