Indefensible tells the ill fated story of a shady arms deal that cost 26 innocent lives in the Albanian village of Gerdec. Project Indefensible presents compelling evidence, examples, and analysis to debunk the myths that sustain the global arms trade.
I am very proud to have provided the Audio Supervision, Sound Effects Editing, Dialogue Editing, and Mixing for this highly informative and thought provoking animated film – and social awareness project.
The Sound Design for this film is largely speaking, split into two parts, or disciplines:
We have the filmic sections – with the full array of sound effects, including atmosphere tracks (such as light wind, room tone, buzzing lights) and ‘spot effects’ (such as bicycles, cars, explosions, armoured trucks, and all the small details you see).
There are also large informative sections, presented in an Infographic style. The Infographic overlay is augmented with a wide array of sound effects depicting the text, arrows, bullets, and guns for example, as they move around on screen to tell the story. Note through these sections the dull, slightly metallic sounding drone throughout – this serves to impart a ‘cold’ and ‘shady’ feel to proceedings – highly appropriate for the subject matter.
The Project Indefensible website makes for fantastic reading and is full of information, please visit for more info
VODAFONE - INSTANT SCHOOLS
Vodafone Foundation has created a new technology that is enabling people in Sub-Saharan Africa to obtain educational content, for free! The user can download content from Maths, Science and other subjects straight to their device and also use it to educate others online and offline.
As part of the launch and to promote the technology, I was asked to provide the Sound Design and Mix for this short explainer directed by the brilliant Leon Nikoosimaitak.
We decided that subtlety was key here, since the Voice Over delivers such an important message. The Sound Effects in this piece often impart a somewhat poignant tone – note for example, the school bell, which is tuned to harmonize with the already melancholic music, and then ever so slightly drops down in pitch, further evoking a sense of sorrow.
Designing the audio for the on screen text was interesting… Since the majority of the Sound Effects were organic in nature (with exception of the digital, computer noises) – I opted to use the sound of whales clicking, to signify each letter appearing on screen. This was rather difficult to control, since the recording was full of whines and other sustained tones. The answer was to use a ‘gate / expander’ plugin prior to editing the audio, which helped in isolating the desired signal. The result is novel; subconsciously imparting it’s own sense of connectedness and grandeur to an already moving piece.
I was kindly asked to provide the Sound Design and Mix for two animated shorts for Safe! - an independent charity who support young people affected by crime.
The Audio had to subtly enrich the story, at key moments, in order to immerse us further into the world of the story teller, allowing us to identify and empathise with her. Everyday sounds were important here, in order to recreate the physical spaces in which the story takes place. This, combined with the hyper-real sonic elements, such as overly processed vocals in times of distress - using for example, heavy reverb and echo - really brings us into the narrator's world / headspace. Also note the social media notification sound effects - notice the subtle differences, where some carry with them a negative connotation, while others seem more positive, depending on the context. The sound effects were kept simple and kept low in the mix, so as to subtly manipulate the audience's emotional response, without making a show of themselves.. This is Maddie's story.
*Original characters and themes inspired by young people supported by SAFE!
Please visit the Safe! Facebook page for more info: facebook.com/aboutSAFEproject/
Production Company: 1848media.com/
STRONGER IN EUROPE
I’m very proud to have provided the Sound Design and Mix for the Official UK Stronger IN Europe Campaign video.
Sonically speaking, this piece is very much Music Driven. The track is alt-j – Left Hand Free, which is fantastically energetic and has a highly uplifting and motivational quality to it, especially when paired with the imagery and subject matter delivered in this film.
Sound Effects were kept fairly sparse, picking out key visual moments. We start with a shot of the coast of England accompanied by the sound of crashing waves. This delivers a clear message regarding borders, right from the off. We then at 15 seconds in, see Ben delivering his thoughts in sign language. For this I made a rhythmically placed cut in the music, which signifies his condition and brings us into his headspace. I additionally placed a foley recording of skin where his hands subsequently connect, taking us straight back to the viewpoint of his audience, and symbolizing togetherness. The sequence of our triple jumper at 24 seconds is sonically hyper real; the raking of the sand pit is drenched in reverb and the impact of his feet and body are bass heavy and thus larger than life, again bringing us in to the character’s world. The client particularly loved the Sound Effects placed in sync with the music over the farmer’s sequence at 45 seconds – this process was of course entirely enabled by the picture editor’s stylized cutting.
The characters in this film represent the diversity of those voting ‘remain’ against leaving the European Union, aka Brexit. We believe the Sound Design allows the viewer on a subconscious level, to further relate to these individuals and their cause.