Wednesday, October 21, 2015

TCFF Bald Director Profile #1: J.D. O'Brien, "Out in the Cold"

The 2015 Twin Cities Film Festival features a number of films I worked on variously as a sound designer and composer. Each of these projects was helmed by a director who's bald like me. Today, let's meet J.D. O'Brien, whose feature documentary Out in the Cold I had the pleasure of mixing in post this past summer. TCFF will host the world premiere of the film as part of its festival lineup. Get tickets here for the encore screening, recently added to accommdate increased demand.

To make this film, O’Brien and his friend John Koepke left the comfort of their own homes to spend a week of Minnesota winter sleeping either on the streets or in homeless shelters as an opportunity to create experiential empathy with those who truly have to live without stable housing.

Here's a highlight reel to demonstrate my mix of the film:

Working on the film was a real pleasure; I had a lot of help from some talented collaborators. O'Brien's good humor and trust in his team helped to foster a creative atmosphere. I was lucky to work with audio collected by production sound mixer Matt Manson, who did an incredible job of maintaining high standards under challenging circumstances. And a lovely musical score from Sean Cody and Elliot Johnston made the mix all the more enjoyable.

I'm really pleased with the rhetorical structure of this doc; it does a great job of amplifying the voices of many homeless people the filmmakers meet along the way, and demonstrating the intersection of unstable housing with alcoholism, mental illness, and other vectors that compromise quality of life. Best of all, it builds a convincing argument for a solution as the images and stories pile up.

More film sound by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

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