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“Slate” screened at MoMA & Lincoln Center.

April 27, 2010

“Slate” is the title of a short film I did the sound design for some time ago.  It was officially finalized this year, I think (low budget projects sometimes take a looong time to finish).  The thing is that it was selected to be screened in early April during the “New Directors/New Films Festival 2010” at MoMa and Lincoln Center in New York City.  It was an honor to sit at that theater (I went to the MoMA screening) and listen to my work in such an important place.

Written and directed by Carmen Vidal, Slate is a short story about a film editor that starts to become strangely attracted to the material he’s editing.

Carmen won a “Student Academy Award” (yes, an Oscar!) in 2006, for her short film “6 AM“.

She approached me a couple of years ago with this project.  We had a few friends in common and she had seen some of my theater work as well.  As a sound designer I was immediately interested in her film.  The lead character would never speak, we would only hear sounds from the studio he’s working at and from the footage that he is editing.  It felt like a wonderful challenge.  How can one describe, with sound, the emotional content of a scene with a silent man working in an apparently silent room?

Using and rearranging sounds that were basically part of the ‘background noise’, I managed to contribute to the storytelling.  For an audience who’s simply paying attention to the film as a whole, these sound elements might even pass completely unnoticed, but unconsciously they contribute an important emotional charge to certain moments in the film.  Like the stylist’s work during a photo shoot, where most of the credit goes to the model or the photographer, the sound designer’s work is sometimes meant to be invisible, since the whole point is to help bring attention to the main character or the story, not to what we’re adding to it.

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