July 30, 2018
Vimeo Staff Pick Awards

Watch: Is This the Best Sounding Short of All Time?

These two sound recordists have one extremely relatable mission.

The life of a post-production freelancer is tough. Whether you're an editor, a colorist, a VFX artist, or a sound designer chances are you're going to have someone who's in charge ask you to finish your work earlier than agreed, inevitably only to pay you later than promised. For the sound recordist, who labors not only in the studio, but out in the field to provide a film with the unique quality the director requires, that work is often underappreciated. 

We all know how important good sound is to a film, so why isn't it a more "glamorous" occupation? That's what the filmmakers behind Death of the Sound Man endeavor to find out. Maybe it's because quality sound work inherently goes unnoticed by the audience. Whatever the reason, Sorayos Prapapan goes to great lengths in this short to find the answer. 

The latest short film to have won a physical Vimeo Staff Pick Award at the Guanajuato International Film Festival, Senior Curator Jeffery Bowers describes the short as a "playful and introspective film about sound and the people who quietly capture it." The film "examines what it’s like to be literally and figuratively behind the scenes," he continues. "It uniquely depicts the philosophical question, 'If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?'"

As a part of the prize package, Sorayos Prapapan also received a premiere on Vimeo’s Staff Picks. No Film School spoke briefly with the director after his win at Guanajuato International Film Festival as part of our ongoing series exploring the benefits of having a simultaneous online and festival release. 

No Film School: What was your inspiration for creating this film?
Sorayos Prapapan: I enjoy watching films about filmmaking and I'm also a sound recordist. So, this became a film about sound people working on a film.

NFS: Did you face any challenges when making this film?
Prapapan: Yes, while I was writing it. I wasn’t confident because in many scenes I used sound as a tool for storytelling, but you can't hear that in the script. So I had to trust myself that it would work how I was envisioning it. 

NFS: What is your best piece of advice to aspiring filmmakers?
Prapapan: I'm not a master so I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give advice, but I certainly think that everyone has a story to tell. So, just make it!

NFS: What’s the value of displaying your film at a festival versus releasing online?
Prapapan: That's a hard question. I've always wanted to show my film in a proper cinema, but my film can't be released commercially, so festivals are a platform that suite me well. Nowadays if you want wider audience, releasing online can really help your film be seen. 

NFS: What does the Staff Pick Award mean to you?
Prapapan: I've seen many good Vimeo Staff Pick films, so of course I'm happy to be one of them!

NFS: What’s next? Any upcoming projects?
Prapapan: I'm writing my first feature film called “Arnold is a model student”. My inspiration was the political situation and educational system of my country, Thailand. I included much of my personal experience from when I was in school. Hopefully, it will be ready to make soon!     

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