Dallas Sound Designer Awarded Special Jury Prize At Sundance


Park City, UT – When the 2013 Sundance Film Festival recently announced an award for sound design, no one was more stunned than Texas-native, Johnny Marshall. “I didn’t even know Sundance had a category for sound design,” said Marshall upon hearing the news.” They don’t.


The Sundance Film Festival, which is dedicated to recognizing original and authentic storytelling, usually honors just the auteurs of the screen like screenwriters, cinematographers and directors. But the jury, at its discretion, may present a special award to actors or other members of the filmmaking crew for their unique vision or excellence. This year marks the first time in Sundance’s 35-year history in which sound design was honored with an award.


The U.S Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design went to “a film that we thought had absorbing use of sound and incredible aural inventiveness” said presenter Clare Stewart. The Special Jury Award was presented to Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall for Upstream Color.


Earlier in 2012, independent filmmaker Carruth hired Marshall Sound Design to help him capture his unique vision for the film’s sound. After the completion of the film, Upstream Color was quickly invited to premier in Park City, Utah.


“I was so excited for Shane when I learned his film was accepted into the film festival,” said Marshall. “I knew he would do well. But after hearing my name called during the award show, I was genuinely shocked.” Upon accepting the award, filmmaker Carruth stated, “Johnny Marshall is a guy from Dallas… I think he’s probably freaking out right now.”


For Carruth, attending Sundance and winning an award was nothing new. After debuting his first feature film Primer in 2004, he was awarded the highest honor for a U.S. Dramatic Film, the Grand Jury Prize.


For Marshall, this was his first entry into the Sundance festival despite a film career that spans more than three decades. “In the past, I’ve worked on Emmy-nominated television specials and documentaries, and I’ve also received multiple gold and platinum records, ” explains Marshall. “But this award validates my years of dedication to the craft of sound design for film.”


Asked if he plans on moving to Hollywood following this prestigious award, Marshall said, “I love living and working in Texas. And as long as I continue to get the opportunity to work with talented filmmakers like Shane, there’s no reason for me to leave home.”


Following the awards ceremony Skywalker Sound’s re-recording mixer, Pete Horner, was invited to share the award with Carruth and Marshall. Said Marshall, “Pete’s amazing work on Upstream Color plays an integral role in the presentation of the sound design and I am honored to share this award with him as it is well deserved.”




About Marshall Sound Design

Marshall Sound Design is a Dallas-based audio production studio that specializes in sound design, foley recording, and surround sound mixing. Owner Johnny Marshall’s career as a music producer and audio engineer spans over three decades winning numerous advertising awards, working on multi-platinum selling albums and creating sound design for television and independent films. For more information, visit marshallsounddesign.com.