Filmmaker Paul Harrill from Light From Light is among the voices, faces and creative folks that are a part of the ten films selected for our favourite section at the Sundance Film Festival. Added to the fest at the beginning of the decade, over time, the NEXT section (formerly referred to as “<=>”) has unearthed some of the best voices in micro American indie film projects with the likes of Sebastian Silva, Josh Mond, Rick Alverson, Anna Rose Holmer, Andrew Dosunmu, Craig Zobel, David Lowery and Janicza Bravo. We return with Sundance Trading Card Series focusing on the 2019 NEXT section selected films and personalities.
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2018 discoveries”.
1. Julie Byrne’s album “Not Even Happiness”
2. Paddington (2014)
3. Paddington 2 (2018)
Lavallee: For those familiar with your work, is there an overlap with a specific prior example and if so, how does this relate to your concerns, obsessions, curiosities, and/or style?
Harrill: The plot of Light From Light is very different from my first feature, Something, Anything, but both films share an approach to style that aims for simplicity.
Lavallee: In terms of ambient sound, score, silence, beats, how does your sound design choices inform the film in terms of tone, atmosphere, emotional in/output?
Harrill: My stories are grounded in everyday life, so the choices we made with regards to sound design — the things we hear and don’t hear — are rooted in reality. I had the privilege of working with acclaimed sound designer Johnny Marshall, and throughout the process of building the sound design of the film we were both focused on trying to honor the real sounds of the world. For example, crickets and katydids were recorded on a lot of the location sound, especially the stuff we shot at night. This is especially true of a long scene, over ten minutes, that serves as a kind of centerpiece in the film. Some films would try to reduce or completely remove those insects (with ADR, or whatever). We wanted to embrace it. I even consulted with specialists on insect noises and bird calls to make sure our ambient sound design was authentic. This may seem like a tiny detail, but these kinds of details have a cumulative effect.
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