Geektown Radio Special: 'The Perfect Date' & 'PEN15' Sound Editor and Re-recording Mixer James Parnell

This week we have another special edition of the Geektown Radio podcast, as Dave is away at the moment. But we didn't want you to be left without something to listen to so we bring you a great interview with James Parnell, supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer from Monkeyland Audio.

James has worked across a range of projects, from tv shows such as 'The Mist', 'Transparent' and 'Scream', to Oscar-winning movies like 'Get Out' and 'Moonlight'. However, it is his work as a supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer on his two most recent projects we wanted to talk to him about. They are Hulu's middle school comedy 'PEN15' and Netflix romcom 'The Perfect Date'.

'PEN15' is middle school as it really happened. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star in this adult comedy, playing versions of themselves as thirteen-year-old outcasts in the year 2000, surrounded by actual thirteen-year-olds, where the best day of your life can turn into your worst with the stroke of a gel pen. Behind the awkward teenage jokes is a moving coming-of-age story, based on the two creators personal experiences growing up.

For James, the responsibility of creating a soundscape that can reflect all aspects of the show, from its use of humour to its exploration of deeper topics like race, marriage, friendship and self-image, was instrumental. James often noted that he can still "hear" his own middle school experience and drew a lot of inspiration from that to create the sounds for this show. It is designed to be humorous and nostalgic, reminding the audiences' of their own formative years. 

'The Perfect Date' is a romantic comedy which follows Brooks Rattigan (Noah Centineo) through his last months of high school where, in a bid to be able to afford tuition at Yale University, develops an app which makes him a “stand-in” for girls needing dates. James was responsible for mixing the sonic core of the film, including all the sounds associated with the app to the different environment of multiple school campuses. His role was to take all the raw sonic elements and combine it into a cohesive soundscape that enhances the action to see on screen.

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