Back in 2020, I put together a montage of “room tone” footage as a way of looking back on all the videos we’d produced at the Criterion Collection over the course of that year. One of the most magical things about the recording of room tone—the ambient sound of a space that a crew needs to capture so I can create a seamless edit—is the silence it imposes on people who, just minutes before, were deep in conversation. Our on-camera subjects respond to this silence in a variety of ways, resulting in wonderful candid moments.
I wanted to celebrate the end of 2022 by revisiting this concept. In the process of putting this little project together, I stumbled onto a way to bookend the piece, with footage of a flatbed editing machine awakening and then falling back asleep. I think these images evoke the sensation of discovery that surrounds every detail shared here, whether it be a grateful thumbs-up, a bashful smile, or a contemplative gaze.
I offer this video as a thank-you to all of the people, both in front of and behind the camera, who helped us achieve our mission of sharing moments of cinematic discovery with our audience. I can’t wait to not know what I’m going to see next.