LAMP Interview Series:
James Tobin, Sound Mixer

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the cast and team from LA Motion Pix’s latest film, “Bouquet of Consequence.” we will try to bring you behind the scenes interviews, updates, photos and videos as we lead up to the release. If you would like to ask any questions to any member or cast, you can email us at pr@lamotionpix.com or leave a comment below.

1. The first thing I have to ask, is do you have to have a degree in Sociology to become a production sound mixer?

Well, the short answer is no. My path to production sound mixing was long and convoluted. It mostly revolves around my love of music. In the grand scheme my Sociology degree is a blip on the radar.

When I was a kid I played piano and was in chorus. I also played the trumpet up until high school when I traded that in for a bass guitar and fell in love with Industrial and Techno music. In college I got a computer and started messing around with computer music software and graphic arts. It is there that I (miraculously) ended up with both Visual Arts and Sociology degrees. After beating cancer and a brief stint as a graphic designer, I found myself working at Wax Trax Records and, a few years later, starting my own record label (Dorje Records).

During this time I was contracted to design the audio installation for a very large theme park’s haunted house. That led to more similar work and eventually I struck out on my own, designing audio content for installed exhibits, toys and amusement park attractions. While networking some new gigs I was asked if I would be interested in mixing the audio for a feature film. I jumped at the chance… by saying no. I suggested hiring a friend of mine who had experience with production audio, and then hiring me as his assistant. That worked and I was hooked.

Inspired by the production and post production environment, I enrolled at the Berklee College of Music and got a Master Certification in Audio Production and Technology. I specialized in composition & production for new media, all the while, boom operating, sound mixing, and recording sounds for my library.

2. With such diverse interests—visual arts, music, interactive media, sociology—what made you steer towards sound mixing?

I like production sound mixing because it combines art and science happening together in a live environment.  There are many players involved in production audio. Sometimes field recording/sfx gathering is a very solitary experience… it can be tough to escape the noises of man. In other words, it is a great balance of technique, the technical, and creative problem solving. Every shoot is different, every day is different, every location is different. Sometimes you only get one shot at capturing what you need. There is something I enjoy about all that.

3. Besides “Bouquet of Consequence,” what other projects are you currently working on?

Right now I have lots of projects on my plate that are in various states of production. Currently I am working on 3 feature film projects ranging from a period western, to a documentary, and even a musical. I am also mixing the post audio for a short dramatic thriller film, as well as, creating and implementing the audio content for a PC video game. I also edit audio books for the Colorado Talking Book Library.

4. Where do you see your contributions in regards to the finished product?

In other words, if you do your job right… will the audience ever notice your work? It is my hope than my work on location goes entirely unnoticed by the viewer. The sound effects, on the other hand, I hope will make the audience scream, wince, grit their teeth, gasp, gag, or worse.

5. Is creating sound for a horror movie different than sounds for a video game? And would you consider “Bouquet of Consequence” a typical horror movie?

Creating sounds for games is a very different task than creating sounds for film. That said, many of the tools are the same and the goals are also the same. In either media, the audio is primarily there to tell the story. In addition to literally telling the story, audio creates emotion and gives the viewer cues for important moments in the story.

“Bouqet of Consequence” has many opportunities for the audio effects to be a driving force in the story telling. Without giving anything away, I think “Bouqet of Consequence” is NOT your typical horror story. It has some classic horror story elements and the use of audio will be traditional as well, but I wouldn’t call it a typical horror movie.

5. Considering the genre, the script, the characters, what sort of challenges are you going to face?

The challenges are usually the same for a production sound mixer, regardless of script or content. The biggest challenge is NOT recording the things that are distracting to the dialog and the action on screen. Things like traffic, airplanes, HVAC, crew noise and equipment, creaky floorboards, lawnmowers, and dogs tend to be the most common obstacles to deal with.

LAMP Interview Series:
Peter Yellen, Actor, Musician

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the cast and team from LA Motion Pix’s latest film, “Bouquet of Consequence.” we will try to bring you behind the scenes interviews, updates, photos and videos as we lead up to the release. If you would like to ask any questions to any member or cast, you can email us at pr@lamotionpix.com or leave a comment below.

1. Peter, I understand you were originally sought after for the role of the Doctor in “Bouquet of Consequence” rather than the therapist. How did this change come about?

I received a script and knew right away I would rather have the part of the therapist. I went to the reading with the intention of getting that part. Sometimes that works…

2. How would you describe the role of the therapist in “Bouquet of Consequence?” What is the significance of the therapist to Rachel’s character (played by Meggie Maddock)?

Rachel is in a crisis and is manifesting a reason to “go on.” My character is attempting to help Rachel sort it all out. The therapist represents Rachel’s higher thinking.

3. Are you a fan in general of horror movies? What is your favorite movie and/or director?

Not a fan of this genre. Abe Ferrara is a dear friend. I had a part in “Driller Killer” so out of respect and loyalty he is my favorite director. My favorite film is any film that has a social slant. Stories about a greater or higher love that stir our notion of interconnectedness speak to me. Elia Kazan’s “On The Waterfront” is the closest thing to a perfect film.

4. There is a scene where you are sitting next to a ghost. Could you tell us about this? Have you worked with child actors before?

Rachel sees the ghost but I am the therapist so she does not appear to me. My task is to act this… I think that was my first scene with a child. Adult children yes… many.

5. How do you want the audience to feel after seeing this movie?

Tragedy is an awful house guest. It changes everything and it makes it hard to hold on. People should feel a great sorrow for Rachel and a hesitation when judging anyone. Under grim circumstance people are capable of great triumphs but often despair has only one destination.

6. When you’re not playing therapists, what other projects are you working on?

I have a very busy life. My main focus is “Dressed in Black”. This is a band that performs at events. Great musicians and great people. I have produced 2 CDs in the past few years and am currently considering doing another. I had so much fun on “Bouquet of Consequence” I plan to shake the trees for other opportunities like this. I only hope that any future projects will be as thoughtful and well done as this was.

LAMP Interview Series:
Alex Biagi with Addictive Vibe Records

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the cast and team from LA Motion Pix’s latest film, “Bouquet of Consequence.” we will try to bring you behind the scenes interviews, updates, photos and videos as we lead up to the release. If you would like to ask any questions to any member or cast, you can email us at pr@lamotionpix.com or leave a comment below.

1. How did you get started with LA Motion Pix and movie soundtracks?

I met Travis Lupher in college back in 2001. We took several classes together, and I was interested in composing short films before I met him. I was still learning how to compose and engineer music at that time, but one day in one of our media classes, we started talking and I learned that Travis and his brothers were making short films. After that I shared some of my music and he liked it enough for him to use one of my songs in his short film called “Fixed”. After that I continued to work on short film projects with Travis and the Lupher brothers and we have been friends ever since.

2. What is Addictive Vibe Records? What type of artists do you represent?

In 2011 I decided to create my own record label called Addictive Vibe Records. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve had the name for a few years before and decided to take the leap and go into business for myself.

I’ve met many talented producers over the years on a website called Internet DJ.com. It is an indie electronic music community where you can post your music and get feedback from strangers, to improve your music and network with other producers and musicians. I asked several of my good friends on the site if they wanted to release music with me and they did. After a little over a year we now have 26 talented artists from all over the world producing everything from chill out/lounge music to Electro House and Dubstep. We are distributed to all of the major downloads torrents including iTunes, Beatport and Amazon MP3. We don’t cater to one genre. I love all forms of electronic music so I decided the label would be a melting pot of genres. If you like electronic music we have something for everyone in our catalog.

3. In addition to the soundtrack to “Bouquet of Consequence,” what other projects are you currently working on?

In addition to working on the label I am currently working on my debut artist album called “Chill The F*** Out.” It’s been 2 years in the making. For the title track I am fortunate enough to have Eric Lupher who in addition to being one of LA Motion Pix’s composers and casting director, is also a very talented singer. We have been working on the track together and it is sounding amazing.

4. In our first interview for the series, we talked with Eric Lupher. Could you talk about your relationship with Eric and the projects you’ve worked on?

Eric and I have a very good relationship. Our styles may differ a little bit, but Eric is very open-minded and when it comes to working on different music projects together that is a huge plus. We have done several short films together and each one gets better and better.  Eric is  able to do what I can no longer do.

About 8 years ago I lost the ability to use my hands due to a rare autoimmune disease that effects the peripheral nervous system i.e. hands, legs and feet. It’s very similar to MS. It’s called CIDP. Roughly 8 in 1 million people have this disease. So it is super rare. I have enough hand strength in my right hand to use a mouse and work electronically on music and compositions. Having Eric be my hands in a way is a huge benefit for me. Before losing my hands I played the piano from age 6 to 24. Not being able to play limits the emotion and subtlety I can capture using software.  Eric is a fantastic pianist, just as good as I used to be and he can capture the emotion that I lack using the software.

5. Have you ever worked on a horror soundtrack before?

I wouldn’t say it was horror, but I worked with Travis and the guys on their vampire shorts called “Demise Of The Damned” it had some creepy elements to it of course, but it was more action-based.

6. How does your experience working with Eric, Travis and Bill help you with the soundtrack to “Bouquet of Consequence?”

After working on several short films with the guys I have an idea of what they like and what they don’t. I know what sounds to look for and having just upgraded my studio the new equipment will make “Bouquet Of Consequence” our best score yet.