Joshua Bookhalter Tribute on Skinamarink: How Did He Die?

Image Credit: Joshua Bookhalter/Facebook

Directed by Kyle Edward Ball, Shudder’s ‘Skinamarink’ is a found footage horror film that follows four-year-old Kevin and six-year-old sister Kaylee, two siblings who confront the disappearance of their parents upon waking up in the middle of a particular night. While they deal with the absence of their mom and dad, strange occurrences start to happen at their house and they eventually start to listen to a “strange noise” coming from upstairs. The astounding film progresses through Kevin and Kaylee’s realization that they aren’t alone in their own home. The film begins with a dedication to the memory of Joshua Bookhalter. But who exactly was he? How did he die? Let us share everything you need to know about the same!

Who Was Joshua Bookhalter?

Joshua Bookhalter was the assistant director of ‘Skinamarink.’ In addition to his involvement in the director department, Bookhalter also did the location sound and automated dialogue replacement (ADR) of the film. The sound artist graduated from MacEwan University, Edmonton, with a diploma in music studies, majoring in recording and production. He then went on to work in several shorts. He served as the sound editor of the 2016 short titled ‘Retrospective,’ for which he also composed music.

Bookhalter composed music and worked on the audio of ‘Through Struggle to the Stars,’ a World War II-based short directed by Emily Noel Ritchie. He also did the mixing of Goodnight St. Idiot’s self-titled album. Bookhalter was a dear friend of director Kyle Edward Ball as well. The sound artist died after concluding the principal photography of ‘Skinamarink,’ while he was working on the audio of the film. “He [Bookhalter] passed away shortly after we wrapped filming but the movie’s audio was still on his computer, so that was a difficult thing to handle. Because number one, I’m mourning the loss of my friend. Number two, I didn’t just want to lose that audio,” Ball told MovieMaker.

How Did Joshua Bookhalter Die?

Joshua Bookhalter’s friends and family haven’t publicized the cause of his death. He died in 2021, right after completing the filming of ‘Skinamarink.’ His death affected his friends and family severely, especially director Kyle Edward Ball. “He [Bookhalter] was a close friend of mine. Playing back footage and audio, there were times when I burst into tears. […] You can hear his voice when we were recording, like he would coach the kids. I cried while editing,” Ball told Edmonton Journal.

Ball wanted to give his best to ‘Skinamarink’ to honor the memory of Bookhalter. “I definitely wanted to work harder to make sure the movie was good because I felt like I owed it to his [Bookhalter’s] memory. He died and this was the last thing he worked on,” the director added to Edmonton Journal. When the sound artist died, Ball had to consider redoing the audio of the film. However, the director didn’t want to replace the last work of his close friend. Thus, he waited for a while to garner the audio of the film from Bookhalter’s computer.

“I could have easily redone the audio, but I really wanted to keep that audio explicitly because Josh also recorded Skinamarink’s audio. After he died, I had to provide enough time in between him passing away, and his family having time to process it,” Ball said in the same MovieMaker interview. Bookhalter’s family was extremely cooperative towards Ball and helped him immensely to complete the post-production of the film using the audio done by the late sound artist. The director also expressed his gratitude towards them in the titles of the film.

“I was able to get a hold of his [Bookhalter’s] family [to get the audio] and they were more than understanding and accommodating in the circumstances of everything. Which is why in the movie, on top of being In Memory of Joshua Bookhalter, there’s a credit saying we would like to express our sincerest thanks to the friends and family of Joshua Bookhalter. Without their kindness and understanding, Skinamarink would not have been completed,” Ball added.

Read More: Where Was Skinamarink Filmed?