In the new series ‘What Drives You Forward?’ Black Tomato and the Cadillac XT5 present five bold, daring individuals in five striking locations from across the globe. In this first release, we meet Hafdis Jónsdóttir, a successful Icelandic businesswoman and take a journey through her stunning homeland.

Here I was challenged as a Sound Designer to leave the viewer awestruck. The means to achieve this lay in complimenting the incredibly beautiful scenery with huge, awe inspiring nature sounds such as the waterfalls, geyser, sun burst, and plenty of open, atmospheric wind. The focus is periodically shifted to our immediate surroundings with the sound of the runner’s slow motion footsteps on the dirt, augmented with carefully designed reverb, and also the hyper real, overly designed breaths. The result is a stunning audio-visual delight, which is both motivational and inspiring.


Next up in the Black Tomato x Cadillac 'What Drives you Forward?' series is Mexico, and a meeting with Josefina Larrain Lagos. A creative, adventurous and free-spirited designer who has pioneered hacienda restoration in the Yucatan; watch as we learn what drives Josefina forward, and enjoy stunning visuals from the jungles and coastlines of Mexico...

In this piece I wanted the Sound Design to assist the beautiful narration, leaving the audience in a dreamlike state. I felt that was where Josephina was heading with her words, and perhaps a part of the headspace she occupies. Much focus was placed on natural sounds, using thickly layered atmosphere tracks and bird calls (accurate to the region – thanks to the wonderful website xeno-canto). By carefully interweaving the atmosphere sounds over the visual transitions, the result is a sonic patchwork, which is both robust and unobtrusive, contributing strongly to the beauty of the piece.


The third video in the ‘What Drives You Forward?’ series in partnership with the Cadillac XT5. Colin Bell - a passionate, inspirational and ground-breaking wildlife conservationist - talks about his life pioneering the 'Green Safari' model across the stunning Okavango Delta, Botswana.

In this piece the focus is on wildlife and conservation. I aimed for a sense of the hyper-real, using thick reverbs on the animal sounds and thus bringing us closer into Colin’s perception of his surroundings. Creating a sense of spaciousness in this film was key, as exemplified in the wonderful time lapse shots of the starry sky in the vast planes. We are brought further in – to the wide, open delta, with the sounds of the crackling, roaring fire, which evokes a primal sense of being at one with nature.


The fourth video in the ‘What Drives You Forward?’ series in partnership with the Cadillac XT5. Raya Ani, a ground breaking international architect, discusses her challenges, what she has overcome and how she pushes boundaries every day set against the back drop of stunning Dubai.

We are introduced with ethereal music, expansive atmospheres and the sound of gravel under tyres signifying forward motion. When we cut back into the car, the interior engine sounds serve to bring us back into the narrator’s personal space. The theme of progression is reinforced by the way in which Raya speaks of her city, Dubai. This is nicely contrasted with the rickety sounds of the boats on the docks, the rusty bicycles passing by and the bustling markets where she connects with her fellow expats.


The fifth and final instalment in the 'What Drives You Forward?' campaign for the Cadillac XT5. Tyler Jarosz, a mountain biker and entrepreneur from Bozeman, Montana discusses his passion, his achievements and his love for the mountains under the Big Sky, giving us an adrenaline fuelled insight into his life.

As an avid cyclist myself I can totally relate to the theme of freedom conveyed in this wonderfully shot film. I recorded plenty of mountain bike sounds, including a deeply tuned free hub, brakes engaging, all sorts of bashing around, and skids on dirt. Many of the skid moments were in slow motion shot extremely close-up. To accentuate these moments I dropped most of the mountain atmosphere audio out of the mix, and highlighted these raw sounds with extra layers of dirt and rocks, which were subsequently time warped and otherwise stretched to their extremes.


A new instalment in our 'What Drives You Forward?' campaign for the Cadillac XT5. André Mack, a winemaker, sommelier and graphic designer from Brooklyn, New York talks about his life overcoming challenges and rewriting the rulebook to follow his passion and achieve his goals.

Differentiating the New York film from those preceding it in the series are the fast-paced montage sequences, artistically interspersed and executed to perfection by the wonderfully talented Francesca Oldfield. These of course presented a superb Sound Design opportunity. In keeping with the overall aesthetic of these films, I opted to keep the Audio elements (while heavily designed) subdued in the mix, yet energetic - evoking a true sense of the chaos that is New York City.