Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Your "Vampire Hunter" Name Generator




Want to find out what your "Vampire Hunter" Name is? Just follow these three easy steps!

1. Type your name.

2. Type a comma, and then a space.

3. Add the phrase "Vampire Hunter".

And there you go! Simple as that.



You're welcome. No, really, it's fine.

Mike Hallenbeck home page + contact info

Monday, November 23, 2015

Rickrolling ISIS




According this recent report from Dazed, the hacker consortium Anonymous has begun rickrolling the terrorist group ISIS. As someone who has written extensively on the rickrolling issue in the past, I of course take an interest in this.

Dazed reports that "according to a recent tweet from the #OpParis account, Anonymous are now flooding all pro-Isis hashtags with 'Rick Roll' videos. That means; whenever any Isis account tries to spread a message, or get something trending, the topic will instead be flooded with countless videos of Rick Astley circa 1987."

Excellent!



Dazed helpfully apologizes to those who don't remember rickrolling, since it started in 2007. Old school, baby.

I have to say I'm of two minds about Anonymous... while I tend to align with their political views, I have to wonder how I'd feel about them if I didn't...

Mike Hallenbeck home page + contact info

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Curse of the Invisible Werewolf" Poster




Hooray! The poster promoting The Curse of the Invisible Werewolf has arrived. I'm serving as both sound designer and composer on this project, a tribute to classic monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s.

The film made a good showing at American Film Market a couple of weeks back, and garnered a fair amount of interest from distributors.

Stay tuned for more COTIW news, and feel free to like the film on Facebook.

More film sound design by Mike Hallenbeck

More film music by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Original Music for Web Series: Bryn Mawr Bop




Spotlight on a track that appears in Season Three, Episode Three of the web series Theater People...



I assumed the music would be mixed low under dialog much of the time, so I listened at a very low volume when completing my own music mix-- thus, many elements wound up sounding different than they would have had I been mixing for up-front placement. Given the comedic nature of the sequence, I also wanted to preserve the sense of naivete I was going for. So I resisted the urge to "correct" some of the rhythmic imperfections I might have otherwise addressed.

Here's a clip of how the piece played out in the episode...



Three separate stories play out here: an actor (Clarence Wethern) confronts his fear of not being recognized/ acknowledged as he attempts to gain access to a theater for a rehearsal process; an assistant stage manager (Katie Willer) fights for admittance to the same rehearsal, saved only by the whim of her boss, the actual stage manager (Mo "MoCap" Perry); and the production's director (Stacia Rice) schemes to divert what may already be inevitable: that the titular male star of the TV sitcom "Fat Guy With A Hot Wife" has been cast as the lead in her theater production "The Shade Beneath The Awning" (imagine said casting in a play by Tennessee Williams or Eugene O'Neill) without her approval.

Enjoy!

More film music by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Everything's Coming Up Profits: Live in Minneapolis!




For Twin Cities fans of corporate infotainment, a special event coming up soon at the Heights Theater: a live presentation of material covered in the book Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals. For tickets and more info, go here.

I've already written about this phenomenon extensively in a previous blog entry, so feel free to check that out if you're curious as to what the heck this is. And if you decide this event is for you-- you'll know pretty quickly whether or not that's the case-- then I'll see you there!

For those elsewhere, there are other shows coming up too. Here's a tour schedule.

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Monday, November 16, 2015

"Mirrororrim" Screens at Twisted Oyster Experimental Film Festival




For those in the Chicago area: "Mirrororrim", an animated short by John Akre featuring some of my more bizarre sound design, will show at the Twisted Oyster Experimental Film Festival opening on November 20th at Zhou B. Arts Center.



The festival showcases the work of filmmakers from the US, UK, Switzerland, India, and Brazil. Looks like fun. Wish I could go!

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More film sound by Mike Hallenbeck

More sound + music by Mike Hallenbeck for animation

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"Deux Champs" Screens at Anthology Film Archives for New Filmmakers 2015




It appears that "Deux Champs", a short film by Kevin Obsatz featuring my sound design and original score, will screen at NYC's Anthology Film Archives as part of the New Filmmakers Short Film Program on November 18th.

Shot on a Bolex, the film is narrated by a relative of Obsatz who once shot an accidental double exposure of Marcel Duchamp that eventually wound up in a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.



"Deux Champs" screens as part of the New Filmmakers Short Films Program at 8:30 on November 18th. More details here.

More film sound by Mike Hallenbeck

More film music by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Original Music for Web Series: Shakopee Shuffle




Recently I was invited back to compose music for the third season of the web series Theater People, now with Kickstarter funding! I was, of course, thrilled.

Among the many pieces of music I developed was a somewhat lighthearted cue, variously evocative of triumph and inquiry. In this season's first and second episodes you'll encounter three different versions of it, a total of five times altogether: a "basic" swing arrangement, a bossa nova rendition, and a piano jazz variant that reappears throughout the show (often as source background music).



The piece appears twice near the top of Episode 1. The original swing version accompanies Elise on her triumphant walk home from the Shepard Theater after learning she'd be directing there. In the bossa nova immediately following the theme, we encounter the full melodic development, replete with a key change that eventually resolves back into the original tonality. It first plays out under a conversation close to the start of Episode 1 in which Ben (Clarence Wethern) announces to his wife (Miriam Schwartz) that he's quitting acting, only to change his mind at the receipt of a fateful phone call.

Enjoy!

More film music by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Out in the Cold" Mall of America Screening + Documentary Drive Review




Out int the Cold, the feature-length documentary I mixed in post last summer, screens at the Mall of America tomorrow night, 11/11/15. Get tickets here.

The film also got a nice review from Documentary Drive. They even mentioned me and production mixer Matt Manson. When does that ever happen?

Details on the film from its imdb page: "Two men leave the comforts of home to spend a week of Minnesota winter experiencing homelessness. They sleep either on the streets or in homeless shelters in an effort to create empathy with those who truly have to experience life without stable housing, and create an avenue for them to share their stories. During their week on the streets they encountered below zero temperatures, dangerous places to sleep, and met a lot of wonderful people who showed John and J.D. how to survive and how to maintain hope while living without stable housing."

More film sound by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Chimpmunks Slowed Down


This has been making the rounds quite a bit lately, and rightly so, because it's brilliant. These are Chipmunks tracks slowed down to 16 RPM, thus approximating the original speed at which the vocals must have been recorded by actual humans.



The resulting dirges have an ominous, forlorn quality...

You can hear the final sped-up results here too.



These tracks confirm what I've long suspected: that the singers/ actors portraying the Chimpmunks could be literally anyone, providing they can talk and sing. And it's interesting to hear that their pitch wavers quite a bit in the original key, since the vocalists have to hold the notes out so long.

But things always sound more in tune when they're sped up. Hence, the bar is lowered yet further for who is qualified for the job!

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com

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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More film sound by Mike Hallenbeck

More film music by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page

Contact: hallenbeckmike at gmail dot com