Minneapolis, MN (June 21, 2004)–In a new national package of Goodyear retail spots from Hitchcock Fleming & Associates/Akron, Ohio, The Echo Boys created percussive sound design that serves as the score for garage workers who make their own music by beating oil drums, slamming metal tool-kit lids and slapping tires.
The retail spots, shot by director Scotty Bergstein of Area 51 in Los Angeles, take place in an automotive garage set with a white limbo background. When a worker idly taps on an empty plastic bottle with a tool, his colleagues pick up the beat improvising on tire rims, air wrenches, jacks and paint cans. Each spot ends with a different Goodyear offer and additional percussion behind the Goodyear logo.
Professional percussionists and dancers were cast as the garage band and their ‘instruments’ were pre-selected. Echo Boys’ sound designer and arranger Tom Lecher and Echo Boys’ percussionist Ken Chastain attended the shoot to map out the tempo and pattern of the tracks and rehearse with the impromptu band.
“We did demos in advance but decided it best to capture the band live in an unchained situation,” Lecher explained. “The spots were not shot as a routine but as percussionists playing, which we then could edit into 30-second performances. We captured live sound at the shoot but needed to sweeten and replace most of it to achieve the final result.”
Lecher enhanced the 50-gallon drum beats with bigger booms, explosions and thunder. He added big door slams and stylized whooshes to the slamming tool-box lid and pitched down rubber band twangs and more for the tire slaps. “The key thing was to make all the sounds believable,” said Lecher. “We were not aiming for huge stylized sounds but sounds that appear as if they were made in that garage.”
“Echo Boys went above and beyond,” reported Tom “TK” Krasofsky, producer for Hitchcock Fleming & Associates. “They were able to interpret what we wanted — or at least what we thought we wanted — and what the spots needed while still keeping them in a musical realm. On the set, Echo Boys jumped in and helped everyone find their place and pace. Back in the studio they followed through by enhancing the live-action sounds for a real ‘garage’ band feel.”
Echo Boys Bob Millea, Chastain, Lecher and Andy Thompson arranged percussion tracks for the campaign with Kathy Yanko producing. Echo Boys mixed the tracks on a Digidesign Pro Tools system. The final mix was performed by Darin McGowan at Postique in Southfield, Michigan
“It was fun to be involved in the actual making of the spot, and having immediate musical input on the set was invaluable,” Lecher noted. “The campaign was a real collaboration of the agency, the director and Echo Boys.”