Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Twin Cities Film Festival Wrap-Up

I had a great time at the Twin Cities Film Festival last week. It was a chance to check out some new films, celebrate projects I'd worked on as a sound designer and/ or composer, support the work of fellow artists, hang out with old friends, and make new ones. The staff was efficient, friendly, and helpful, and they kept things running on time. What's not to like? Nothin'. That's what.

(L to R: "Out in the Cold"'s composer Elliott Elliot Johnston, director J.D. O'Brien, filmmaker John Koepke, and yours truly feeling like we can be somebody on the red carpet)

I was honored to contribute to projects that garnered three awards at the festival: Out in the Cold, a documentary about homelessness directed by J.D. O'Brien that I mixed in post this past summer, won Honorable Mentions for Best Documentary and Indie Vision Breakthrough Film. Meanwhile The Caper, a narrative comedy short directed by Matthew Anderson and featuring my original musical score, received an Honorable Mention for the Audience Award. Not too shabby in a field of over 120 films, some of which featured famous actors and stuff!

I also discovered some new work I'm excited to share. My pick of the fest is a feature called The Polar Bear Club. Quiet, contemplative and psychological, the film explores the psychological space of older characters with subtlety and grace. I have no doubt this movie will find distribution if it hasn't already; make sure to catch it when it does.

Another truly excellent film I saw was a short called D. Asian. Set in the 1980s, the film recounts youthful ethnic confusion with the tag line "Identity is in the eye of the beholder." It's pulled off with nice performances from young actors and some great 80s cultural references. Highly recommended.

I succumbed to The Incredible Life of Darrell during the Digital Firsts Webisodes shorts block, or should I say not long after. The humor is awkward, "NSFW" and a tad disturbing even by today's standards, to the point where I had to think about whether or not I liked it, but afterward I dcouldn't stop thinking about it, and when I got home I watched the rest of the episodes online. Mission accomplished, Darrell! (Watch an episode below.)

Finally, I really enjoyed Myrna the Monster. Lots of marionette and animation action in this one. Plus, it's really funny. Granted it's produced by MTV and thus kind of like bringing a gun to a knife fight at a fest like this in terms of production value, but it really is a treat so I'd be remiss not mention it.

Unfortunately I had to miss a couple of days/ nights to finish work on the Curse of the Invisible Werewolf trailer. But I had a great time when I was able to make it! Thanks again to everyone who helped make TCFF 2015 happen! Much obliged, to be sure.

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Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

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