For HOBO, the creative audio post company led by Founder Howard Bowler, 2018 was a year of growth. Specializing in audio mixing, editing, sound design and original music, this past year was filled with highlights across every visual medium: from traditional broadcast television and feature film to cutting edge VR content and social media/online advertising projects.
“Diversity is always a goal at HOBO– Whether its groundbreaking VR projects for Samsung, award-winning documentaries like ‘Quest’ or the powerful immigration reform PSA ‘Are You Scared Of Monsters,’ which recently won the Webby Award for best film in public service and activism, this year stands out as some of the best sound work our company has ever produced.”
Here’s a brief look at some HOBO’s creative highlights for 2018:
• National Geographic documentary series “America Inside Out With Katie Couric” found the veteran broadcast journalist traveling the country to sit down with the people shaping the most pivotal, evolving, contentious and often confusing topics in American culture today. HOBO Engineer Stephen Davies worked with Couric on the VO for the series noting, “she's a fast thinker and will often make creative changes on the spot, which means always be recording because you don't want to miss anything.”
• “Quest” is an extraordinary feature doc that took filmmaker Jonathan Olshefski ten years to complete. It was an official Sundance Film Festival selection before airing on PBS. The film follows a hard working dad and his family, who use rap music to help empower his community. See the film, it’s unbelievable. For the HOBO team, led by Senior Audio Engineer Chris Stangroom sound proved to be a big part of the film’s cinematic experience. “I spent a lot of time researching the sounds of Philadelphia,” Stangroom explains. “I gathered a lot of great references and insight from friends who had grown up in Philly, like the sounds of ‘ghetto birds’ (helicopters), the motorbikes that are driven around constantly and the SEPTA buses. It created an energy to the film that made it vivid and alive.”
• “Anatomy of Surf” and “Anatomy of Ski” were two VR project for Samsung and produced by VR production company Hidden Content, NY that were both named “Staff Picks” on Vimeo. HOBO engineer Diego Jimenez created two distinct mixes for both: one in traditional stereo for the Samsung store in New York in which users would strap into an actual pair of skis or surfboard to add the one-of-a-kind experience and for Vimeo; and a second “360 Spatial Audio” or “object-based” mix for Facebook, incorporating emerging VR audio technology designed to heighten the VR experience exponentially. Jimenez says. ”Spatial audio makes you feel like you are there – it takes the VR experience to a whole other level.”
• In the Jimmy Goldblum directed PSA “Are You Afraid Of Monsters” for Fair Immigration Reform Movement we see in stark terms the Anne Frank-like existence many undocumented families endure out of fear of family separation and deportation. HOBO’s Chris Stangroom worked closely with Goldblum to capture the intimate sounds of a life spent in hiding and the hauntingly plaintiff voiceover from a little boy describing his fears.
• For the Carnival Cruise “Choose Fun” campaign from agency Anomaly featuring Shaquille O’Neal as the ship’s Chief Fun Officer, HOBO’s Chris Stangroom perfectly captures the lighthearted tone of the spots, which feature O'Neal taking viewers on a tour of Carnival Vista, including the SkyRide, Havana pool, Cloud 9 Spa, Guy Fieri's Burger Joint and, of course, the basketball court.
Additionally, Bowler hints at a major announcement in 2019 regarding the company’s expansion beyond audio post and into original content. The company looks forward to sharing more in the new year.
About HOBO Audio:
HOBO Audio is an audio post-production company dedicated to creating an exceptional listening experience. With a growing staff and client list, HOBO has earned the trust of some of the most iconic brands and companies in the world. Make yourself at HOBO.