Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sound Design for Documentary Feature: "Out in the Cold"

A highlight reel of my sound design and mix for a documentary feature directed by J.D. O'Brien. Aimed at raising awareness of issues related to homelessness, "Out in the Cold" won Honorable Mentions for both Best Documentary and Indie Vision Breakthrough Film (the latter in the company of a Charlie Kaufman film, no less!) at its 2015 Twin Cities Film Festival premiere. The movie garnered a nice review from Documentary Drive too.

To make "Out in the Cold", director J.D. 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.

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.

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.

More info on "Out in the Cold"

More film sound by Mike Hallenbeck

Mike Hallenbeck home page + contact

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