The sound was unique for this project, as I really didn’t physically interact with any of my collaborators during this process. It was all digital interaction: text messages, Facebook messenger, and email. There’s a lot of trust that goes into that, and also a kind of “well they took this much time to record and send it over, so I feel bad asking them to do it again” element to the process. Especially as they did it for free. So I put a lot of trust into my collaborators, and I got something much more profound than had I been there controlling every bit of their process. I think this goes to show how art really needs to be a collaboration, not just a one-man’s-vision quest. It’s a conversation that occurs between artists, that then gets presented to the world so they can continue the conversation. And that was really the point of this piece, was to get people to create their own opinions and meaning.
I have this friend, Jacob, who has a great voice; really rich and textured. Clear. And I asked him to do narration, originally for the animatic. I didn’t give him enough time to narrate though, so I wound up asking if he’d just narrate the final. I sent him the paragraph, said “narrate this in under a minute,” and then asked my other friend, Andrew, to do narration for the animatic. I needed it the next day for a grade, otherwise I could have waited a while, because I had all of the cuts. I didn’t exactly realize how good of a job Andrew was going to do, and I feel a bit guilty that I didn’t use his narration on the final cut. But then Jacob got his narration to me and it was just that smoother quality that I was looking for. Really a bit indifferent as well, which was something I considered might change the meaning a bit. Andrew’s narration was more melancholy, and almost damning in a way, like this was how life was and nothing could be done about it. I give them both credit because, really, they both delivered a superb narration.
With the score, I wanted a very flat, but thoughtfully-deep score. Plainly complex, to put it simply. I got my friend, Anna, over in Maddison, Wisconsin to create a soundbit for me, just to see if I would use it. She’s a flutist (top-notch might I add) and so naturally I thought she was going to give me a flute composition. Instead, I got this wonderful piano score, which not only did she give me one, but three original compositions. I think she hated me by the end, because I kept telling her to simplify. They were, in my opinion, too complex. She’d develop these beautiful pieces, and I felt so bad telling her to just do something simple and keep it flatter in development. And after about three times of me asking to strip it down, it really got to this place that was hollow and haunting, yet emotive and authentic. It develops a bit, but not beyond what it should.
So I really edited around the sound bits I was given; using the beats of the narration along with the score to fine-tune the entire film, and make it more concise. And eventually, I wound up with the final product.
Production / Post