Santa Monica, CA (March 14, 2006)–POP Sound helped to capture the blood, sweat and cheers of professional wrestling in providing audio post services for a new national television spot promoting WWE: SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, the latest edition in THQ Inc.’s popular game franchise. Tim West handled sound editing, sound design and mixing for the high intensity spot, created by Los Angeles ad agency G&M Plumbing.
The spot consists of CG animation and actual game footage and presents the point of view of a wrestler as he makes his way from a dressing room to the ring in a WWE venue packed with rabid fans. West’s role was to stitch together the spot’s rich aural landscape which includes the screams of fans, the voices of WWE announcers Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, pulsating hip hop music, fireworks and the steady rhythm of the hero wrestler’s breath.
“There is incredible depth to the soundtrack,” recalled West. “The trick was to blend the sound elements in a way that paints the scene in a realistic manner, while keeping each element distinct and clear. In particular, I worked hard to make his breathing subtly audible.”
In pulling together these various sounds, West tried to put himself in the wrestler’s bulky shoes. “I tried to imagine what would be going on inside this guy’s head,” he explained. “It is obviously stressful and fearful.”
Atypically, West began working on the sound editing and the mix before the visuals for the spot were complete. In fact, the first version of the spot that he received included wireframe animation. That was done so that the animators could include use influences from the sound elements in the picture. “It was an evolutionary process,” West said. “Every time I got a cut or rendering, I saw something new. After I cut the dialogue for the commentators, they reanimated them so that the lip sync matched. I liked working that way, there was a lot of back and forth between myself, the agency and their clients.”