2015 was quite a year. It started with my green card coming though which meant I could continue to work in the US. Just as well as I ended up spending much of the year at Skywalker Sound where I moved from the sound design apprentice role to first work on "The Walk" as apprentice sound editor, then as an assistant sound editor on "The Peanuts Movie". I also spent a couple of weeks assisting Randy Thom doing some recording and editing for "The Revenant". Soundworks Collection recently released a featurette discussing the sound of "The Revenant" with Randy Thom and Martín Hernández which you can watch below in addition to the trailers.
At the end of the year I served as an FX assistant, supervising assistant and as a Foley editor on two other features which will be coming out during 2016.
2015 also saw the release of "Home", "Crimson Peak" and "Monster Hunt", three films which I worked on when I started out at Skywalker as an apprentice.
I'm very thankful to my fellow crew-members at Skywalker who graciously let me join them on these projects. It's enlightening to work with the best in the business on projects of such scale. Much as I enjoy freelance work, it's often a solitary endeavor and I always relish the chance to contribute to something as part of a team.
It's also been lovely to have friends and family join me at Skywalker Ranch every now and then. During GDC 2015, two former professors of mine from Berklee College of Music, Michael Sweet and Michael Bierylo, took a trip out of the city to come join me for lunch and a tour of my new place of work.
2015 saw the release of two video games that I worked on with The Tap Lab. I provided music and sound design for both "Bigfoot Hunter" and "BMO Snaps", the latter of which is based on Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time" series. They've both been getting great reviews and hundreds of thousands of downloads which is very exciting. TechRadar listed "Bigfoot Hunter" as one of the top 50 iPhone games of the year while Gamezebo gave "BMO Snaps" a "Great: 4 out of 5 stars" in their review.
I also got to work with composer and sound designer Kathryn Cheng on "ArmaGallant - Desks of Destiny", providing voices for several creatures in this PS4 video game.
"Creed" was released in 2015 for which I was a sample engineer, working alongside friends Chris Lane and Ro Rowan to capture sounds for use in Ludwig Göransson's fantastic score. You can learn about the process we went though in this featurette below.
Here's a fun slow-mo shot of my capturing an impulse response of the gym, shot by Ro Rowan.
In 2015 I worked on three charming animations. First was "Almost There" by Julia Glassman which humorously follows a family that's just trying to make it to the airport on time for their vacation. I did the sound design and mix while working alongside composer Andres Gutierrez who provided an amazing score.
I was also invited by friend and composer Juan Cortés to provide sound design to two beautiful shorts with animators Maria Jose Castrillon on "Imogen", and Eduardo Casian Gallegos on "The Factory".
In 2015 I did some commercial work including music and sound on a promotional video for an events center in England called the Pines Calyx. My father actually designed the building which is housed in a public garden which years ago was protected from development by my great grandfather, Frederick Ernest Cleary CBE. As if it weren't a personal project already, Laruynn and I would get married at the Calyx later on in the year (more on that later).
Also in 2015, former collaborator Heather Höglund (producer of The Strong People) invited me to work with Northern Light Productions doing sound design and music for two of their animations as part of the "Toy Halls of Fame" exhibit at "The Strong - National Museum of Play".
One other piece of commercial work I did in 2015 was sound design for a theatrical company spot for Quantum Logic.
In 2015 I got to work with filmmaker Cassie Jaye on two projects. First I provided sound design, editing and mix for "Who's There", a wonderful and quirky short film she produced and directed.
Following that, Cassie asked me to help out with sound post-production on the preview and Kickstarter videos for her much anticipated documentary "The Red Pill".
I got to do some fun recording trips in 2015. Some I can't talk about, but two I can and they both involved some beautiful vehicles. First was a recording session with a stunning 72" Chevelle to which my coworker Jeremy Bowker kindly invited me along. We put some mics in the engine, by the exhaust and in the passenger seat, as well as capturing some beautiful bys.
Then I had an opportunity to go to the Sonoma Raceway and record all kinds of cars racing around the track for the day. It wasn't hard to find someone who wanted to tag along for the opportunity so Larry Oatfield joined me for the day which included an exhilarating lap around the track.
At the start of 2015 I was thrilled to join the DesigningSound.org editorial team. Here are the articles I wrote, contributed to and edited in 2015.
My thanks goes out to those who wrote guest contributions for the site, we depend on your model of generosity.
On the personal side of life in 2015, there were two landmark events that stand out in memory. The first was the Oakland Marathon in March which I ran with Laurynn. It was our first marathon as a couple and my first marathon period.
During the summer that followed, Laurynn and I wed, somewhat unconventionally. Following a civil ceremony the year prior to begin the green card process, we had a secular ceremony on the White Cliffs of Dover where I grew up, then a Jewish ceremony in Laurynn's home state of New Jersey. As if that weren't enough, our temple back in CA then performed a blessing upon our return to the west. Don't ask me which date our anniversary falls on!
The year ended with some Lucasfilm celebrations as well as an advanced screening of Ep.VII which I was privileged to attend and thoroughly enjoyed.
I'm so thankful to everyone who played a part in what was an amazing 2015, from friends and family to colleagues and acquaintances, it wouldn't have been what it was without you all. 2016 is already shaping up to be equally brilliant with personal and professional landmarks already taking shape. I hope my path will cross many others as we continue our journey with opportunities to form new relationships and to strengthen and rekindle friendships old.
Don't be a stranger,