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EE4G

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Saatchi & Saatchi is back! This time it’s for EE, a campaign to promote their brand new and most exciting EE4G devicE; a gadget which allows you to stream live HD footage from a mobile camera to any smart device, streamed to multiple users simultaneously. Enough said on that, just check out our new advert for more details! As far as sound design goes it’s been a wild ride; so much scope for creativity and innovative sonic invention. The key concept was to convey that every moment is happening across a variety of different environments simultaneously; therefore it was important for the sound design to support this. The brief was to provide a ‘Premium Documentary’ style; finding the exact sonic balance between real life and designed sound. Every sound was carefully chosen and crafted to drive the narrative; providing the richness and excitement in audio content needed. We went out and recorded mountain bikes across different terrains, using some fairly nifty recording techniques; a lot of fun and a great chance to get some fresh air – A welcome opportunity for any dark room sound editor! We feel it’s going to be a productive year delivering the sound post production for Saatchi & Saatchi, keep your eyes on this horizon!

 

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Hackett with Sound Ideas

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Firstly, I would like to thank my favorite director and cinematographer in the world: Ollie Verschoyle.  He linked us up with London production company Duck for their upcoming Hackett advert. This project was different for all the right reasons and it’s something I feel passionately about. We were in talks about sound design and audio post production at the early stages, before the shoot happened. I cannot emphasize enough just how much difference this prior planning makes to the soundtrack. We had conference calls with the producer, director and location sound guy about all aspects of sound; location and audio post. It gave us the chance to discuss the diverse locations, and how the environmental factors of those locations were going to affect achieving good quality sound. We could then go on to plan; securing the correct technical methods for dealing with those factors.

One example of this was how to microphone a canoe for optimum sound on the Thames; the canoe being followed by a motorized  boat, swathed with London traffic and underneath a flight path. The short answer was wild track recordings off camera, and a Foley sound session to pick up specific additional details. Not much we could do about the traffic, but with no boat following it allowed us to find the quietest spot and wait for planes to pass overhead. Anything that I couldn’t use then was picked up in Foley sound.

It also gave us all the time to discuss in detail and with foresight how the advert should sound in terms of atmosphere, tone and mood. This then gave us the schedule for how to approach sound design: whether just reality, or more sustained and atmospheric. We discussed the potential for a soundscape approach, using every day sounds, then removing them from their visual cue, embedding them into the music rhythmically. Interesting; but in the end it was reality that we went for.

All these things were made possible because the time was made for pre-planning sound, in order to reach its full potential. A simple concept, but something that needs to happen on every project.

The basis of this experience is going to form my  new campaign entitled Sound Ideas. I shall be endeavoring to encourage producer’s, the world over, to inject planning for sound at the beginning of a project so that its not an afterthought.

This is the way forward if we are going to achieve the best results for our soundtracks!

 

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The Ember is glowing

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We have been hoping for collaboration with Ember for some time now. When the day came to work the sound design on their content I was elated. Multi-talented Emmy winner, Jonathan Jones, and his superb team, asked us if we could supply the sound design and audio post production; including sound mix on a series of fashion adverts for the exclusive shoe brand Block & Last. With no location sound to work with, and a tight deadline, it was going to be a challenge to produce the audio on the 4 adverts required. But pressure is after all how we thrive! Ember were very happy with the sound results and they were a joy to work with.

Following the success of the Block and Last series, we were then asked to produce the sound design and audio post production on a series of adverts for the Norfolk Tourist Board. This time around the bar was raised! Twelve adverts in two weeks – Wow! talk about prolific. So full track lay and sound stems for atmosphere, sound design, Foley, voice over and music. Each advert was unique and carried its own exclusive set of demands for sound. One thing I will say is that I couldn’t have done it without my trusty Zoom sound recorder, I was running around, like a crazy man; picking up various Foley sounds from different sources. Well, that was just the beginning; I don’t really have the capacity to explain the rest, as it was all a blur!

For any aspiring sound person reading this I will add; the key to successful multi spot projects is consistency. Always aim for consistent sound quality throughout each film. It’s no good laying up detailed and immersive audio on half of your films, to then realize that you have run out of the time for the remainder, or only time to lay up basic audio for the rest.

The best sound starts on paper!

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Darkness falls with Under The Shadow

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I was having a conversation with a friend in the pub one night; saying how I would love to work on the sound design for a horror film. Behold the next morning some old friends from the film world got in touch and asked me if I could work on the Foley sound for a film in the horror genre: an Iranian horror movie! I have secretly been longing for some film sound work so this was a very pleasant surprise. Sometimes you ask and the universe responds!

Under The Shadow takes place during the Iran/Iraq conflict during the 1980’s. An unexploded missile lands on a block of flats containing a very dark and sinister spirit. The spirit takes multiple guises and like any evil presence, begins its reign of terror and destruction.

The good people at Creativity Media including the talented Foley mixer Simon Epstein supplied me with some magnificent Foley sound tracks to work with. There was plenty of opportunity for adding my own creative flare; using sound to support the sinister narrative. Disturbing creaks, malicious door bangs and chaotic footsteps. By the end of the project I was craving more! Thanks goes to Richard Kondal at Creativity Media for this work, and I hope 2016 brings more film sound this way.

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Nike – Gear Up

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We simply couldn’t refuse the opportunity to work on a Nike commercial, now could we! Our friends at Lambda got in touch with a super fast turn-around project for the sports giant brand; featuring some nifty football training skills and tricks performed by father and son. With no location sound to use, we had to get cracking on some location Foley in an old country farmhouse barn, to produce the kind of sounds we needed. With the help of my dedicated and skillful assistant David Pye we went to work on capturing all the kicks and tricks we needed for the audio, with three different microphones for the various perspectives. Then straight back to the studio for the sound design and audio mix. This was thrilling, as I knew that there was going to be budding potential for lateral thinking, with explorative sound design applications; abstract noises and other worldly sonic acrobatics.  I’m particularly keen on using animal sounds to enhance the action, so in one spot where we see the kid kicking the ball into a hole in the wall, I mixed in some lion and walrus roars to support the motion. This is not an especially new or original technique, but when done well it really works. The last time I checked the advert reached 2.5M views on You Tube so that’s a success! Thanks again Lambda for this awesome spot.

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Ariel for Saatchi TV

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What would we do without Saatchi! Thanks again to my favorite director in the world Glen Milner for this spot, and time spent with the Saatchi TV department. Glen and Saatchi producer Sarah Allen asked us to supply the sound design and audio post-production including audio mix on their latest advert for Ariel.

We had the luxury of an outsource mix at Art for Noise in Soho, so many thanks must go to Ben for his hard work and diligence. I must say it was very nice to take a back seat during a sound mix for once! And Ben did a fantastic job at supplying all the many audio prints on time. It was tight, but with his help, it was all possible!

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Unilever

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Welcome back Storyculture; with a superb little animation for Unilever! This one has really been the epitome of creativity in terms of sound design and music; an equal collaboration between the D&D sound house, multi talented composer Charlotte Harding and expert producer David Pye. With no existing sound to work with, we constructed every sonic ingredient from scratch to support the storytelling.

With all eyes and ears finely tuned, we decided to create the perfect synchronicity between the visuals, music and sound. Extensive time and careful planning was given, ensuring all the visual edits were emphasized; punctuated with musical rhythms and sound design elements.

Charlotte did a magnificent job at creating the score, whilst David laid up some extra percussion, and mixed in some additional musical elements with specialist precision. We also had a lot of fun providing all the sound design parts for the diverse visual pallet, all synced up in time with the picture and the music.

The results; a seamless sonic harmony of sound fx and music. Storyculture were over the moon; the all important client – very happy indeed!

Only bad news, it was an internal job so couldn’t be featured on our portfolio! Oh well, hopefully next time guys.

 

 

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Elders

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A documentary is always a great pleasure and welcome break from the fast paced world of advertising. This one was for acclaimed director Glen Milner on his independent project Elders. The story follows the lives of Britain’s longest married couple, Karam and Kartari Chand, who are 110 and 103. They tied the knot in India in 1925 during the British Raj and moved to England 40 years later.

Naturally it was our job to provide Glen and his team with the very best in sound design and audio post production. We enjoyed this project immensely, and took great pride in providing the sound mix for this fantastic documentary. Doppler & Dubbs would like to wish him the best of luck for its release this year with Channel 4 and as always, we are looking forward to the next one! Thanks Glen!

Check out the BBC news piece on the oldest married couple in Britain.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35068423