If you had a chance to see the movie Walking Out at the Sundance Film Festival last week, you would have 1. been pretty lucky (the tickets were sold out far in advance), and 2. heard an incredibly rich mix of audio recordings from Montana’s backcountry. We’re proud to say that the library’s Acoustic Atlas contributed many of those recordings to the film.
Walking Out was shot mostly outdoors near Montana’s Crazy Mountains, and the filmmakers wanted the right sounds to match their epic cinematography. They knew that by coming to us, they would not only get great sounds, but also recordings of the actual places and species in their movie.
The movie adapts David Quammen’s short story of the same name and is written and directed by Montana filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith. It’s the story of a father and son hunting trip that turns into a struggle for survival. Variety called it a “lyrical and moving exploration of both the Montana backwoods and the human soul.”
I was able to visit Park City for a showing of the movie, and it was a thrill to see it all come together in the theater. Even though the movie is a work of fiction, those elk bugles and bird calls weren’t recorded on a Hollywood sound stage. The sounds are as real as it gets.
Keep an eye out for the movie later this year. Want to hear some of the sounds? Visit acousticatlas.org.