The death of Michael Wolf Snyder, the sound mixer of popular Hollywood movies including Chloé Zhao's Nomadland, was was announced by his father in a Facebook post. Snyder was 35 and his body was found in his apartment in Queens, New York.
The news became public when his aunt Cathy Snyder shared the FB post from David Snyder, the father of Michael, who is also a psychiatrist. In the post, father had stated: "Michael took his own life sometime in the last week, and it wasn't discovered until I went to check on him Monday after he dropped out of contact for several days."
Giving details about Michael's life, father wrote: "He has suffered from Major Depression for many years. For most people, this is an illness that waxes and wanes over the years. I'm sure it was difficult for Michael that he spent most of the last year alone in his small, Queens apartment, being responsible about dealing with the coronavirus."
"He was certainly thrilled about all of the accolades for Nomadland and told us many happy stories about his work on the film and the amazing people he got to spend time with," David added.
The father also said that Michael seemed to be joyful and invigorated after he started getting work again. However, he passed away even before getting to know that Nomadland, the film he had worked for, had won the best director and best drama motion picture awards during the Golden Globe Awards ceremony held on February 28.
Who is Michael Wolf Snyder?
Michael Wolf Snyder's first project in the field of sound was Henry Miller's Occupant in 2011. He worked as a boom operator, location sound mixer and then was promoted as a sound mixer. He even has the credit of producing a short movie titled Jodie's Way in 2014. In 2019, he had worked for Amazon's TV series Good Omens. He had worked in various capacities in the sound department for at least 61 films and TV series including Best Medicine, Home Sweet Home, and All of Her.
He had won best sound award for Rockaway at the First Run Festival in 2012. Movie Nomadland was nominated for best sound in the Satellite Awards and the CinEuphoria Awards.
His career saw a boom when he was chosen as a sound mixer for Chloé Zhao's movie The Rider in 2017. This movie was a part of trilogy about a young cowboy seeking new identity in America. His latest stint was Francis McDormand-starrer Nomadland directed by Chloé Zhao.
Expressing her condolences, Zhao said that he was "her ears" during the making of Nomadland. "Wolf suggested an idea we later took onto Nomadland — recording room tones longer than we need as a chance to experience silence. After hustling on each location, we sat together, in silence, tuned in, listened and honored the world around us and each other. I will always miss him. He would always be with me on set, after each take, and in the silence of every room tone. See you down the road, my friend," Zhao said.
Expressing their deep condolences, entire cast and crew of Nomadland wrote: "While our hearts break with Wolf's loss, we hope it is a comfort to know that his spirit will live forever in every laugh he recorded, every breeze, and every gallop of a horse. He was part of our little movie family and his kind soul touched us all. Wolf truly brought life to our film. We send our condolences to his family on behalf of the entire 'Nomadland' company. See you down the road, sweet friend."
Deeply saddened by son's death, David ended his Facebook post with a request. "I am a psychiatrist who was not able to save his own son, partly because he would not share the depth of his pain. But I know that most people with this condition will recover with the proper help and support. I hope that the shocking nature of Michael's death will alert others to speak up, risk being vulnerable, and seek the help that they need. It is such a tragic waste that a temporary heightening of despair can end a life with so much promise."