I Did The music for Sony Paint

In Fallon’s eagerly awaited new Sony Bravia spot, Paint, 70,000 litres of the stuf explodes over a Glasgow estate. Peter Raeburn at Soundtree tells us about his crucial role on the commercial

CR: How did you end up working on this particular spot and what’s the process for beginning work on such a project – a meeting with the director and with the creatives from Fallon?

PR: I’ve worked with Jonathan Glazer, the director, on various features and commercials since we worked on Guinness Surfer together. We discussed this project at length and met with Juan Cabral and Richard Flintham from Fallon to find the right way forward. It’s been a long but exciting process – we had our first meeting at Fallon about this spot about five months ago in June although really we’d been thinking about it for a while even before then.

CR: So when, where and how long was the shoot?

PR: It was a ten day shoot on the Queen’s Court estate in Toryglen, Glasgow.

CR: Why was music and the involvement of Soundtree so crucial to the making of this ad?

PR: We selected and arranged the music before the shoot and it was to this that the action was choreographed. The music essentially created the template for all the explosions and sequencing of the action. It’s more complicated than saying simply that the action was “synched” to the music – we had to apply maths and science to ensure that the artistic vision was reached.

CR: What do you mean by maths and science? Who did you work with to make this all happen?

PR: Maths and science was really the translation of the ambition of how this would look, work, be in synch – the launching of these explosions accurately to coincide with the flow of the music to the hundredth of a second. It had to be perfect each time as we only had one chance for each take. We were working with Alex Selby and the company PhoenixFireworks – who are specialists in the arena of sequencing fireworks to music. So we used that technology and knowledge but obviously within a different context. So it was a combination of the right people brought together – MPC, Paul Watts at The Quarry, Paul Landin and Pierre-Yves Angoujard – and combining knowledge and experience to make this all happen.

CR: You also recorded all the sound on the shoot too?

PR: Yes, we recorded the sound on the shoot more like the way that one would record an orchestra – to give us spatial flexibility with the idea that we would have these two different versions. One version of the ad will have music and another will be accompanied by the unique sounds of the paint explosions – all recorded on the shoot.

CR: So how did you record the sound on the shoot?

PR: The whole estate was miked up in different ways in order that we recorded everything. That way we knew we would have usable real sound of a one off event. It ensures that it’s a performance… That it really happened. Rather than something that’s “effected”.


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