Eric Justen, an Emmy-nominated re-recording mixer whose credits include Elementary, Numbers and all five seasons of Breaking Bad, has died. He was in his early 40s. A colleague told Deadline that Justen died last week of a heart attack.
Born in Woodstock, IL, in 1974, he moved to Los Angeles and started his career mixing indie features in the late 1990s. Justen worked mostly in films into the late-2000s, with credits including The Fast and the Furious and The Wackness, before segueing to TV. Starting in 2008, he worked on such series as Psych, Numbers, The Good Wife, Human Target, Unforgettable, The Mysteries of Laura and Pretty Little Liars.
Justen worked on the 2008 pilot for AMC’s Emmy-laden drama Breaking Bad and stayed with the show through its entire run. Along with frequent collaborator Jeffrey Perkins and Darryl L. Frank, he shared three consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Sound Mixing for the show’s final three seasons. They and others also earned Cinema Audio Society Award noms for those same seasons of the show, and Justen was part of the Breaking Bad team that won the 2014 Motion Picture Sound Editors Award for Best Sound Editing – Short Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television.
Justen recently had been working on Queen Sugar, the upcoming OWN drama from Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. DuVernay tweeted this about him:
Celebrating the life of Eric Justen. QUEEN SUGAR Emmy nominated sound mixer. A sweet man. May God bless his journey. pic.twitter.com/O0XfEHZwJX
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) August 13, 2016
Here is a video tribute to Justen posted by Actors of Sound: