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Deportee – from Bound For Glory

"Deportee", one of about 27 live musical scenes I did on the movie "Bound For Glory". I was still pretty inexperienced having only done about 10 low budget non-union movies up to that point --- "Bound For Glory" was my first big movie. I was so green I really had no fear going into it, knowing that we were going to do all the music LIVE! I had done a few scenes before on other movies, always to prepared playback tracks, but we weren't going to do it that way on "Bound For Glory".

Meet The Crew – from the Uncool

Jeff Wexler has been working in the film industry since he was an intern on Harold and Maude back in 1971.  His career spans over four decades with such varied films as Foul Play, Being There, The Natural, Spaceballs, Independence Day, Fight Club and Mission Impossible III. We spoke on location working on his sixth film with Cameron, Aloha. on the set-Elizabethtown                   
Jeff on the set of Elizabethtown. Picture courtesy of Jeff Wexler.
  Looking back on your 40 year career in the film industry, I read that you had no plans to follow in your dad’s footsteps (preeminent cinematographer Haskell Wexler). Tell us how working a summer job on Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude changed your life? I had been on sets with my father probably since about the age of two. I was very familiar with what goes on when making a movie but when I started to think about what I would do “when I grow up” it never crossed my mind that I would work on movies. I spent 5 years in college preparing to teach sociology at the college level. One summer I think my father felt that I had been in school long enough and needed a summer job. Of course he got me a job on a movie, working as a production assistant in the Art Department on Harold and Maude. I had known Hal Ashby from times spent going to dailies with my father, visiting the editing room (Hal was an Academy Award winning editor on several movies my father had shot), so I was quite comfortable on the set again, with people I knew. What I was not prepared for was how I felt, for the first time, being on a movie, not as a visitor but as a participant. I fell in love with the movies. When the movie wrapped I made the decision: teaching was out — I would pursue a career working on movies. Describe to our readers the duties of a Sound Mixer? I am a Production Sound Mixer and it is the responsibility, with my crew, for all the sound that is recorded during production. This is primarily dialog recording, but we also record sound effects, ambiences, music (sometimes live performances depending on the movie). Many others will work on the soundtrack for a movie in post production (i.e. sound designer, sound editorial, foley, music composer, re-recording mixer, etc.) but the production sound recordings are the primary and fundamental basis for the movie. There is a widespread mis-conception that the sound in movies is all done later in the comfort of the studio — I have had people come to me on the set and ask what I am doing, “are your recording all of this so they know what the actors are saying.? Nothing could be further from the truth. The value of the production recording, an actor’s performance on the day, in the moment, should never be underestimated. I consider it my highest priority to preserve that performance, that authenticity, on the day of shooting. It is true that production dialog can be replaced later, actors can be brought into a studio to record the dialog months after their performance on the set, but there is always something wonderful that is lost when ADR (automated dialog replacement) has to be done. Jerry Maguire was your first collaboration with Cameron. How did you get involved with the project? I don’t remember exactly how I got the call for Jerry Maguire. I had been recommended to Cameron to work on Singles, but a scheduling conflict prevented me from getting on that movie. It may well be that Cameron remembered that meeting and decided to give me a call for Jerry Maguire. However it happened, I am so fortunate to have been asked to work on what I feel is one of Cameron’s best movies. How could I have known that working with Cameron would be a major high in my career, continuing to this day on our latest adventure on Aloha. I am very sure I would not still have this love for making movies were it not for the movies I have done with Cameron, and of course Hal Ashby before. You came back and worked with Cameron on Almost Famous. That movie is a love letter to music and filled with wall to wall sound. What challenges did you have on that film? Almost Famous is my all time favorite movie, the experience of working on it, the music, the period in history and the final movie — it doesn’t get any better than that. There really weren’t any special challenges beyond the one challenge that is always in place on a Cameron Crowe movie. I am referring to Cameron’s directing style that makes extensive use of music on the set while shooting. While most directors will go to an actor and explain, in words, the emotion of a scene, Cameron will instead often play music on the set. This is not necessarily the music that will be in the movie, usually it is not, and it goes way beyond what many directors do, playing music to set the mood.   Cameron readies some music on set. The Music Cart was designed and built by Jeff. Picture courtesy of Neal Preston. One of the things that I think brought Cameron and me together is the fundamental and primary belief in the power of music — this is why I understood so well his use of music on the set. We always make the effort to ensure that dialog is still recorded free of the music and for the most part we have been able to preserve the wonderful performances from our actors that this technique produces. Often it is far more effective to play a Joni Mitchell song for Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) or The Who for Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) than to describe in words the feeling or energy for a scene. Was it especially gratifying to win a BAFTA for Almost Famous?  I think that Almost Famous has one of the best soundtracks ever done and it certainly would have been enough for me to have contributed to so much of that. To get the nomination and win the BAFTA for that movie just made the whole experience one of the best in my career. Vanilla Sky was a complicated shoot with much of it shot on location in New York. Do exterior locations provide more of a challenge for you and your job? Location recording, particularly exteriors, is always more challenging than working on a nice soundstage in Hollywood. The world is getting noisier and New York, of course, is no exception. Increasingly, movies are being made on location in conditions that can have catastrophic consequences for the production sound. We did okay on Vanilla Sky even in New York, because the budget was sufficient to have the all-important control over locations where we shot. We always hear such good things about working with Tom Cruise. You’ve worked with him on Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky, The Last Samurai and Mission Impossible 3. Tell us a Tom story…. I loved working with Tom. He is about as knowledgeable of the movie-making craft as any actor I have worked with. So many actors just do their thing and expect that everyone else will somehow capture it all, oblivious to the fact that making movies is a highly technical endeavor. Tom has that incredible balance between acting, an authentic performance, and accommodating the demands of the technical medium we work in. Simple things like letting the camera operator know how quickly you are going to be getting up from a chair, letting me know that he is going to be screaming a line of dialog on the next take. Tom also understands editing — things we have to do on the set that often feel very artificial and un-natural, allow for the editorial process to produce a scene that feels real and authentic. Tom is very demanding of the people he works with but this is NOT what all those stories say about how you’re not supposed to look at Tom, not supposed to speak to him — this is nonsense and a total fiction. What Tom demands is that every crew member give 100% to the movie, just as he does everyday on the set. Was your 2011 CAS (Cinema Audio Society) Career Achievement Award the highlight of your career so far? The CAS Award was actually quite a surprise. I am a big supporter of CAS (I’ve been on the Board of Directors for several terms) and I have always liked the fact that we call it the Career Achievement Award rather than the Lifetime Achievement Award that other organizations award. Although I have done quite a few really good movies, my overall resume pales in comparison to many others, but what I learned about the CAS Award is that it really is about an individual’s contribution to our craft, to our industry, not just the list of movies we have done. The CAS Award night always honors a Filmmaker along with the Career Achievement Award for Sound. I wanted Cameron to be honored for that Award but he was not able to make it.   On the set of Aloha. October, 2013. © 2015 The Uncool. What’s it been like working in Hawaii on Cameron’s latest film, Aloha? We always think of working in Hawaii as this beautiful, quiet and serene place, with wonderful natural sounds of nature and so forth, but on Aloha  this was not the case. Honolulu is a very noisy place and home to Hickam Field where we did most of our shooting. As good as our Location Manager is — and I love John Panzarella, he’s the best — there is no way to stop flight training F-22 flyovers. The only good thing about those planes is that they are very, very fast, so the incredible sound they make was not with us on the set for very long. We did have to stop shooting for certain periods but for the most part I think we did okay getting decent dialog. We did have a few scenes that took place in locations that were breathtakingly beautiful, and quiet — those days were a welcome relief from the endless noise at Hickam. Early in pre-production Cameron was telling me about the challenges for the sound, but he kept repeating that we should “embrace” the reality and not let it bring us down. I did have some difficulty with this idea of embracing an ongoing assault on the soundtrack, but I had no problem embracing the chance to work with Cameron again on what I knew would be an amazing movie. You mentioned earlier that Cameron likes to play music on set right before a take or during a take to help set the mood for the actors. Does that help or hinder you in any particular way? We’ve pretty much got it down so that playing music, even during dialog scenes, isn’t really a problem. The thing that is different on every movie is how the actors respond to this unique directing technique. I have observed that there are times when the music is a distraction, actually, and possibly helps Cameron more than it does the actor. In terms of its impact on the soundtrack, it certainly does create more work for sound editorial in post but Cameron often has a lot of the same people in post working on the movies so they are used to it. Because playing the music pretty much wipes out the chances of getting clean, live ambiences and effects (the stuff that happens when the actors are not speaking), all the backgrounds have to be created later and there will be a lot more Foley work needed. Any plans to slow down or is your job still as rewarding and challenging as ever? Things have been slowing down sort of naturally for me and I have not been seeking out movie work just for the sake of employment. The challenges and the rewards are still there when I work on movies with the people I have a history with, a mutual respect and understanding, and I will always be up for working with Cameron for as long as he wants me on the movies.   1976 -(Left to Right) Haskell Wexler, Hal Ashby & Jeff on the set of Bound For Glory. Picture courtesy of Jeff Wexler. I bet Cameron is always picking your brain for stories about you working with director Hal Ashby on films such as Harold and MaudeBound for Glory and Being There. Tell us your favorite Ashby story.  Well, one of the stories that Cameron likes to hear comes from my very first job with Hal on Harold and Maude. I was hired to work in the Art Department but Hal already knew that I had a love for music and I was sort of a sound geek (though I hadn’t done any real sound recording yet). I went to Dailies every day (Dailies being the projected film from the previous day’s shoot) and this was back when on location there was a screening room set up, often in the office or the hotel, where you would view the actual film with sound that had been shipped to location from the Editing room in Los Angeles. The projectionist had worked with Hal many times, Billy Braser, but this time his projector was having really bad sound problems. Knowing that I had some really good Hi-Fi equipment at home, Hal asked if I could bring anything in to our screening room to improve the sound. I did in fact bring in a better amplifier and speaker, hooked it up to Billy’s projector, and this was a huge improvement in the sound. The other thing Hal asked for was for music in the screening room. Hal did not play music on the set but he hated watching MOS footage (footage that had been shot without sound, where there was no dialog). Normally, Editorial would put some music with the MOS footage but the turnaround with the film going to L.A. to be processed, synced up and sent back to us in Northern California, the Assistant Editor had no time to do this. Hal had been thinking about Cat Stevens music so I brought my Singer portable record player into the location screening room. When the silent footage came up with Harold driving his hearse on the highway in the rain, I put the needle down on “Trouble”. I think it was at that very moment we knew that Cat Stevens would be part of the heart and soul of this quirky love story that defined Hal Ashby’s career. You could say that this was my first job in sound and it was all about the music. Hal was one of the first to use songs to score a movie rather than the traditional composer orchestrated scores that were the norm. Twenty-five years later I found myself working with Cameron who embraced the undeniable power of music in filmmaking in so much the same way as Hal Ashby. Besides Ashby, you’ve worked on more of Cameron’s film that anyone else (6 films so far), what keeps bringing you back? Cameron is probably the most collaborative director I have ever worked with, right up there with Hal Ashby. Cameron has that rare ability to involve those working on the movie, welcoming their active participation beyond the boundaries of any given craft. When Cameron asks me how I felt a certain scene played, he’s not asking just about the sound. Cameron knows that even though I am hired to record the sound, my commitment is to the movie, the performances, the story, and he expects to hear from me, whether the scene works or not.

“Aloha” featurette


Words from Aldous Huxley

Aldous-Huxley-007             "By means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms — elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest — will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit." -  Aldous Huxley

RIP – Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce, bassist from 1960s band Cream, has died aged 71, his publicist confirms.

Jack Bruce.jpg

Legendary supergroup Cream, which also included Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, are now considered one of the most important bands in rock history.

They sold 35 million albums in just over two years and were given the first ever platinum disc for Wheels of Fire.

Bruce wrote and sang most of the songs, including "I Feel Free" and "Sunshine Of Your Love".

Born in the Glasgow suburb of Bishopbriggs in 1943, his parents travelled extensively in Canada and the USA and the young Jack attended 14 different schools.

He finished his formal education at Bellahouston Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, to which he won a scholarship for cello and composition.

He left the academy and Scotland at the age of 16 and eventually found his way to London where he became a member of the influential Alexis Korner's Blues Inc, where Charlie Watts, later to join the Rolling Stones, was the drummer.

He played in a number of bands throughout the early 60s, including John Mayall's Blues Breakers and Manfred Mann before joining Clapton and Baker in Cream.

Cream split in November 1968 at the height of their popularity, with Bruce feeling he had strayed too far from his ideals.

Bruce never again reached the commercial heights he did with Cream but his reputation as one of the best bass guitarists in the business grew throughout the subsequent decades.

In May 2005, he reunited with his former Cream bandmates for a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Bruce's death was announced on his official website, and confirmed by his publicist Claire Singers.

She said: "He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family."

A statement from his family said: "It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father and granddad and all-round legend.

"The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts."

Why We Love Music

Why We Love The Music We Love

-from Bobby Owsinski's Blog ?neurochemistry-of-happiness           It's fair to say that anyone that's in the music business likes music. No, make that loves music. We've all had that rush when hearing a song that's a feeling like no other. And to play it in front of people is taking it to yet another level. Now there's been a definitive study that really gets down to why we love music. It's called The Neurochemistry of Music and takes a look inside the brain of music lovers. Here's some of what they found. When we first hear a song, it stimulates our auditory cortex, and we convert the rhythm, melody and harmony into a coherent whole. From there certain parts of the brain react depending upon how much we like the music. Sing along and you'll active the premotor cortex, which coordinates your movements. Dance along and your neurons actually synchronize with the beat of the music. Your prefrontal cortex may also be stimulated, which can prompt personal memories. Brain imaging shows our favorite songs trigger the brain's pleasure points, and a significant amount of those internal drugs that we all love, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, are released. The more we like a song, the more these neurochemicals are released. Music becomes a drug! This happens with everyone, but it happens more intensely if you're young. People between the ages of 12 and 22 get a giant dose because of the stage in their hormonal development that they're in. This explains why the main audience for music has always been between those ages. Those musical memories that we experience at that point are hardwired into our brains and stay with us for the rest of our lives, which explains why we're always partial to the music of our youth. Because of the impact that the music of our youth has on us, it becomes a part of our social self-image, although the effect appears to diminish over time. Does any of this sound familiar? These points are things that we really all inherently known, but now it's nice to have a study to back it up.

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” – 50th anniversary

Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans

How the 50-year-old campaign against Silent Spring still distorts environmental debates.

By William Souder


Photo courtesy Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office.

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s landmark warning about the indiscriminate use of pesticides, turns 50 this month. By extension, that puts the environmental movement also at the half-century mark—along with the bitter, divisive argument we continue to have over both the book and the movement it spawned. The terms of that argument, which emerged in the brutal reaction to Silent Spring from those who saw it not as a warning but as a threat, haven’t changed much. And they leave us with a vexing question: Why do we fight? How is it that the environment we all share is the subject of partisan debate? After all, the right and the left inhabit the same planet, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

Carson’s book was controversial before it even was a book. In June 1962, three long excerpts were published by The New Yorker magazine. They alarmed the public, which deluged the Department of Agriculture and other agencies with demands for action, and outraged the chemical industry and its allies in government. In late August 1962, after he was asked about pesticides at a press conference, President Kennedy ordered his science adviser to form a commission to investigate the problems brought to light, the president said, by “Miss Carson’s book.” A month later, when Silent Spring was published, the outlines of the fight over pesticides had hardened. Armed with a substantial war chest—Carson’s publisher heard it was $250,000—pesticide makers launched an attack aimed at discrediting Silent Spring and destroying its author.

The offensive included a widely distributed parody of Carson’s famous opening chapter about a town where no birds sang, and countless fact-sheets extolling the benefits of pesticides to human health and food production. was described as one-sided and unbalanced to any media that would listen. Some did. magazine called the book “hysterical” and “patently unsound.”The offensive included a widely distributed parody of Carson’s famous opening chapter about a town where no birds sang, and countless fact-sheets extolling the benefits of pesticides to human health and food production. Silent Spring was described as one-sided and unbalanced to any media that would listen. Some did. Time magazine called the book “hysterical” and “patently unsound.”

Carson’s critics pushed her to the left end of the political spectrum, to a remote corner of the freaky fringe that at the time included organic farmers, food faddists, and anti-fluoridationists. One pesticide maker, which threatened to sue if Silent Spring was published, was more explicit: Carson, the company claimed, was in league with “sinister parties” whose goal was to undermine American agriculture and free enterprise in order to further the interests of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites. The word Communist—in 1962 the most potent of insults—wasn’t used, but it was understood. Silent Spring, said its more ardent detractors, was un-American. And there the two sides sit 50 years later. On one side of the environmental debate are the perceived soft-hearted scientists and those who would preserve the natural order; on the other are the hard pragmatists of industry and their friends in high places, the massed might of the establishment. Substitute climate change for pesticides, and the argument plays out the same now as it did a half-century ago. President Kennedy’s scientific commission would ultimately affirm Carson’s claims about pesticides, but then as now, nobody ever really gives an inch. Carson was also accused of having written a book that, though it claimed to be concerned with human health, would instead contribute directly to death and disease on a massive scale by stopping the use of the insecticide DDT in the fight against malaria. One irate letter to The New Yorker complained that Carson’s “mischief” would make it impossible to raise the funds needed to continue the effort to eradicate malaria, and its author wondered if the magazine’s legendary standards for accuracy and fairness had fallen. Apparently unaware of the distinction between science authors and nudists, the letter writer referred to Carson as a “naturist.” The claim that Rachel Carson is responsible for the devastations of malaria, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has gained renewed traction in recent years. The American Enterprise Institute and other free-market conservatives have defended the safety and efficacy of DDT—and the claim of Carson’s “guilt” in the deaths of millions of Africans is routinely parroted by people who are clueless about the content of Silent Spring or the sources of the attacks now made against it. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a limited-government, free-enterprise think tank, maintains the website rachelwaswrong.org, which details Carson’s complicity in the continuing plague of malaria. In 2004, the late writer Michael Crichton offered a bite-sized and easy-to-remember indictment of Carson’s crime: “Banning DDT,” Crichton wrote, “killed more people than Hitler.” This was dialogue in a novel, but in interviews Crichton made it clear this was what he believed. Rachel Carson, who stoically weathered misinformation campaigns against her before her death from breast cancer in 1964, would find the current situation all-too predictable. As she said once in a speech after the release of Silent Spring, many people who have not read the book nonetheless “disapprove of it heartily.” Rachel Carson never called for the banning of pesticides. She made this clear in every public pronouncement, repeated it in an hourlong television documentary about Silent Spring, and even testified to that effect before the U.S. Senate. Carson never denied that there were beneficial uses of pesticides, notably in combatting human diseases transmitted by insects, where she said they had not only been proven effective but were morally “necessary.” “It is not my contention,” Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.” Many agreed. Editorializing shortly after The New Yorker articles appeared, the New York Times wrote that Carson had struck the right balance: “Miss Carson does not argue that chemical pesticides must never be used,” the Times said, “but she warns of the dangers of misuse and overuse by a public that has become mesmerized by the notion that chemists are the possessors of divine wisdom and that nothing but benefits can emerge from their test tubes.” Carson did not seek to end the use of pesticides—only their heedless overuse at a time when it was all but impossible to escape exposure to them. Aerial insecticide spraying campaigns over forests, cities, and suburbs; the routine application of insecticides to crops by farmers at concentrations far above what was considered “safe;” and the residential use of insecticides in everything from shelf paper to aerosol “bombs” had contaminated the landscape in exactly the same manner as the fallout from the then-pervasive testing of nuclear weapons—a connection Carson made explicit in Silent Spring. “In this now universal contamination of the environment,” Carson wrote, “chemicals are the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world—the very nature of its life.” The Competitive Enterprise Institute—to its credit—acknowledges that Carson did not call for the banning of pesticides in Silent Spring. But they claim Carson’s caveat about their value in fighting disease was so overwhelmed by her general disapproval of their use that “negative publicity” around Silent Spring  halted the use of DDT against malaria, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, where some 90 percent of the world’s malaria cases occur. It’s true that Carson found little good to say about DDT or any of its toxic cousins—the chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon insecticides developed in the years after World War II and after the Swiss chemist Paul Muller had won a Nobel Prize for discovering DDT. But it’s a stretch to see how the mood surrounding Silent Spring was the prime cause of DDT’s exit from the fight against malaria. And, as the New York Times and other publications proved, it was understood by anyone who took time to read Silent Spring that Carson was not an absolutist seeking to stop all pesticide use. DDT had been effective against malaria in Europe, in Northern Africa, in parts of India and southern Asia, and even in the southern United States, where the disease was already being routed by other means. But these were mostly developed areas. Using DDT in places like sub-Saharan Africa, with its remote and hard-to-reach villages, had long been considered problematic. It was an old story and one still repeated: Africa was everybody’s lowest priority. And in any case, the World Health Organization had begun to question its malaria-eradication program even before Silent Spring was published. One object lesson was that the heavy use of DDT in many parts of the world was producing new strains of mosquitoes resistant to the insecticide. Much as it can happen with antibiotics, the use of an environmental poison clears susceptible organisms from the ecosystem and allows those with immunity to take over. The WHO also faced declining interest in the disease among scientists and sharp reductions in funding from the international community. When the recently created Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT for most domestic uses in 1972, this ruling had no force in other parts of the world and the insecticide remained part of the international anti-malaria arsenal. The United States continued to manufacture and export DDT until the mid-1980s, and it has always been available from pesticide makers in other countries. One result is that DDT is still with us—globally adrift in the atmosphere from spraying operations in various parts of the world, and also from its continuing volatilization from soils in which it has lain dormant for decades. The threat of DDT to wildlife—as a deadly neurotoxin in many species and a destroyer of reproductive capabilities in others—has never been in doubt. Carson’s claims in Silent Spring about DDT’s connection to human cancer and other disorders have not been completely resolved. The National Toxicology Program lists DDT as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The same holds for two of its common break-down products, DDD and DDE, which are also suspected of causing developmental problems in humans. These are cloudy but worrisome presumptions. DDT is stored in fat tissues—including ours—and that storage amplifies with repeated exposures over time, as well as through food chains, with unpredictable consequences. We walk around with our personal body-burden of DDT, a poison we still consume both from its decades-old residuals and its ongoing uses. If Rachel Carson hoped to end the use of DDT and our exposure to it, she did a lousy job. In 2006, the World Health Organization announced a renewed commitment to fighting malaria with DDT, mainly in Africa—where the WHO had never lifted its approval for this purpose. The move was backed by environmental groups, as it surely would have been by Rachel Carson had she been with us still.

William Souder’s work has appeared in many publications, including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Harper’s. He is the author of three books. A Plague of Frogs (2000) followed the investigation into outbreaks of deformed frogs across North America. Under a Wild Sky (2004), which told the story of John James Audubon, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, is being published, on the 50th anniversary of Carson’s Silent Spring. Souder lives in Grant, Minn.

Soundelux Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Todd-Soundelux_logo         UPDATE: Soundelux Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; Pink Slips For 30 DAVID ROBB, Special To Deadline | Wednesday May 21, 2014 @ 3:29pm PDT Today’s closures of Soundelux’s facilities in Hollywood and Santa Monica have resulted in layoffs of about 30 of the historic postproduction Todd-Soundelux_logosound studio’s 200 employees, said Leslie Cohen, the company’s bankruptcy attorney. “There are no further imminent layoffs expected at this time,” she said, noting that the company’s Burbank facilities remain open for business. “The company is still in business and intends to stay in business, and will satisfy all of its commitments to its customers, pay its creditors, and will sell the business as a going concern. The bank is consenting to the company’s further operations and restructuring efforts.” Soundelux has released a statement today saying it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection “to streamline the company’s cost structure while preparing the company for sale. The company will continue to operate the business throughout the restructuring process and honor its commitments to clients and their projects. This action has been necessitated by a significant decline in revenues, primarily in the feature film segment, which has impacted the independent post production sound business in the Los Angeles area.” Soundelux said it plans to remain open and fully operational during restructuring but did not give an indication of how many jobs will be lost — though layoffs could approach 100. The closure of the facilities in Hollywood and Santa Monica came as a surprise to most of the company’s workers. “I just found out about it this morning,” said one. “We all got an announcement at 7:30.” Up until recently, the company was still hiring. PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 11:09 AM: Soundelux, Hollywood’s leading independent provider of postproduction sound services, is filing bankruptcy today and closing its facilities in Santa Monica and Hollywood. The company’s Burbank offices “will stay open for now,” said an employee. “It’s sad,” said a worker at the company’s facility on Seward Street in Hollywood. “A lot of people are losing their jobs. People are packing up their stuff. There’s a security guard here to make sure we don’t take anything.” She said owner David Alfonso “is signing everything over. The bank will own it as of today.”   The company, which employs about 170 people, has been a Hollywood landmark for more than 50 years, providing sound services to thousands of films and TV shows including The Hunger Games, Skyfall, Django Unchained, Divergent, The Heat, The Lone Ranger, 42, Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Inception, Mad Men, CSI, CSI: NY, Person Of Interest, Family Guy and HBO’s Game Of Thrones, Entourage, Big Love, Girls and The Newsroom. Some of the shows currently in postproduction will be finished at the offices in Burbank, an employee said, and the rest will have to scramble to find postproduction services elsewhere.

LAMG honors Haskell Wexler


Location Managers Guild of America

The Humanitarian Award was presented to two-time Academy Award®-winning Director of Photography Haskell Wexler by Billy Crystal. Wexler,  who was judged one of the ten most influential cinematographers in movie history by an International Cinematographers Guild survey of its members, has won Oscars® for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? and Bound for Glory, in addition to Oscar® nominations for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (with Bill Butler,1976), Blaze and Matewan, along with many other awards for these films.

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