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Boutique Sound Shops Shake Walls in The Killing Room


Juniper Post


Engine Room Studios

have collaborated to build a dense and imaginative world of sound for the new feature film, “

The Killing Room


The thriller stars Academy Award-winner

Timothy Hutton

(“The Good Shepherd,” “Ordinary People,” “Secret Window”) and

Nick Cannon

(“Day of the Dead,” “Men in Black II,” “Drumline”) as two of four random people imprisoned in a white room for a psychological test supervised by a government psychiatrist portrayed by

Peter Stormare

(“Constantine,” “Minority Report,” “Armageddon,” “Fargo”) and new trainee

Chloe Sevigny

(“Zodiac,” “Big Love”). The story unfolds through Sevigny’s eyes as the prisoners endure terrifying ordeals while trying to survive The Killing Room.


Jonathan Liebesman

cut his teeth helming films such as “Darkness Falls” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.” While wrapping up “The Killing Room,” Liebesman’s creative skills attracted the attention of producer

Neal Moritz

(“I Am Legend,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “Stealth”), who has signed him to direct the upcoming tentpole sci-fi epic, “

Battle: Los Angeles

” for

Columbia Pictures


“Jonathan impressed me with the original way he used sound design to help tell the story,� says Juniper Post co-owner

Ben Zarai

. Zarai and his business partner, Juniper co-owner

David Kitchens

, are veterans of over 300 feature film audio projects, and won Emmy Awards for their sound design work with

James Cameron

. “Beyond the traditional use of sound to create clues and build tension, (Liebesman) built an entire world around the main Killing Room, almost like its own subplot.�

According to Zarai, “The Engine Room outdid themselves in designing these sounds with him.

Christian Dwiggins

did an excellent job as Supervising Sound Editor. And I couldn’t be happier with (Juniper Post Re-recording Mixer)

David Barber

’s treatment of their work. Dave made the film sound much larger than life.�

Jonathan Liebesman confirms the assessment. “Dave, and Juniper’s facility, had the skill to explore every idea so we could make the right choices. This was the most complete and satisfying mix I’ve had on any of my films.�

The job of a Re-recording Mixer is to blend dialogue, music and sound effects together to create the final cohesive sound you hear in the theater, or on your TV. A good sound mix will draw you into a film, immerse you in the experience, and reinforce—or even create—emotional impact.

Juniper Post’s Head Re-recording Mixer

David Barber

has garnered acclaim throughout the world of independent feature films for his finely crafted sound mixes. His recent theatrical indie hits include “The Foot Fist Way,” “Everybody Wants to Be Italian,” and “Ping Pong Playa.” In January, Juniper Post has him slated to mix their next major project, the new film from “Napoleon Dynamite” director

Jared Hess

, entitled “

Gentlemen Broncos

,” for

20th Century Fox


David Barber let us in on how the sound mix for The Killing Room came together: “Christian, (Engine Room sound designer)

RD White

, and Jonathan worked tirelessly for months conceptualizing the soundscape for the killing, viewing, and control rooms. It was important for me to understand where they wanted to go with the final mix, so Christian and I met several times to discuss their vision for each room, each reel, and the film as a whole. I think those meetings paid dividends by providing me with the conceptual basis upon which I could build the mix.�

Barber continues, “Jonathan was amazing to work with. He came into the mix with both a clear vision and an open mind. For instance, after hearing one of the PA speaker voice sounds we designed during the pre-mix, he came up with the idea to create a secondary speaker that would be heard simultaneously with the speaker in Peter Stormare’s viewing room. The secondary speaker was processed to sound like it was coming through the glass wall from the killing room. By creating a new speaker sound, then delaying it and adding a larger room reverberation, we created a significantly larger environment, making the facility seem that much more daunting and oppressive. The sound design was complemented by an amazingly haunting score by

Brian Tyler

(“Eagle Eye,” “Rambo,” “Constantine,” “Godsend”).â€?

Barber says he was excited to work with the rich sound textures of The Killing Room. “More so than most films I’ve mixed or seen, the sound design of this film was vital to the telling of the story. The action takes place primarily in three distinctly different rooms, so it was important to sonically define each environment. All of the designed sounds in the film, like the ambient tone of the killing room, or the open, close and lock of the killing room door, are characters in the film that draw you into the predicament and peril of the various characters.�

Juniper’s Ben Zarai summed up the experience: “There have been a lot of changes in the audio post industry. Budgets have dropped, technology has raced ahead, and clients are demanding faster service and more creative flexibility at all stages of the audio process. More and more of them are finding, like James Cameron and Jonathan Liebesman, that it’s the smaller, more entrepreneurial, boutique shops who can give them the depth of creative detail and expression that used to require huge budgets, large crews, and more man-hours to achieve.�

Juniper co-owner David Kitchens adds, “The Killing Room is part of the new wave of incredible-sounding films coming out of the boutique sound industry, and we’re proud we participated in it.�

Juniper Post

, an award-winning audio post-production facility, has been providing complete, cutting-edge sound for hundreds of feature films and television projects since 1983. Services include sound design and editing, Foley and ADR recording, and theatrical mixing in their Dolby Digital mix theater.
Contact: (818) 841-1244