Friday, September 30, 2016

Twin Cities Film Festival Preview

Two short films featuring sound edit and mix by Junior Birdman Audio have been selected to premiere at the 2016 Twin Cities Film Festival in October. Congrats to the directors, casts, crews of Elixir and Bobby's Run Off!

Both pieces will screen as part of short film blocks at Showplace Icon at the West End in St Louis Park, MN.

Written and directed by Justin Staggs
Screens October 23rd, 2016 at 1:45 pm
"A young sorceress battles dark forces for the future of the Great Garden. But is her magic great enough to defeat Death, himself?"
Get tickets

Here's the teaser trailer for "Elixir":

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Written and directed by John Kaiser
Screens October 25th, 2016 at 5:10 pm
"Grace searches for her abusive brother-in-law after he fails to come home one evening. The deeper she digs into the town she left behind, the more she learns that everyone has secrets."
Get tickets

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Festival Updates: "Bobby's Run Off" at TCFF 2016, "Infestation" in Toronto


"Bobby's Run Off", a short written and directed by John Kaiser, will premiere at the 2016 Twin Cities Film Fest. I served as sound editor and re-recording mixer. I was indebted here to the ace location mixing of Tim Schraeder.

The film is anchored by a mostly female cast-- including Eleonore Dendy and Molly Ryman, who more and more occupy the video tack of my audio timelines like the villains condemned to the Phantom Zone in Superman II. imdb describes the plot thusly: "Grace searches for her abusive brother-in-law after he fails to come home one evening. The deeper she digs into the town she left behind the more she learns that everyone has secrets."


Cable Hardin's animated short "Infestation" continues its quest for world domination, with my sound design in tow. In keeping with its history of unconventional venues, the film is currently screening on the Toronto subway system. Vote for it here!

Stay tuned for more festival updates.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

"Other Fish" Trailer

I recently served as composer, sound editor and re-recording mixer for the short animation Other Fish. Here's the trailer:

The film was co-directed by Josh Roush and Josh Stifter. It features voice acting from Michael Parks ("Argo", "Django Unchained"), Harley Quinn Smith ("Tusk", "Clerks II"), and Jacqui Duncan ("Old School", "White Lines").

In the film, a recently divorced mother seeks to prove her independence by swimming a channel of shark-infested water. It's a strange and hard-to-classify film, which makes sense when you know it's based on a dream Roush's wife recounted.

To create the musical score for such a dreamlike piece, I called on a couple of friends for help: Ben Connelly contributed lap steel guitar, audible at the very top of the trailer. And Ben Glaros shredded some power chords on guitar for the Black Sabbath-inspired passage at about :28.

The film should be making festival rounds soon. Please get in touch if you have any leads on festival screening or other showcase opportunities.

"Other Fish" on Facebook

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Recent Viewing: August- September 2016

Haven't had time to watch much lately, but here's the noteworthy among what I've witnessed.

Florence Foster Jenkins: A terrific movie. Does a great job of establishing sympathy for the character, who we wind up rooting for despite an utter lack of talent in the field at which she strives. Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Simon Helberg shine.

Kubo and the Two Strings: An amazing animated film. Definitely Laika's best since the sublime "Coraline". There's been controversy around the casting of mostly white actors to play Asian characters. And while I'm not so concerned about this in animation, I wouldn't have minded more Asian voice talent. The larger issue, though, is the pointlessness of famous people playing all the roles in cartoons nowadays. Specialist voice actors are a rare and distinctive breed. Give 'em a chance to shine!

The Witch: Creepy, thought-provoking and by all accounts historically rigorous. I had to keep the subtitles on to decipher what anybody was saying through their accents and diction, which is probably what it would have been like if I'd actually been there. Except I don't think they had subtitles back then.

Stranger Things: Perhaps a bit oversold to me by the time I watched it, but still really enjoyable. Gratifying to see MK-Ultra integrated into mainstream entertainment.

Green Room: Being a fan of "Blue Ruin", I was pretty excited for this followup from the same filmmakers. I really wanted to love this, and while I liked it pretty well, I found it to be a bit of a muddle. Some great performances, especially from Alia Shawkat, and the movie looks great. But it often just plain isn't clear what's going on, and the dialog sometimes gets murky and muffled just when we need clarity. Still, I'm excited to see what these folks bring us down the road. Lots of potential there.

Silent Running and The Black Hole: Got together with a couple of friends to throw these down. I'd never seen "Silent Running", though I remember reading about it a lot in Starlog magazine when I was a kid. And while I can see why it was so influential at the time-- the robots were clearly an inspiration for R2-D2, the crew is a clear antecedent to that of the first "Alien", and the greenhouse ship itself appears in both incarnations of "Battlestar Galactica"-- man is this a slow and meandering movie. If you hollow out the meat of "2001" but retain the glacial pace and bewildering aspects, plus add a liberal helping of Joan Baez, there you go.

About "The Black Hole", which I had seen before but wanted to refresh in my memory, the less said the better. Except for Slim Pickens playing the voice of a robot. That was pretty funny.

Also recommended:

Downton Abbey Season Four: Binging on these progressively whenever I visit my mom. Fun stuff.
I Know That Voice
Sopranos, Seson 6 in progress: In the home stretch now! You guys should really check out this show. I think it's going to change TV as we know it.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Out in the Cold" Hits Amazon

Happy to hear that Out in the Cold, the feature documentary I mixed in 2015, will be available for purchase and download on Amazon on September 25th. See the film's Facebook page for more info.

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.

Congrats to director J.D. O'Brien and the rest of the crew!

More info on "Out in the Cold"

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