How Skinamarink Director Kyle Edward Ball Used Sound To Tell The Story

Ball not only wanted to authentically capture the visual aesthetic of an old, distorted home video recording but the audio playback, as well. In an interview with, Ball explained:

“I didn’t just want to make the dialogue sound like it was recorded on an old microphone. I wanted the audio to feel like an old, scratched-up re-taping of a film that wasn’t preserved from the ’70s — lots of hiss, lots of hum. I had so much fun playing with that because I discovered in different scenes and different cuts I could use the hiss and hum to my advantage and tell a story even with that. […] The whole movie, you have varying degrees of hiss and hum, and then there’s a shot at the end where it’s just gone; that takes you out of things and makes you think something’s going to happen.”

As a counter-example, Ball cited Ti West’s “The House of the Devil,” which he said sounded too clean to be a film from the ’70s despite looking the part (and despite loving and admiring the film). 

Watching and listening to old video footage has always been an effective way to up the creep factor in horror films. “Skinamarink” frames the entire film around the concept, as if the viewer shouldn’t be seeing whatever cursed recording was discovered deep in the recesses of an old childhood bedroom.

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