Halston At Sundance: Documentary Sound


Halston, the documentary, a look back at the man and the birth of American fashion.


Halston was a man of extraordinary talent and vision. Born in the mid west to humble beginnings, he rose to new heights in the fashion industry worldwide, and can be credited with putting American Fashion “on the map”.


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.


Red Hook Post enjoyed the opportunity to work on this film. We have worked with Fred on two previous fashion documentaries, Valentino The Last Emperorand Dior and IHalstonhad some unique sound challenges. The vast array of archival footage needed restoration type clean up, and in many cases, new sound design. It was an interesting combination of making some old clips sound newer and better, and making some newer better sounding clips sound old. There was also the conceit of an added fictional character, the “Archivist” and narrator, who helps to tell the story through bits of narration, and short scenes, where she inserts and controls the video tapes from Halton’s video archive. RHP’s sound designer, Abigail Savage, created specific FX of tape machine rewind, fast forward, stop, and play, to enhance the video playback theme.  


Red Hook Post’s sound editing and FX work combined with the great score by Stanley Clarke, and classic songs from Elvis Presley, the disco era, and beyond, coordinated through music supervisor, Tracy McKnight, made for a rich palette of sound sources to work with. The key to providing a good final sound mix, for a film like this, is in crafting all of the disparate sources into a cohesive and well balanced total soundtrack.


With streaming on Amazon, US TV on CNN, and a theatrical distribution deal with The Orchard, Halstonwill be available to a wide audience. 


Produced by Roland Ballester, starring Liza Minnelli, Marisa Berenson, Joel Schumacher


By Tom Efinger/Red Hook Post 

Thomas Efinger