Sound Mixer: Tess Kunik

Posted by Samantha George
February 21, 2017 | 1-Exposing The Crew, Audio, Audio (Post)


The Stonebirds


Sound Mixing


Tess Kunik

“The role of “audio mixer” organically came about through the 3-month process…I am by no means a professional in the world of sound, and took on the role as an extension…and telling the story that we so desperately needed to tell. The audio mixing is raw and passionate, which I feel reflects the city of Philadelphia as well as the place Layne and myself were at in our artistic lives at the time.– Tess Kunik

Life throws a lot of experiences at you: overwhelming, underwhelming, good, bad, ugly – most of the time, there isn’t much we can do to control the situation, but we can control how we respond to it.

For our “EXPOSED” crew member of the week, we want to highlight actress and editor Tess Kunik, for her work as a sound mixer for the film The Stonebirds

Tess is not a sound mixer by profession. In fact, she and director Layne Marie Williams met while in acting school in Philadelphia. The two grew a mutual respect for each other, and after Layne finished her first film, Tess wanted to collaborate.

“She asked me out for coffee and said, “I’ve got a film I want to make, and I want you to direct it”. So we just dreamed it all up right there in that coffee shop, went on Christmas break, came back and made a movie.” – Layne Marie Williams

This was not a formal production, as there was no budget and no EP. Every artist involved in the film also played every part. In Tess‘ case, not only was she the actress and editor, but she was the sound mixer as well. Because there was no budget, Kunik used what resources she had, and designed the soundscape on her iPad.

The audio for the film is inspired by the sounds of Philadelphia interwoven with the etherial sounds of the mythological world. Philly is rich with musicality and it was very important for us to capture its essence. My partner is the MC of local hip hop group here in the city, ILL DOOTS, and he wrote and recorded two songs for the film.” – Tess Kunik

The film came to be after Tess experienced a traumatic sexual assault. Wanting to create something from that trauma, Kunik brought the idea to Williams, and the two self-produced the project. As with any film, the most challenging thing is trust: trust that when you give the work away, each artist will make it their own, but that your visions will coincide.

“Our passion for storytelling was used to spread awareness on a subject that is so often filled with shame. The style was very much influenced by Philadelphia, the kind of art that is all around Philadelphia, and the over all aesthetic that the cast/crew and I bring to the table. Gritty, raw, etherial.” – Tess Kunik

We want to thank Tess Kunik, for being so open about her work as an artist and sound mixer for the film. If you would like to contact Tess for any sound mixing on your next project, please CONTACT US, and we’ll connect you with her!

We’d also like to thank Layne Marie Williams, Women of the Nowand ILL DOOTS for their contributions to Stonebirds!

Thank you for watching this week’s Exposing the Crew “EXPOSED” indie film!


We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,

Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)