Hats Off to -- Nikki Moss
New year, new phase -- Eamon and myself are now focussed on sourcing the finance. More about that in future blogs. For now, the first of my HATS OFF blogs.
There are a good few people to whom we must doff our hats for their contributions to 'The Cow' to date. My good friend the actor Declan Mills once said to me, with regard to another project he and I were involved in, 'No unbelievers Mark!'
Since he first got a hold of our script, Sound Designer Nikki Moss has been a believer. His active support, experience, talent and contacts have made many things possible that seemed impossible.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of sound in a film, although Nikki has given it a damn good try! Look at his IMDB page and you will see his career began in animation. This is significant because in animation there is no sync sound. The entire world of the film is built up from different sound elements meticulously layered, balanced, equalised and positioned in space to work seamlessly along with (or, Nikki may say, sometimes in spite of) the picture.
This is what Nikki did for the teaser. He took the location sound recorded by Karl Merren and Eddie Quinn and wove it in with a whole load of other elements, including background dialogue yelled in Russian by a group of ex-Soviet army men led by our composer Oleg Ponomarev, Oleg's own music, and various carefully selected animal noises. The result is a tapestry of sound that transports you into a violent, cold, angry world full of potential horror.
Personal favourite moments are -- the bear's roar that comes through the forest, transforming what is a rural panorama with a foreboding of the danger that lies in wait for the escapees; the voice cursing Soviet Russia in Russian as the flag burns, and the gunshot that silences it; the sound of Chukchi Tracker/Roger Yuan's axe as it slices through the air and pins Grigori's coat sleeve to the tree; and the Macbeth-like crow that caws a warning just before Bilal/Mark O'Halloran tells Grigori/Shane O'Reilly that he's not going to hurt him.
There are plenty more. Go back and have a listen. Not bad going for one minute and fifty seconds of screen time.
So, hats off to ya Nikki! It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with you so far, let's hope there's a lot more to come this year.