2014 Hall of Fame inductee (and self-proclaimed soul patch aficionado) Ric Viers is the sound designer behind some of the best effects libraries in the business, and he recently introduced his latest collection of action movie sound effects to the world via a short film shot entirely on Full Sail’s campus. Dozens of students, faculty, and grads worked on the film, including multi-Grammy Award winner Leslie Brathwaite, who co-starred in the production.
Borrowing from seminal action films like Lethal Weapon and John Carpenter’s 1988 cult classic They Live, Off the Record follows the exploits of an unlikely pair of crime-fighters. Leslie plays a cop one week away from retirement when he’s paired up with a hot-shot sound recordist (played by Ric) looking to make some noise. The two are swept up in one final case and, well, you can probably figure out the rest.
The film also features cameos by fellow Hall of Famers Joey Morelli and Larry Katz, as well as a brief appearance by Full Sail President Garry Jones. In regard to the production, Ric says he wanted to give students a chance to work on something fun and instructive.
“I wrote the script with Full Sail’s backlot in mind,” he explains. “I knew the location would be the perfect setting for multiple shootouts and car chases.”
Joining Ric on the three day shoot were his four Detroit Chop Shop interns, three of which were graduates of Full Sail’s audio degree programs. Scott Slotnick (Music Production), Joel Thomas (Recording Arts), Tara Kathleen (Recording Arts), and Josh Kramer made the trek to campus from Detroit, Michigan, where they aided in production and shot behind-the-scenes footage that will be used in the sixth season of Ric’s Chop Shop web series.
After filming was completed, Ric and his interns headed back to Detroit to finish recording sounds for the project. All of the foley work, including editing, ADR, and mixing, was done in-house by Ric and the interns. Once the film was done, the group traveled back to Full Sail to premier the final product for the cast and crew.
As for Ric, he said he’ll always look back on the production fondly, despite sustaining an injury or two during the filming process.
“I’m not in any way physically coordinated,” he says. “There’s a scene where I had to crawl through a ventilation shaft, and I came out of it with a ton of bumps, scraps, and bruises. I guess this is why people hire stunt performers. We tried, but nobody could get the soul patch to stay on under the production lights.”
Check out the trailer for Off the Record below.