The Great World of Sound

Director: Craig Zobel
Screenwriters: Craig Zobel

Institute History


In today's American Idol culture, the road to success and fame is paved with deceit and manufactured talent. The Great World of Sound astutely addresses the growing trend of people looking for a shortcut to fame, as well as examines the people who promise such an easy path.

The story follows Martin, who answers an ad from a company training prospective "music producers." During training, he pairs up with Clarence, a middle-aged man trying to change his career path. As record producers, the two travel to towns where the company has placed newspaper ads to find undiscovered musicians. They're seeking talent for the record label, signing new artists and giving them a chance to let their music be heard…for a small fee. It's going great until cracks start appearing in the company's sheen, and Martin and Clarence begin to question whether the company is as virtuous as it claims to be.

Pat Healy fully inhabits Martin, using the depths of his talent to channel a contemporary Willy Loman. When paired with the equally impressive Kene Holliday, the two form an unlikely duo with an uncanny chemistry. Director Craig Zobel seamlessly incorporates footage of real people into his painfully authentic story of achieving wealth and success by exploiting the hopes of others. With humor and pathos, The Great World of Sound critiques the dark side of the American Dream.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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