Wed, 31 May 2023 18:33:23 GMT
Director Bobby León (Rodeo Production), sound engineer Guillaume Houde (Rodeo FX Audio), and co-founder and art director of Mauvais Garçon, Matthew Barrios, have joined forces to craft a captivating short film about mental health. Their collaboration merges Bobby's visionary direction, Guillaume's immersive soundscapes, and Matthew's avant-garde style and sensitivity.
The result is a thought-provoking masterpiece that challenges norms, sparks empathy, and shines a much-needed light on the complexities of the human mind. Together, they demonstrate the power of artistic synergy in addressing vital societal issues. The project provided an opportunity for the Rodeo FX team to represent and showcase the collaborative art piece that emerged from the creative minds of Bobby León, Matthew Barrios, and Guillaume Houde, highlighting their unique talents in addressing the crucial topic of mental health.
Discover the artistic process behind this project by diving into the discussions that unveil the collaborative journey of Bobby León, Matthew Barrios, and Guillaume Houde...
Above: From left to right - director Bobby León, co-founder and art director of Mauvais Garçon Matthew Barrios, and audio general manager and head of creation at Rodeo FX Audio Guillaume Houde
Bobby> I think we found kinship in conversing about mental health and our journeys when we first met, and it felt easy and organic to open up to each other as total strangers and team members for an unrelated shoot. At the time, we both had been on a personal journey toward becoming better with ourselves and learning about our blind spots and the difficulties around our mental well-being. When you find something that helps you, all you want to do is share it with others because knowing inner dark places and finding a source of light and peace is a gift that ought to be shared. Being ashamed of our feelings or growing up repressing them because of social mores can halt us from reaching out. Still, the relief and power you can gain from opening up to a loved one or a benevolent ear can change your life. And I believe Matthew and I want to share that.
Mauvais Garçon is a brand that focuses on positive messaging and bringing attention to mental health, sometimes in taglines that will make strangers recognize themselves and allow them to soften up, open up, or feel seen. Mental health is a collective responsibility.
Matthew> There’s a lot of individuals struggling with intrusive and depressive thoughts on a regular basis. Myself being one of those people, I felt it was important to not only raise awareness of what that can look and sound like, but to also remind people that it’s totally normal and ok to reach out to a loved one to talk about it.
Bobby> Many choices felt instinctual while we were filming. We started with a general idea of what we wanted to accomplish and trusted our process to give birth to a project that felt authentic to the exchange and the moment. We only had a few hours to film all the scenes on a day off between two shoots. There was a little adrenaline rush and excitement to get it all to work. We wanted to showcase a gradual transition from inner chaos to inner bliss through the images and, most importantly, the soundscape.
Bobby> A desire to recreate the inner feeling of negative self-talk through sound design and the relief we can access when we feel seen by a loved one, whether it’s being listened to, hugged, or accompanied. It came from knowing these places and wanting to make them exist on screen.
Matthew> This was me and Bobby’s first creative collaboration so I think we were inspired first just at the chance to create something dope and meaningful together. Also being in south Florida surrounded by sunshine and palm trees, it was an interesting and compelling concept to explore in such a “happy” place. But I’d say a lot of my inspiration came from real life thoughts and feelings I’ve personally felt and still navigate through to this day.
Matthew> Mauvais Garçons main function serves as a way to raise awareness towards the stigma surrounding mental health. This seemed right in line with the way we try to normalize talking about where you’re at emotionally through our messaging.
Bobby> There is a certain effective simplicity behind the project. And by that, I don’t mean easy. I mean that it effectively achieves its goal in a way that many people can understand. Sound has always been an important factor in my creative work, and working with Guillaume and Cédrick at Rodeo FX Audio to create an original soundtrack like this one is a first. It opened up the world of sound design and craftsmanship in a new way, which I wish to continue giving space to in future projects.
This project is also a bit different because while they are wearing clothes by Mauvais Garçon, the focus is more on the story, not on what they wear. The taglines are hinted here and there on the cap or sweaters, but it’s not about showing an entire collection and forcing a product. To me, it feels more authentic: if you resonate with the idea of becoming more self-aware, allow yourself to be more vulnerable, open up to people and encourage others to do the same and feel like it’s ok not to feel great all the time, then you believe in making your social bubble better, and in the end, it’s the message that matters more. The clothes are a beautiful vehicle to make it obvious to others that you share a kinship in the difficult sides of human experience and can be trusted with their emotions.
Matthew> This project felt so pure. Bobby and I had only known each other days before we wrote and shot this in less than 48 hours. We just knew we wanted to make something that reached past the surface level and resonated with someone in a potential dark place. I think that’s pretty unique considering the world we live in these days.
Guillaume> We know that everyone's experience with mental health struggles is unique, so it was important to approach the topic with sensitivity and empathy. The soundtrack plays a crucial role in the overall experience of this film. It needed to be simple and not too melodic. We needed to create sounds that embody the emotions associated with mental health challenges. It helped to reinforce and enhance the storytelling by creating a sonic environment that complements the visual narrative. Since there is no narration and no “traditional” music, it helped to establish the mood, atmosphere, and emotional tone of the entire film. It also provided a sense of continuity and coherence.
Bobby> Sound is such a visceral channel to connect to feelings; it was fantastic to lead the exploration of these feelings through creating an auditive journey. Guillaume and Cédrick understood exactly what we wanted to achieve, and their creative contribution tied everything together. This piece is not about outlining reasons why we feel terrible, or what makes us feel terrible, the reality is we all feel terrible sometimes and the noise that exists in our head is a universal truth, so by focusing on how it feels rather than intellectualizing the what, where, who, why, we were able to touch a chord that resonates. And that was the goal, too.
Guillaume> By utilizing soundscapes and ambient textures, we can establish a prevailing mood. Furthermore, through the creation of contrasts, we can effectively depict emotions. For instance, dissonant or distorted sounds may symbolize anxiety or distress, while ethereal or sparse sounds can convey a sense of detachment or isolation.
Moreover, by varying the dynamics of our sound design to mirror emotional fluctuations, we can accurately portray different states. Intense moments of anguish or turmoil can be depicted through loud and cacophonous sounds, while quiet and subtle sounds evoke introspection or vulnerability. By juxtaposing these elements, we achieved a more impactful sonic representation of the mental health journey.
Additionally, the inclusion of environmental sounds, such as cityscapes, crowds, nature, and the beach, adds context and enriches the narrative. Striking a balance between natural sounds and sound design techniques, such as morphing sounds, evolving textures, and gradual changes in pitch, proved instrumental in capturing shifts in mental states and illustrating the progression of a mental health journey.
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Categories: Media and Entertainment, MoviesRodeo FX, Wed, 31 May 2023 18:33:23 GMT