If you’d like to follow my travels, I post photos on Instagram (@soundbravo) these days, rather than here.
2016 was another exciting year with opportunities to work on great projects in beautiful locations.
I also got to see these seals be released back into the wild after being rescued and nursed back to health by the The Marine Mammal Center.
You can see them in their debut roles in this video for PG&E:
Another fun corporate shoot was for the new GoPro, HERO5 Black:
I was lucky to work on lots of documentary projects this year, as well as to see past projects come to fruition, like Dan Krauss’ documentary short, Extremis, about end-of-life care. The film has been short listed for an Oscar and is available on Netflix .
My wife and I attended the premiere of The Groove Is Not Trivial directed by Tommie Dell Smith at the Mill Valley Film Festival in November. The doc about the dynamic Scottish fiddler, Alasdair Fraser, isn’t available on DVD yet, but will be screened at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival and the Sonoma Film Institute in the spring.
This fall I worked on an exciting new doc directed by Robin Hauser, Bias, about our unconscious biases, like believing women can’t be firefighters.
I also got to see one of classical music’s giants, Itzhad Perlman, play on a shoot for a doc about his life directed by Alison Chernick.
I hope 2016 was as good to you as it was to me.
My resolution for 2017 is to add this chaise to my sound kit, so the next time we work together it might take me some extra time to load in . . .
Just found out that an interesting documentary I worked on, School of the Future, is airing on NOVA tomorrow, Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 9 PM on PBS. The show explores if the science of learning (e.g. neuroscience, psychology) can improve education for all young people.
I also worked on a related 3-minute piece, Can Meditation Prevent Teen Suicide?, about a high school that began offering mindfulness training for stress reduction after a series of student suicides.
Please share with parents and educators who might be interested.
It has been a busy summer filled with interesting shoots and fun trips.
The photo above was from a shoot at the Point Reyes National Seashore with Nick Schwyter, Alex Friend, Jamie Redford, Petr Stepanek, and John Behrens for Happening, a documentary about climate change and clean energy directed by Jamie Redford. (Apologies to the cow and her owner for my not knowing their names).
If you’re in the business, you know that how the crew is fed makes a huge difference in how the day goes. I had one of the best crew breakfasts ever this summer on a shoot for GoPro in Bonny Doon, CA: apple, apricot and plum fruit tarts.
On another shoot at Point Reyes National Seashore, I learned about the inspiring work of Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang. All of these pieces of plastic were gathered while the Langs cleaned up Kehoe Beach. They turn the plastic into art that raises awareness about ocean plastic pollution.
I also took a couple trips to beautiful places with my wife this summer. We went hiking and camping in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and visited some friends in Cape Elizabeth, Maine (just outside of Portland).
Oh, and a couple projects I worked on are/will be available to view:
The Groove is Not Trivial, a documentary by Tommie Lee Smith about Scottish fiddler, Alasdair Fraser, will premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Sunday, October 9th. We shot it on the Isle Skye, where the photos above were taken by Smith.
I’m looking forward to seeing what shoots and travels the fall brings!
Thanks Oskar Ness for this photo from a shoot on Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, CA.
During the twenty years I’ve lived in Oakland, I’ve seen it transform (for good and for bad). Although the city has many challenges, it is also filled with arts, culture, diversity, nature, and pride, so it was a special pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Katie Couric at the start of the year on a web series about Oakland.
The videos address the city’s rebound and include interviews with Mayor Libby Schaaf and community leaders like D’Wayne Wiggins (Tony! Toni! Toné!) about local youth empowerment programs, the potential tech boom with the arrival of Uber, and Warriors pride.
In 2015, I traveled across the country with cameraman Will Pugh to work on four of CNN’s six-episode series, Race for the White House, about some of the most dramatic U.S. presidential elections. When we were filming last summer, Trump had just announced his candidacy. Little did we know that the 2016 election will probably go down in history as one of the most dramatic! The series premieres on March 6th.
I had the privilege to work for a short while on Racing Extinction, a feature length documentary by Academy Award winner Louie Psihoyos (The Cove). It’s now available on DVD, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
2015 was a great year at SoundBravo with lots of fun jobs, exciting travel destinations and many great connections.
Here are some highlights:
The year got off to a fast start working in Texas and Arizona with award-winning filmmaker Jenny Carchman and DP Svetlana Cvetko on a CNN original film, Enlighten Me, about self-help guru James Arthur Ray.
February saw me off to the very far away island of Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia. Imagine the volcanic and fertile land of Hawaii, but with only one small hotel consisting of several single occupant huts and one restaurant. The job was for a British show called New Lives in the Wild that airs on UK Channel 5.
Did I mention it’s a magical place?
In March, I was fortunate to continue working on a great upcoming documentary for NOVA with acclaimed director Sarah Holt and DP Stephen McCarthy about new treatments for Alzheimer’s at Genentech in the Bay Area. In the fall of 2014, I went to Medellín, Colombia to film families afflicted by this horrible condition, and the local doctors working with Genentech to understand the disease.
March also brought the end to a documentary project I’ve been honored to be a part of for the past two years about the great Masumoto family. The film, Changing Season: On The Masumoto Family Farm, was directed by Jim Choi, edited by Chihiro Wambush, produced by CAAM (Center for Asian American Media), and premiered at CAAMFest 2015. It will air nationally on PBS in 2016, so stay tuned for details.
In June, I worked in New York on a documentary about Grimshaw Architects, a famous London-based firm that is responsible for many unique buildings and several creative citywide improvements in and around New York City, like these simple bike stands that are actually redesigned drainage grates to prevent flooding in subway tunnels.
Because I grew up in New York, I cherish and jump at every opportunity to return and was lucky enough to go back two more times in 2015 for a new CNN series, Race for the White House, produced by the London-based company, RAW. The series is co-produced and narrated by Kevin Spacey, and focuses on the inner workings of famous, or significant presidential campaigns. We interviewed many behind-the-scenes consultants, campaign managers and various handlers for an enlightening and somewhat frightening picture of what it takes to run and succeed as a candidate. It will air in spring 2016.
Another great project I’ve been able to work on over the past two years that is also coming to an end, and will hopefully air in 2016 is In A Moment. Directed by Jason Crain, the film tells the story of the Aspelin family living in San Francisco, and a careless, but far-reaching shaken baby syndrome accusation.
And of course it wasn’t just all work. I got to take my wife to see Colombia and had a family reunion.
Really, the only one that was sad about all the trips in 2015 was our cat that keeps trying to join in, and may succeed one day.