Sound That

A 16mm short film, shot in the summer of 2013, following employees of the Cleveland Water Department on the hunt for what lies beneath, as they investigate for leaks in the infrastructure in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.


Jarrett Gregory: Can we talk about Sound That (2014), with the men working on the manhole? When I was watching it, it struck me that you’re able to take something that is typically in the periphery, that is never the arc of a story, and by filming this you bring the sidelines into the center. It’s a simple gesture in a way, but the outcome is powerful. Their challenges become ours, as viewers. By giving these workers your attention, they have an entirely different presence than they normally have when, for example, one sees people working by the side of the road.

Kevin Jerome Everson: I like to make the invisible visible. People take it for granted that things get done. But there’s always somebody’s hand on it. In Washington, DC, at four o’clock in the morning, there’s a lot of people buzzing around because they turn the city on, and that’s something people don’t notice or that they take for granted. Before you get up, somebody has to push the button, so to speak. These guys work in the water department; everybody needs these people.1