Michael Wolf Snyder, the sound mixer of several film titles, including that of Chloé Zhao Nomadland and The horseman, died by suicide, according to a Facebook post from his aunt. He was 35 years old.
Snyder’s aunt, Cathy Snyder, shared a post from sound mixer father David Snyder in which he details the discovery of his son’s body at his home in Queens, New York.
“Michael committed suicide over the past week, and it was only discovered when I went to see him on Monday after he dropped out of contact for several days,” wrote David Snyder. “He has suffered from major depression for many years. For most people, it is a disease that increases and decreases over the years. I’m sure Michael has struggled to spend most of the last year alone in his tiny apartment in Queens, being responsible for the fight against the coronavirus.
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Snyder, who detailed his son’s death in “Hope It Could Help Others,” added that his son seemed “especially cheerful and invigorated” upon his return to work on a number of film projects. Sadly, Michael passed away before the Golden Globe Awards on February 28, David Snyder added. At the 78th annual ceremony, Zhao’s Nomadland won the award for best director and best dramatic film.
Beginning of his career in 2011 with Henry Miller’s OccupantMichael Snyder has worked in a number of sound roles, ranging from the boom operator to the onsite sound manager to the sound mixer. In 2014, he wrote, produced and mixed Jodie’s path, a short film about a cross-curious high school student who has an argument with the mean local girls.
In 2017, he joined the Chloé Zhao’s team The horseman as boom operator and sound mixer. The film, which is part of Zhao’s trilogy of being dispossessed and left behind in the modern American West, stars Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau and Lilly Jandreau. Zhao’s drama follows a young cowboy who searches for a new identity in the heart of America.
Two years later, Snyder reunited with Zhao for his star Francis McDormand, Nomadland. As a production sound mixer, Snyder has helped fill the narrative about modern nomads with the atmospheric echoes of American natural landscapes.
In a statement, Zhao said that she relied on the sound mixer to “be my ears.”
“He nodded at me with a gleeful smile, or tears in his eyes, or sometimes he would quietly signal ‘one more.’ During The Rider, Wolf suggested an idea that we later adopted on Nomadland: to record the sounds of the room longer than necessary to experience silence. After jostling over each location, we sat together, in silence, listening, listening and honoring the world around us and each other. I will always miss him. He would always be with me on set, after every take, and in the silence of every tone of the room. See you soon, my friend, ”she said.
For his work on Nomadland, Snyder received nominations, shared with Sergio Diaz and Zach Seivers, for Best Sound at the Satellite Awards and CinEuphoria Awards. In 2012 he won the award for best sound for his work on Rockaway at the First Run Festival.
Snyder’s additional credits include HodoBuzz, Good Omens, Best Medicine, Home Sweet Home and All of her.
See Cathy Snyder’s full article below.