How do you make a vending machine sound haunting? Ask supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Jacob Bloomfield-Misrach. That was one of his tasks for Magnet Releasing’s latest horror/thriller 12 Hour Shift, starring horror favorites Angela Bettis (May) and David Arquette (Scream). In case you aren’t familiar with the film’s premise, it reads as follows: Bodies start to pile up when a drug-user nurse and her cousin try to find a replacement kidney for an organ trafficker.
Unless you work in the entertainment business, you probably don’t know what a supervising sound editor, like Jacob, actually does. Basically, it’s Jacob’s job to know what a film needs to sound like. Whether it be “fleshy, gurgley, stabby sounds” in horror projects or the sounds of screaming wrestling fans in You Cannot Kill David Arquette, his other recently released film. To shine more light on Jacob’s 12 Hour Shift work, we conducted the below Q&A. 12 Hour Shift is now available on VOD.
WICKED HORROR: How would you describe your work on 12 Hour Shift?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: My job was to oversee the sound design for the film, as well as to mix all of the pieces together. I have a great team of sound designers at my company IMRSV Sound, and they need very little supervision. Mainly I just tell them to make stuff sound amazing, and they always do! But I have the joy of putting all of the pieces together into a final mix. It was a great film to work on.
WICKED HORROR: You have worked with the composer of 12 Hour Shift, Matt Glass, a few times now. You were the film’s supervising sound editor, but you are also a composer. Did Matt ask you for any advice on the 12 Hour Shift score?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: I learned early on that Matt doesn’t need any help with his film scores. He’s a super talented guy and I have so much fun mixing his music. I keep his scores intact, and simply carve out some space for the dialogue. Beyond that, he doesn’t need any advice from me.
WICKED HORROR: In a previous interview you said Brea laid out a blueprint ahead of time, with everything she needed from you and your team before filming. What did that blueprint look like?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: Brea had a clear vision for how the film should sound. She wrote us notes of what she was looking for, as well as watching the film together during a spotting session, so that we could discuss different scenes, making sure we were on the same page. It’s extremely important that I know what a filmmaker is looking for before we start work. Otherwise it would just be a guessing game.
WICKED HORROR: Were there specific objects that Brea wanted to accentuate, sound wise, in 12 Hour Shift? Why did she want to highlight these?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: There are key moments in the film, like when David Arquette appears to be asleep, and then jolts awake with his arm still handcuffed to the bed. Spots like that required special attention. It’s a big surprise and it’s also the first time we meet him in the film. So Brea needed to make sure that we accentuated that appropriately. There are a handful of other similar spots to pay attention to. The fight scenes at the end require some very fleshy, gurgley, stabby sounds, so we had a lot of conversations about those too.
WICKED HORROR: In the trailer, Regina, played by Chloe Farnworth, knocks someone over the head with a metal chair. Did you have to actually knock something over with a chair to create that sound?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: Occasionally when my interns aren’t doing their job very well, I have to throw them into the Foley pit, and you never know what might happen in there. It can get kind of “Road Warrior” when we’re sound designing fight scenes. Only the strongest interns survive.
WICKED HORROR: You paid extra attention to the vending machine in the film, to add an extra layer of eeriness. Can you talk about this?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: Electromagnetic microphones are fascinating to me. The don’t record like regular microphones. They only record electricity and magnetic forces. It’s magic, really. So we went around our building recording various sources of electricity. It can be a haunting sound. Throw some reverb on there and you’ve created a villain. It’s a pretty cool sounding vending machine.
WICKED HORROR: There is a musical segment in the film, what were you responsible for during that scene?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: Feet! So many footsteps! It was a challenging sequence because the music changed. They were dancing to one song, and then their footsteps had to match to a different song. The final result turned out great, but we spent several days just getting that scene right.
WICKED HORROR: As a supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer, is your work done after the film is already shot? Or were you in Arkansas on set when they were filming?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: I keep telling my clients to bring me on set as a location supervisor during the shoot. There is so much good I could do on set to make sure the production sound is optimized for the mix. My background is in location sound so I’m very familiar with that side of things. But generally speaking, I only get brought in once a film is picture locked.
WICKED HORROR: Is there an upcoming horror film that you are looking forward to seeing?
JACOB BLOOMFIELD-MISRACH: Good question! I feel like so much of the film production has slowed down due to Covid…. I’m not even sure what’s coming out next. The elections next month will be a horror show. I’m looking forward to that.