New York (December 8, 2005)–Buzz, the audio post and finishing house, was recently host to none other than King Kong when the New York Lottery took advantage of the boutique’s complement of high-end mixing and finishing talent for the recent spot, Excitement In The Air. The 30-second commercial, from DDB Worldwide/NY, ties the newest lottery game into the upcoming release of Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson’s take on the classic motion picture.
Buzz audio engineer Michael Marinelli was challenged with a heavy sound- effects mix for the larger-than-life spot. “The mix needed to come off more like a trailer for the film than a commercial for the Lottery until the reveal,” he pointed out. Working on Pro Tools, Marinelli seamlessly integrated Crew Cuts editor Clayton Hemmert’s OMF from Final Cut Pro and began to embellish Hemmert’s own sound design.
“We enhanced his effects with sweeteners to play up the film-trailer feel,” said Marinelli. “We wanted to feel the tension of people panicked and running.” He pulled sound effects, many from his custom library, and manipulated and combined them to give a sense of footsteps running on different surfaces all over the city. The King Kong movie clips had no audio at all so Marinelli pitch-shifted, slowed and manipulated various animal sounds and roars to bring the towering gorilla to life. He also gave Kong some reverb treatments for the feeling that he was lurking in the distance in some shots and up close in others.
Marinelli recorded additional scream tracks in his booth at Buzz and mixed the stock music from the edit “which happened to work perfectly. The spot is driven by the running and screaming and the music carries viewers through it emotionally.”
“There are always tweaks and revisions in post and being able to adjust sound and picture under one roof is a big advantage,” added Marinelli.