Pharoah Editorial Inc. will close on 36th street on May 16, 2016.
"I look forward to a period of semi-retirement from professional sound work. It has been an all-consuming passion for many decades and I am entirely proud of the work my associates and I have contributed to projects. With so many choices of eager post production sound vendors at your fingertips, I have always felt great honor when you have selected my company despite its grumpy owner."
Archives of most projects will be kept on hand, should a need arise. Richard is always happy to “talk shop” and lend advice about setup and workflow, troubleshooting and forensics, or serve as an unbiased ear.
Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Season 3
We were very happy to be asked to work on a third season of this fine series. Congratulations to John Maggio and the Ark Media team along with their partners Inkwell Films and Kunhardt McGee Productions.
January 19, 2015
The American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were romanticized in the press while being sought for at least 13 murders, numerous robberies, and kidnappings. Pharoah's sound work brings to life this shoot 'em up/drive 'em away story of the most famous outlaw couple in U.S. history.
School Sleuth: The Case of the Wired Classroom
A film by Learning Matters featuring John Merrow Super Sleuth.
Update: will also air later this year on PBS.
April 2, 2015
A new Avid s6™ mixing desk was installed in the Mix room.
A film by Barak Goodman, executive producer Ken Burns. 6 hours, 3 night PBS event. Pharoah provided all post production sound recording, editing, and mixing for each of the production teams. We are very proud of our contributions to the project.
*October and November last year we got to know actor Edward Herrmann while recording this film's narration. He was warm, smart, humble. His passing in late December was preceded by a diagnosis of brain cancer.
February 17, 2015
The Italian Americans
PBS nationwide. Congratulations to Maggio Productions and our friends at Ark Media, thank you!
January 20, 2015
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
2015 duPont Award, Columbia Journalism School
October 1, 2014
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Academy Award for Outstanding Historical Program - Long Form
Huge kudos! Yeah, well, we know our work helped at least a little itty bit. Let's do another one!
Makers: Women Who Make America Season 2
September 30, 2014
Makers: Women Who Make America, Season 2
PBS premier nationwide. Pharoah sound designed and mixed two of the six hour long episodes, "Women in Space" (Oct 14) and "Women in Business" (Oct 28).
September 23, 2014
Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Season 2
PBS premier nationwide, 10 one hour episodes, 10 weeks in a row. Congratulations to John Maggio and the Ark Media team along with their partners Inkwell Films and Kunhardt McGee Productions. We are very pleased to have provided sound design and mix for the series.
July 27, 2014
Look back and look ahead...
An Emmy nomination was recently announced for Rivers: The African American Story with Henry Louis Gates Jr. We keep our fingers crossed for the Ark Media team, Inkwell Films, and Kunhardt McGee Productions.
The Pharoah team is working hard this summer on two returning series for PBS, both to premier next month. A second season of Finding Your Roots begins September 24. September 30 brings the premier of 6 new episodes of Makers: Women Who Make America. Pharoah is sound designing and mixing Women in Space and Women in Business. We are very proud to have been selected again to work on both of these prestigious productions.
So far in 2014 we have completed sound design and mix of three full length feature documentaries. More are in the works. Happy Valley recently began a theatrical and festival tour. We look forward to public releases of the others so that we can brag about them!
2013 Peabody Award Winner
2013 Peabody Awarded to The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross With Henry Lewis Gates Jr.
Congratulations to Rachel Dretzin and the Ark Media team, and their partners Inkwell Films and Kunhardt McGee Productions. We are very pleased to have provided complete audio post services for the series.
Education Writers Association 2013 First Prize Awarded to Rebirth: New Orleans
John Merrow and his dedicated team at Learning Matters, Inc., are some of the hardest working and nicest people we know. We have had the deep pleasure to work with them for many years. We proudly provided complete audio post services for this film and look ahead to many more.
2014 Sarasota Film Festival Documentary Jury Prize awarded to Happy Valley
A&E Films, directed by Amir Bar-Lev. Our first experience with Asylum Entertainment was a great one and we look forward to many more. A shout out to line producer Alice Henty whose masterful hand made us look good!
EWA First Prize Award winner
Sarasota Film Festival Documentary Jury Prize
February 11, 2014
The American Experience: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Premiers tonight on PBS
Our team provided full sound design and mix.
Written and directed by John Maggio for Ark Media. A part of the American Experience collection The Wild West. In 2011 Pharoah completed sound design and mix for a companion piece Billy The Kid.
January 19, 2014
Good luck at Sundance Film Festival this week! The Pharoah team provided full sound design and mix.
UPDATE: The film was warmly received and has since been completed. We look forward to its formal release by A&E IndieFilms later this year.
Dec 31, 2013
Uh, What Happened Here?
I like to tell myself that our recording room is generously porportioned for our work but sometimes the needs of Foley stretches limits of Manhattan time and space. Case in point, our favorite Foley artist Brian Vancho was recently hired to supply Foley for a feature. We usually start a job by recording all footfalls, one surface at a time throughout the film, then props and specifics throughout, and finally cloth. In this case our client needed one finished reel per day. That meant starting each morning with footfalls, followed by props and cloth each afternoon. Rather than putting everything away each night, Brian chose to work around the ever-growing collection of props and knick-knacks. With so many variations of surfaces and objects, it does not take long before things appear to get out of hand! Happy New Year!
We want to thank all of our clients and freelance experts Andrea Bella, Des Desloovere, Michael Feuser, Deborah Wallach, and Brian Vancho, for their often miraculous contributions to a very successful 2013, one of our busiest years on record! We will be working through the holiday season to make our client's deadlines. As we head into 2014, we predict another record year.
October 21, 2013
The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross
Premiers on PBS beginning tonight for 6 consecutive weeks.
A joint production of Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, and Inkwell Films, in association with our client Ark Media. This amazing series "chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to today - when America has a black President, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race."
I am SO proud of our work on this series! Andrea Bella and Des Desloovere went above and beyond creating sound for everything from busy action sequences to pristine and beautiful locations. Brian Vancho performed his usual Foley magic with old shoes, sticks and dried leaves, papers, boards, bits, and anything else handy. Yours Truly finished up and basks in the glory.
Pharoah has been very, very busy this summer. There are a number of projects in the can and others still active, that I hope to tell you about in the near future.
2012 Eddy award
Sep 16, 2013
Pam Scott Arnold, my wife and favorite editor, has just received a 2012 Eddy award for BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (TELEVISION), and a big honkin' statue, from American Cinema Editors, a society of professional editor peers. Ms. Arnold accepted the award Saturday night for her work on "American Masters - Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune".
April 25, 2013
Out of Print
Premiers at Tribeca Film Festival tonight and again Sunday afternoon April 28.
Produced and directed by Vivienne Roumani who writes, "Is the book as we know it really dead? Is the question even important in an always-on, digital world? I set out on a quest to find out what it really means to us as individuals, and as a society, to have the ability to answer nearly any question at lightning speed, anywhere, and at any time."
Here's a little story for you. We wanted to create sounds of book pages being "flipped" for a couple of animation sequences. Brian Vancho, Foley wonderman, insists on making just the right sounds whatever it takes and some manuals I had laying around the studio didn't sound right. We "borrowed" a book from my wife that did the trick. Its pages are slightly brittle with age and, this is really important, page edges are not cut perfectly square as one finds on today's books. They are more rough, as if pages were cut in smaller bunches and then bound together. When these pages are flipped through like you would a deck of cards, there is a very real, "organic", and irregular texture to the sound. It is hard to describe but it was perfect.
This story of inexplicable obsession makes us sound slightly insane, like who cares? Pages are just pages right? But, the story is true. It is also true that those special pages actually are brittle! We might have done just a teeny tiny bitty bit of damage to a page or two in that book that was published in 1930 and has been passed down from my wife's grandmother. Gulp.
April 13, 2013
Rebirth: New Orleans
Education expert John Merrow, the films executive producer and host, takes a look at a huge gamble taken by New Orleans public school system to improve education and eliminate corruption. Hirricane Katrina effectively wiped away the entire system, giving an opportunity for rebirth.
Produced abd edited by the Learning Matters team, Rebirth premiered in New Orleans on April 3, only days after we finished mixing. It played to a packed house at JCC in Manhattan on April 10th, with Washington DC and Palo Alto (Stamford) screenings forthcoming. National television broadcast will happen later this year.
March 29, 2013
We're hard at work on several projects, large and small. Meryl Streep came in this month to record narration for Out of Print, a documentary by Vivienne Roumani-Denn that we are proud to have mixed. The film will premier at Tribeca Film Festival here in Manhattan, on April 25 and 28th. Produced and directed by Vivienne, edited by Tom Patterson.
Also this month we've mixed a couple of short pieces for PBS Newhour produced by our friends at Learning Matters TV. Other work this month included a few voice overs, audible book recording, mix and sound design of a 60 minute doc (more on that soon), and another longer-term project. More info to come!
RANT! Time Warner provides our phone and internet service. I hired them for this facility after many years of dreadful experiences with Verizon. Time Warner is no better than Verizon in any way, including customer service, and in some ways I think they are worse. It is hard to get a person on the phone without patience and persistence. We've had five total ervice outages this month alone. The outtages are brief (if you consider a couple of hours without any communications "brief"), and there were full days of extremely slow internet access. When calling them, one is immediately siderailed by the computer voice which, after some time will cheerfully tell me that there may be known interruptions in my area and that a human customer rep will not have any additional information and can not be helpful to me. I think Time Warner, and Verizon, conduct their businesses in unpardonable ways. We will never treat our customers with such disdain.
February 26, 2013
Makers: Women Who Make America
Initiative of PBS and AOL Sound edited and mixed by the team at Pharoah Editorial.
Broadcast debut tonight.
Feb 7, 2013
Makers: Women Who Make America, one of the projects we finished mixing several weeks ago, took a premier bow last night for over 1000 celebrities and guests at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York. The Makers project is a huge and multi-faceted endeavor to document and educate about the history, and history-in-the-making, of women's successes and the women's rights movement in the US. The 3 hour documentary is just one result of Maker's collaboration with AOL and Simple (a Unilever brand). We are very proud to have provided full audio post production for this documentary series, of which the first hour was shown last night. It will premier nationwide on PBS later this month.
Our sound work in the film is good. We got MANY compliments after the show, for which we are grateful, but I personally never want to hear another film played in that awful space again.
I wish I could say kind things about our film playback experience in Alice Tully Hall. I ran into an article from The New York Times from 2009 touting new-and-improved acoustics after recent major renovations to the hall. Apparently, prior to renovation, the hall had been considered by some to be "clinical" and too "sterile" for musical enjoyment. It was livened up a lot! "Measures have been taken to deal with amplified sound and movies. Eight floor-to-ceiling doors that pivot 360 degrees flank the stage. One side of the doors has black sound-absorbing material that will face outward when amplified music is played. Banners can extend downward along the side walls to absorb amplified sound further or recreate the quality of a movie theater for showings by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. And the ceiling panels will be angled differently."
Don't believe everything you read, kids. All of the special measures mentioned above were properly in place. The Lincoln Center stage crew is top notch. A Dolby consultant was hired to guarantee the surround sound system was aligned and operating at its peak. I believe it was. We had even had a tech check the week before to make certain everything was right, but to no avail. THE HALL'S ACOUSTICS STINK FOR FILM SOUND. The place sounded like a big reverberant barn during our tech check last week and remained so even after every single seat in the house had been filled last night. Besides adding a muddy reverberation "footprint", especially if one sits along the edges of the house, there is a powerful and often overwhelming echo of sound from the rear of the auditorium, as sound from the screen speakers bounces off the back wall of the theater toward the front. The audience is treated to two very distinct occurrences of the sound track, which all but obliterates any chance of enjoying nuance or sonic detail.
The bright image from their 40,000 lumen 4k Barco projector was very nice, though, and as I said the crew and staff are as good as they come. If you ever find yourself choosing a film playback venue, and sound is important to you, I recommend that you look elsewhere, like at an actual film theater!