Gallery

Earwax creates sonic landscapes across many forms, from film to audio branding, from hi-tech to art installations.  Here are a few samples of projects with hundreds of collaborators across many creative fields.

 

Feature Film & Documentary

Jim McKee and Earwax Productions have created sound design, supervised and mixed for major motion pictures, independent features and documentaries, as well as major IMAX productions. / Full IMDB listing

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

In conjunction with American Zoetrope, Earwax was on the Academy-Award winning sound design team of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1991 film version of the Bram Stoker novel. Jim was credited as “special sound effects editor” for helping create much of the metaphysical soundscapes of the castle and mysterious powers of Count Dracula.

Banshee Blacktop

A drifter is picked up by police in connection with the disappearance of a young couple on a remote, windswept island months before. But the drifter turns the table on their investigation and relates a tale of madness and the supernatural. Earwax Productions has been working with Irish director Sean Garland for over a decade now. The sound design and mix of Banshee was a work for the love of the art and film making at it’s finest. Read more about the film and the process in this interview with the director.

Inside Out and other Blu-ray/DVDs from Pixar Studios

Since 2007 Jim has been helping Pixar edit and mix most of the bonus materials for their Blu-ray DVD’s. The Pixar Studio team for DVD and promo production are some of the smartest, talented people in the business and a real pleasure to work with.

Radio

From radio dramas to broadcast advertising, Earwax Production has been creating award-winning radio projects since 1983. Collaborations with accomplished Bay Area radio dramatist Erik Bauersfeld of Bay Area Radio Drama and over twenty-five years working together with the Kitchens Sisters on their various series with NPR and Morning Edition.

Audiographs

Jim and Barney like to record real people talking about things they know. It has an authenticity that can never be achieved by actors. Then they like to bring out the natural musical qualities in those recorded voices by creating song forms and poetic forms they call “Audiographs”. Their first audiograph piece, created with Markos Kounalakis, who coined the term, was SONGS FROM THE TENDERLOIN, about homeless panhandlers and life on the street. Since then they’ve made pieces about heavy metal musicians, virtual reality, the logging industry, and now they’re recording caregivers. 

The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davis Nelson)

Are a force of nature in and outside the radio community. They produce, teach, write and tell stories that help build community. Lost and Found Sound, The Sonic Memorial, Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls and their latest podcast Fugitive Waves have introduced us to people and brought us to places in a story telling style that is intelligent, thought provoking and gut-wrenchingly funny. Jim and Earwax associates Andrew Roth and Jeremiah Moore have had the privilege to help mix most everyone of these projects.

Bay Area Radio Drama

Erik Bauersfeld began his career in radio at Pacifica’s KPFA station back in 1961 as director of the Drama and Literature department. Over the years, Erik has mentored some of the most creative sound artist of or time. For more than fifty years Erik has collaborated with writers, playwrights, actors, musicians on a body of work ranging from early Black Mass readings, Hörspiel/USA project with WDR in Cologne Germany, Eugene O’Neil series, Locations and currently Taos: A Visitable Past, a work that documents with sound, the place and times of DH Lawrence and his time in Taos, New Mexico.

Radio Atelier/YLE Finnish Broadcasting (Harri Huhtahmäk)

Jim and Harri have traveled the world lecturing and instructing the art of radio practice and technique. Having met in Berlin in 1993, the two somehow managed to collaborate every year for nearly twenty years on projects and workshops from Johannesburg to Tonga, Helsinki to San Francisco.

Radio Advertising

Some of the talents developed in or radio documentary and drama productions even made it in the world of advertising. Here’s a short list of some of the people and projects we worked with.

Stop Waste & Recycling – Alameda Waste Management Authority / Viking Cruises / Aiwa / California Grapes 

Radio Toggle

Some of the talents developed in or radio documentary and drama productions even made it in the world of advertising. Here’s a short list of some of the people and projects we worked with.

Stop Waste & Recycling – Alameda Waste Management Authority / Viking Cruises / Aiwa / California Grapes

Record of Cherry Road

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA Record of Cherry Road Elizabeth Moran brings together her mother, aunt and uncle to record stories about their growing up as children in a haunted house outside Memphis Tennessee in the early sixties. Elizabeth has heard the stories...
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The Family Whistle

CANNES, FRANCE Tracing the origins of the Coppola clan. The Family Whistle premieres at Cannes Classic Film Festival. Film maker Michele Russo discovers he is a distant relative of the Coppolas from the small town of Bernalda, Italy and goes about an eight...
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Banshee Blacktop

DUBLIN, IRELAND We’re currently finishing the sound mix for BANSHEE BLACKTOP with Earwax Productions in the American Zoetrope building in San Francisco, and we’re very excited. Sound Designer Jim McKee, one of Coppola’s Oscar winning sound crew for Bram...
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Racing-to-Zero

Racing to Zero

SAN RAFAEL, CA Mill Valley Film Festival world premiere of Racing to Zero, a documentary directed by Christopher Beaver. For two decades, San Francisco’s Department of the Environment has been working toward the goal of zero waste and now recycles, composts,...
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Hog’s Tooth

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Another Hole in the Head Film Festival premieres Hog’s Tooth a short film directed by Olek Lyzwanski. This is a story about young sniper scout Andy Westen who is deplyed on his first combat mission in Iraq. As a new team member, Weston is...
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Audio Branding and AUI (Audio User Interface)

Apple Computer

Earwax entered the world of interactive audio in 1987 working with Apple Computer’s Multimedia Lab in San Francisco. With HyperCard and Laserdiscs we help provide music and a sound library for the Visual Almanac. Jim McKee in collaboration with Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, developed AUI for the 3D mouse, typing interfaces and sounds for the Appearance Manager.

Facebook

Everett Katigbak, one of Facebook’s Branding Managers and Earwax sound designer Jim McKee help create the F-A-C-E Messanger ping.

Belkin

Working together with Belkin Senior Manager, User Experience Jon Plummer, Jim McKee creates a new audio brand and start-up for Belkin’s new Bluetooth speaker series. See the Belkin Fusive review.

Immersion

Immersion Corporation is the world leader in haptics for gaming and now mobile advertising. Working with Immersion’s senior UX researcher David Birnbaum Jim with colleague composer Kevin Gerzevitz help create a new audio brand and ringtone collection for mobile devices. Earwax has been working with Immersion helping them with various audio needs. This piece Immersion Touchsense is an audio rendition of haptics designed by Big Productions created nearly fifteen years ago. The sound design was by Earwax associate Andrew Roth. The pencil used here was a number 2 – soft.

Note; locate Touchsense animation

Art Installations & Exhibit

Art Installations and Exhibit

A Wing and a Song was the title of Jim’s graduate thesis project at Mills College Center for Contemporary Music. The piece was essentially a digital music system controlled by the pitch and roll of a hang glider. The thesis concert was held on May 10th 1983 at Fort Funston along the cliffs over looking the Pacific. Since then, he has been forever curious about the intersection and interaction of audience and art. 

Art Installations and Exhibit

A Wing and a Song was the title of Jim’s graduate thesis project at Mills College Center for Contemporary Music. The piece was essentially a digital music system controlled by the pitch and roll of a hang glider. The thesis concert was held on May 10th 1983 at Fort Funston along the cliffs over looking the Pacific. Since then, he has been forever curious about the intersection and interaction of audience and art. 

Doug Hall: Chrysopylae

Doug Hall’s immersive two-screen video installation challenged the familiar picture-postcard vision of the Golden Gate with a pair of contrasting perspectives. Emphasizing the monumentality of not only the Golden Gate Bridge, but also the massive container ships that pass beneath it, the installation revealed the bridge as part of an environment that is at once natural and human-made.

¡Viva Baja! Life of the Edge

In the early eighties Earwax partner Andy Newell and Jim McKee took a visit to Cannery Row and met up with Mark Shelly of Sea Studios a super fun guy and pioneer environmental photographer/producer. Soon after, the Monterey Aquarium was built. Over the years we have help to contribute mixes and exhibits. This latest piece features the inhabitants of the coastal habitats of Baja California. This twenty minute video showcases a live presenter and original music by Peppino DAgostino combine with a 7.1 mix of indigenous sounds from the desert peninsula as well as below the surface of the sea of Cortez and Pacific.

Péter Forgác Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River

In 2000 The Labyrinth Project at USC Marsha Kinder, Rosemary Comella, Kristy Kang, and Scott Mahoy teamed up with Peter Forgacs and Jim McKee to help create this six-screen interactive exhibit that premiered at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The work has since travel to eleven other venues around the word including ZKM, Kiasma, Jewish Museum in New York, Berlin and Budepest National Museum