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Do Not Split

Trailer for Do Not Split, created by Anders Hammer & Field of Vision

The Project

Director, Anders Hammer, teamed up with New York film company, Field of Vision, to create a documentary about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, beginning in the summer of 2019. Flavorlab Sound was asked to provide sound design and mix for the documentary.

Goals & Process

The main goal of the documentary is to drop the viewer into the action so they can see what the protestors see. The documentary was filmed on the ground in Hong Kong. The team followed protestors around the city from event to event over the summer of 2019. Hammer sought to convey this movement with the hope it would engage viewers more than an average news report. The “on location” nature of it didn’t allow for a lot of shot testing or preparation, resulting in some muffled or distorted audio. For the most part, however, production sound was quite clear.

In post, sound engineer, Eric Stern, aimed to honor this “in the moment” perspective. In the mix, he valued authenticity above all else.“The mix involved smoothing that out, but I didn’t go crazy,” he explains. “I didn’t want to lose the reality of the moment.” With the film’s sound design, he worked to enhance the existing drama. He utilized extra crowd sounds to expand the stereo field. He supplemented explosion sounds that weren’t picked up by the microphones by boosting sub bass.

Results

The documentary achieves the desired chaos. The interviews are clear, while the environment is raw. Do Not Split premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. From there, it’s available online as part of CPH:DOX. More festival announcements to come. Anders and the team are creating a 40 minute version of the film, which will be released online.

Go Behind The Scenes with Anders & Eric for more on Do Not Split Here
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