Behind the scenes of Margaret Fuller: The Evolution of a Utopianist there is a talented, ongoing group of musicians and sound designers we like to call the Berklee Buddies. With a common thread of training at the Berklee College of Music, they share a deep sense of professionalism and a keen understanding of the broader context of the work. In addition to their international backgrounds, each brought various aspects of musical and technical expertise.
Grounded by their musicianship, intellectual depth and stellar work ethic, they melded into a cohesive music-making machine. They hit the ground running and never stopped, often working into the night to get everything just right. Because of their enthusiasm, generosity and ties to the Berklee performance community, it was not unusual for a violin, sax, or vocalist to pop by and add their instrumentation.
Under the stewardship of our Berklee Buddies, the post production audio process took on a life of its own.
“It was one of the most privileged moments of my career to work with them.” — Jonathan Schwartz, Director Interlock Media
Filipe Antunes, Mix Engineer
A music-lover from a young age, he gained experience as a post-production mix engineer and served at Interlock as a crack foley artist for our Extraordinary Passage and Margaret Fuller documentaries. Whether it was adding natural sounds to silent film footage from the wilds of 1920’s Africa for Extraordinary Passage or blending the audio for the Fuller piece – his technical prowess, creativity and attention to detail made our films pop.
Filipe’s genius did not go unnoticed for long. In August 2017, he was snapped up by George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, where he now works for Oscar-winning sound designer, Randy Thom. Filipe is one to watch — it’s only a matter of time before he takes home his own golden statue.
David Perez-MacCollum, Soundtrack Producer
A natural born leader, David had an intuitive knack for managing and inspiring people, bringing out the best in the audio team as they brought spirit and authenticity to the mix.
Sharing Interlock’s spirit on the environment, Ecuadorean-born Perez once spent a year travelling with indigenous peoples throughout the Amazon rainforest. He performed clarinet for a kindred environmental documentary,Don’t Frack With Denton.
In his shaggy-haired, head-banging days as a youth, David rocked the heavy metal guitar. After the party was over, he went on to study performance and film at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Later, as a scoring and composition student Berklee, David was exposed to many aspects of recording, mixing, and mastering. He learned how to play wooden instruments, strings, vocals, and percussion so as to be best able to compose for each instrument in the orchestra. Later, he turned to digital recording, further inspiring his passion for sound design.
David’s ingenuity, sincerity, and creativity were a powerful force at Interlock, and we’re certain he’ll flourish.
Jorge Maldonado, Composer
Jorge began his career producing audio commercials in his native Peru. He continued making music while studying communications at the University of Lima, and majored in film and video game scoring at Berklee.
Jazz and improvisation fueled Jorge’s love affair with music at age thirteen. He played the keyboard and piano, learning to compose for film and finding additional inspiration in the classical genre.
To others looking to go into this career, he offers these words of advice:
“Try to think of what you really want to do in the music field. You can easily get captured doing something more economically beneficial, rather than something you want to do musically. When you’re committed to something as artistic as music, it’s like you’re married to it for life. Be careful with choosing. Once you know what you want it’s amazing- it flows.” – Jorge Maldonado
Shaun Wesley, Music Editor
We were thrilled when Jorge introduced us to Shaun, a fellow student from Berklee with varied experience editing music for visuals.
Growing up in Malaysia and Singapore, Shaun was always interested in using music to enhance visual art forms. Not wedded to one genre, Shaun can just as easily be found experimenting with electronic music as composing for Berklee’s classical quartet or creating scores for a dance performance. His inspiration comes from music in commercials – or just about anywhere, as long as there are visuals to inspire the music.
Shaun’s most valuable asset is his flexibility and his intuitive understanding of how a documentary crew functions. After working on mixing and sound design on the Fuller project, Shaun seamlessly switched gears to fill in as a sound recordist on short notice. After an impromptu down-and-dirty sound recording ‘bootcamp,’ Shaun proved invaluable on the set of our Code-Switching documentary on the Metco busing program which helps integrate greater Boston schools. Shaun has a promising career in music – we’ll be listening!
Mandy Kowara and Soon-Hyung Kwon
The efforts of our subsequent Berklee Buddies built off of the imagination and intellectual legwork of two other Berklee alums, Mandy and Kwon. Bringing sophisticated musicality and a multicultural perspective from their native Indonesia and Korea, Mandy and Soon-Hyung created the original theme for Fuller.
Guided by the Director, they researched period music from the 1830s, spanning from banjo and proto-blues to the Orchestrion, a mechanical instrument that imitated an orchestra. Mandy and Kwon preferred a hybrid of modern sound with an appropriate mid-19th feel, in order to modern audiences while capturing the spirit of Fuller as an iconoclastic heroine.
Using female vocals, including those of Mingyu Lane Shi to evoke the brilliant yet haunted enigma that was Margaret Fuller, Mandy and Soon-Hyung brought a unique sound to the score.
Since their work with Interlock, Soon-Hyung, who had started as an electrical engineer, has been recruited by Google, while Mandy returned to her native Indonesia to pursue a dual graduate degree in music and computer science.