A couple of weeks ago, I saw an old advert that Geoffrey Lebreton had put up asking for help creating sound design and music for his animated short. The advert was old so he had found the help he was looking for, but as I really liked the trailer I asked him if he wouldn’t mind me making my own version of the trailer. He consented to this and here it is!
The trailer only really presented one problem and that is it’s fast-moving nature. This adds to the excitement and mystery of the animation, which is vital for a trailer but meant it could be difficult to follow. To ease this, I wanted to emphasise continuity and detail. Continuity was actually handed to me due to the presence of the ‘runner’s-eye-view’ sections that punctuate the piece. The idea behind adding detail to very short movements was that such detail would make the viewer catch these occurrences as they should serve to prick up the viewer’s ears. I had to be careful though as too much would make the whole thing messy.
With these ideas in my mind, I started work on my favourite part, and that was creating the noises that a gigantic mechanical dinosaur may make!
I started off with the roar at the end of the clip. I could have created my own dinosaur sound, and probably would have done it by combining the noises of various animals (I hear elephant and lion roars are popular) but I heard a perfect ready-made dinosaur sound so I used that instead! The interesting part here would be making it sound mechanical. I did this by trawling through my own recordings and included a clattering fairground ride, the noise of a very old and powerful motorcycle having it’s engine revved and another mechanical-sounding noise (I cant remember where this came from though!).
Next came the sound of the dinosaur running. This was achieved by combining recordings I had made of my electric car windows going up and down and also of the car door slamming shut. These were shifted down in pitch to make them sound lower and therefore more massive. These sounds still weren’t cutting it though as they still sounded far too small. To combat this, I found a synth recording that sounded like giant footsteps and overlaid it. This had a lot of bass in it and was therefore perfect for conveying immense size. On a technical note, I passed all of the sounds through the same compressor and reverb unit to ‘glue’ them together and make them seem as one. Finally, I fed the roar through a further compressor far too loud to make it distort and give a sense of the sound being painfully loud.
Next were the shuffles and movements of the other characters, which were recorded in real-time as a foley artist might. A few takes were made and combined to get things just right. Then, I recorded the gasps and vocalisations of the characters. These were made using my own voice and then processed and shifted in pitch to sound more alien, as if the characters would have made the sounds themselves.
Of course, some kind of background soundscape was also needed to place all of the characters in a realistic atmosphere. This was achieved by using three recordings of various deserts found online. These were trimmed to take out any parts I felt unsuitable.
After getting all of the volume levels just right, I played and recorded the instrument sounds to add atmosphere, got the levels right and then subjected the whole mix to the same reverb and compression to make it sound like that the recordings are all of the same space, and to also ‘glue’ them together more as a single experience.
Well, there’s only so much you can say about a 16 second short so please do have a watch! See if you can spot the noises that I added!
Feel free to peruse my website to find examples of other projects which I have been involved in as Sound Designer. You will also find other works of sound including orchestral and band composing as well as my soundscape work. Soundscape can be applied to film as well as your experiential marketing campaign and sensory branding to enhance your project’s success.
Contact me if you would like me to work on your film or discuss your entire audio package.
If my work in sound design for film, composing or the use of soundscape in events interests you join my mailing list to find out more.