From left: Producer Pemon Rami, sound designer Drew Weir, executive producer Risé Sanders (Vagabond Audio) and producer/actor Robert Townsend
Sound designer Drew Weir of Chicago-based Vagabond Audio collaborated with the filmmaking team behind the soon-to-be-released feature film Of Boys and Men, starring Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do With It) and acclaimed actor Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle). Of Boys and Men tells the story of a family that must overcome the devastating loss of a loved one who was shot in Chicago during the spring of 2007.
Townsend, who acted as producer on Of Boys and Men in addition to his starring role as the family patriarch, says that Vagabond Audio is on a level with many of the top Hollywood sound companies he had worked with throughout his career. “I have worked in Hollywood for many years now and have mixed at some of the best facilities on the West Coast, from George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound to Todd-AO, and working in Chicago, I feel that Vagabond is on-par with those facilities,” says Townsend. “They created a unique sound design for my film like none other.”
For Weir, the film offered an opportunity to work with a variety of challenging audio situations during the course of the film. “We handled everything related to post audio on this project, including sound design, dialog clean-up, Foley, ADR and final mixing in 5.1 surround sound,” he says. “Technically, this was a big audio challenge. There were a number of dialog-heavy scenes involving many actors at once, as well as a few montage sequences that called for a thoughtful approach to interweaving sound design and music. The nature of the story in this film meant that every moment had to resonate with realism. A lot of the work we did went into making sure the audio met the high production values of the footage they had shot and the high caliber of actors in the cast.”
Veteran producer Pemon Rami is equally enthusiastic about collaborating on Of Boys and Men with Vagabond. “Drew Weir and the staff at Vagabond were a pleasure to work with,” says Rami. “After reviewing our rough cut, Drew provided a list of improvements that proved he not only did his homework, but has an excellent ear. I also love their facility and their desire to respond to our every request. I look forward to working with these guys again.”
The film is the first venture into feature filmmaking for production company The Anointed Harvesters and co-executive producer Shebeta Carter, who praises Vagabond Audio’s work on the project. “It’s been a wonderful blessing for The Anointed Harvesters to have Vagabond work with us on our first feature film,” says Carter. “It’s been a joy; we look forward to many future projects with them.”
Carter’s co-executive producer, Maisha Parsons, agrees with her. “From the beginning, Vagabond has been very accommodating and enthusiastic to work with us,” says Parsons. “Their facility is top-notch. They had everything we needed to make the audio on our film just as good as anything you’ll see coming out of Hollywood!”
For more information, visit www.vagabondaudio.com.