Sound Technician: Stephen Holliger

Posted by Samantha George
August 8, 2017 | 1-Exposing The Crew, Audio

SHORT FILM:

Exodus: Sounds of the Great Migration

CHOSEN FOR:

Sound Technician

CREW HIGHLIGHT:

Stephen Holliger

“A Sound Technician is responsible for understanding and applying technical aspects towards capturing & mixing sound in any recording environment. It is a technician’s duty to identify the sound requirements necessary to record in any environment or given situation, including the placement of equipment and the overarching quality of all sound.” – Stephen Holliger

Until about 1910, most African Americans populated the southern United States. Between 1916 and 1970, African Americans migrated towards the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West. This movement, largely noted as one of the largest internal migrations of any other ethnic group, meant that African Americans had to leave behind their economic and social foundations in order to build new ones (http://bit.ly/1SobqcT). We call this “The Great Migration”, and thanks to director Lonnie Edwards and our EXPOSED crew member of the week, Sound Technician Stephen Holliger, we’re able to understand the movement a little better through the power of film – specifically, their film: Exodus: Sounds of the Great Migration.

“The sounds captured in the film are meant to reflect & celebrate its history on western culture including dance, poetry, and music. More importantly, the sounds are meant to reflect the inspiration derived initially from the “New Negro” Renaissance – where one can defeat racism and oppression through intellect and the production of art.” – Stephen Holliger

The dialogue within the film is particularly interesting, as it is the music in Exodus. Lines were replaced with drumsticks, tap-dancing, and horns, which meant capturing sound was anything but conventional. With an sound environment like Chicago, nothing is predictable. Working within the city means a constant battle of fighting with the heavy traffic of planes, trains, and automobiles, which makes it a challenge to capture clean and clear audio.

“On production shoots, understanding & being mindful of sounds that may occur on location is something I wish more people understood. If the question, “is this a problem for sound?” ever arises – the answer is almost always a yes.” – Stephen Holliger

With a project like Exodus, despite it’s challenges, it does offer up some benefits. For instance, Holliger learned just how many influential artists were a result of the movement, and how they further empowered Black culture, American culture, and social structure within the US.

“The greatest perk of Exodus was working with some of Chicago’s best underground (for not too long) artists…the performance recorded towards the end of the film was written spontaneously by the talent & captured moments later.” – Stephen Holliger

Thank you, Stephen Holliger, for such an insightful and educational experience! You and Lonnie created a truly masterful piece. If you would like to get a hold of Stephen, please click the ABOUT ME button above. You can also check out Holliger’s sound editing and technician work on The Onion and AV Club via their online video content.

We’d also like to thank Neak and Sam Trump from Sidewalk Chalk for their performances in the video.

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We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,

Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)