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HOBO Tackles Audio for Quest Documentary

Documentary that filmed Philly record producer for a decade gets audio post at Hobo.

New York, NY (June 19, 2018)—Audio post production company HOBO lent its sonic skills to the acclaimed documentary Quest, which had its broadcast premiere on PBS on June 18 following a successful film festival run that included winning a 2018 Independent Spirit Award and being named a 2017 official section at Sundance.

Directed by Jonathan Olshefski who filmed with vérité intimacy for almost a decade, Quest is the moving portrait of an American family living in North Philadelphia. Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, parents Christopher “Quest” Rainey, and his wife, Christine’a “Ma Quest” Rainey raise their family while navigating the poverty and strife that grips their neighborhood. Amid the chaos, they nurture a community of artists in their basement home music studio, but even this creative sanctuary can’t always keep them safe. Epic in scope, Quest is a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, commitment, healing and hope.

For the HOBO team, led by senior audio engineer Chris Stangroom, and featuring the skills of Stephen Davies, Diego Jimenez, Julian Angel, Oscar Convers and Jesse Peterson, sound proved to be a big part of the cinematic experience for Quest.

“Since Quest was a film not only about the Rainey family, but also their neighborhood of North Philly [so] I spent a lot of time researching the sounds of Philadelphia,” Stangroom explains. “I gathered a lot of great references and insight from friends who had grown up in Philly, like the sounds of ‘ghetto birds’ [helicopters], the motorbikes that are driven around constantly and the SEPTA buses. As Jon and I spoke about the film’s soundtrack, those kinds of gritty, authentic sounds were exactly what he was looking for. It created an energy to the film that made it vivid and alive.”

“HOBO’s been fortunate to be attached to some top documentaries,” says Howard Bowler, HOBO president and founder. “Filmmakers want to work with us because first and foremost our goal is make an emotional connection to the audience through sound. Each element in the soundtrack has to have a reason and has to fit. That mindset has helped us grow exponentially and improve the client experience as well as the work itself.”

Part of PBS’ POV series, Quest, will air throughout June, and will also have select theatrical screenings around the U.S.

HOBO Audio •