Hearing the Script

I have read many scripts prior to undertaking the sound work on films over the years. I think my most memorable experience was reading the first 5 or so pages of Tod Solondz’ Happiness. A few minutes into it, and I was literally crying I was laughing so hard. It was clear, at a glance, that it was pure brilliance.

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Thomas Efinger
Halston At Sundance: Documentary Sound

Frederic Tcheng’s beautifully crafted film, which premiered at Sundance 2019, tells the epic story of Halston’s career and takes an intimate look at his complicated personal life. The film, which had the support of Halston’s family, has an abundance of excellent archival footage and photography, that allow for an in depth look into his world.

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Thomas Efinger
FREE SURROUND SOUND MIXING GUIDE

There are quite a few advanced articles out there on specifics of 5.1 effects mixing with elaborate track counts and talk of multiple premix stems. Which is all well and good, but I thought it might be helpful to give a primer on mixing for film and video in 5.1. At this point in time quite a few professional re-recording mixers are even starting to work in 7.1, but most of the basic issues remain the same and can be applied from 5.1 to 7.1.

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Thomas Efinger
Flashback: Transitional Thinking

Dig It just recently completed the sound editing and mixing for the documentary film What Is Cinema?by Chuck Workman. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. Chuck has been an editor, director, and producer for the past 40 years. He is an Oscar winner for his short film Precious Images, and has edited the archival sequences for 14 Academy Awards shows. His credits go way further should you have the urge to look him up. Needless to say, he is a real pro and takes his editing to a high art form.

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Thomas Efinger
FLASHBACK: Sleepwalk with me

We just finished the sound work on Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me. The film is premiering at Sundance 2012 in the Next category. It is based on Mike’s successful stage show and features a great cast including Mike himself, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, and James Rebhorn.

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Thomas Efinger
Flashback: Nobody Walks

Dig It recently completed all of the sound editing, sound design, and mixing for the film Nobody Walks, which will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 in the Dramatic Competition. The film, directed by the talented Ry Russo-Young, stars acting veterans John Krasinski, Dylan McDermott, and Rosemarie Dewitt, as well as some great young talent in Olivia Thirlby, and India Enenga. The story is about a 23 year old woman, who travels to L.A. from New York, to finish the sound design and mix of her short art film.

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Thomas Efinger
Flashback: Soul Power

In 2008 Dig It had the distinct pleasure to embark on a musical documentary journey with the film Soul Power. Conceived and beautifully directed by Jeff Kusama-Hinte, this film hits all the right notes in capturing the allure and chemistry of an amazing concert event in Zaire Africa in 1974. This is really the companion film to When We Were Kings.

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Thomas Efinger
Flashback: The Smashing Machine

The first time I worked with director, John Hyams, was on the documentary film The Smashing Machine. This film was the story of the Ultimate Fighter, Mark Kerr. It documented his initial rise to stardom, a long undefeated run at the top, then his demise into drug addiction, and then a comeback that was less than complete. It is a compelling story and Mark Kerr's eloquence and charismatic personality are remarkable. 

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Thomas Efinger
Flashback: Happiness

In 1997 Dig It had the pleasure to work on Todd Solondz's second feature film Happiness. They sent me the script to read before we talked further about the project. I remember very well diving into that script because I laughed so much I was crying before I finished the first five pages. The film was also blessed with an exceptional cast including Jane Adams, Jon Lovitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Baker, and Lara Flynn Boyle, and a great editor in Alan Oxman. 

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Thomas Efinger
Flashback! High Art

In 1997 Dig It was selected to do the sound editing for Lisa Cholodenko’s first feature film, High Art, starring Ally Sheedy, Rahda Mitchell, and Patricia Clarkson. We were very excited about the project from the start. My good friend and business colleague Jeff Kusama-Hinte was producing the film with some other notable producers and had been talking about the film with a glimmer in his eye, like he knew he had something special brewing

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Thomas Efinger
Cars, Cars, Cars

After just having wrapped up Ramin Bahrani’s upcoming At Any Price, which had two dramatic car races in it, and having recently worked on John Hyam’s Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, which had an extensive and brash car chase, we thought we’d take the opportunity to have a brief discussion on the art of car chase sound in film. There are a few rules of thumb we bring to any car scene that, when applied, keep the scene consistent, kinetic, and always dramatic.

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Thomas Efinger