COLOR ME OBSESSED was a completely different beast from my last two film. A set of talking heads, over a hundred-twenty appear in the film, all with their own specific set of sound issues. An air conditioning unit we couldn’t shut off, LA street sounds, NYC street sounds, MPLS street sounds (I fucking hate street sounds), refrigerators, hums, buzzing, other bands playing loudly in the arena upstairs, dog tags jingling, interns turning log pages loudly, and one part-time uncredited B-camera person who moved so clunkily, Matt asked if someone was “bouncing golf balls off the window.”
We began, as always, at the first frame and worked forward. Tweaking, no so much those many voices, but those many distracting sounds behind them. Matt would, as he had for both You Are Alone and Friends (With Benefits) make everything sound perfect, all the levels even, etc and so forth.
The sound was halfway decent at best. And I’m not sharing the blame here. I take full responsibility for the sound in the film. And I even apologize in the end credits. But I didn’t want to shoot everyone in a sterile studio setting. That might work for Errol Morris, but it wouldn’t work for me. I wanted backgrounds organic (fuck, I hate that word) to the people being interviewed. If they owned a record shop, they’d be interviewed in their shop. To hell with the trucks zooming past outside on Lyndale. Or Grant Hart from Husker Du being interviewed in the basement dressing room at the 7th Street entry. I mean, could any setting be more perfect? Plus, we didn’t have a sound man. Our trusty mic stand stood in nicely. And many of the musicians we filmed seemed impressed by the quality of our shotgun mic.
And honestly, I might be overstating this a bit. When you see the film you’ll be thinking there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the sound.
And you’re right.
It sounds great!
Thanks to Matt Gundy.