Last year I mixed a 40 minute film by a local film maker named Kelly O'Brien called Softening. It was a really powerful film about how a family learns to live with a son born with severe cerebral palsy. The film is a roller coaster of emotion that breaks your heart at times, while also making you laugh out loud at others.
The sound mix for the film was sometimes a challenge for me because Kelly wanted it to be a really sparse soundtrack. Long stretches of the film were supported with only multi-layered ambiences, and music was left for only special select sequences. My first pass at the sound edit was much busier then what we ended up with. But after some trial and error we pulled everything way back. In the end this approach was exactly what the film needed. The quiet sequences allow a lot of the heavy content to settle over the audience.
The film made the rounds in the festival circut and was really well recieved where ever it played. As a result it found its way to the editors of the New York Times Op-Docs series. At their request Kelly re-cut parts of the film down to make a 5 minute version of the film that focues on the perspective of the 6 year sister in the family. After remixing this new version, it is now up on the Times site for all to see.
If you have a spare 5 minutes please take the time to watch this touching short film. I don't think you will regret it.