Where do I start? A dark art-house cinema experience described as 'an exploration of German expressionism and Soviet propaganda films', this truly inspiring project developed by the critically-acclaimed 85A Collective in Glasgow for G.I fringe 2012. Filmed on Panasonic's M10, M40, M50 model VHS video tape cameras gave the footage a truly low-fi quality, gritty quality but also maintaining a certain level of comic absurdity. The film accompanied a colossal interactive experience which had the audience... 'quite literally taken on a surreptitious ride through a series of multi-sensory scenes from the film within a large-scale post-industrial environment, the awe-struck audience can expect mesmerizing mechanical kinetic sculptures, immersive set design, intense lighting + projection, pummeling live music, salvos of sound design and rapid-fire performance…with the terrified cinéaste ultimately ‘projected’ into the film itself!'
I worked as sound designer and dubbing mixer for this outrageous project. Part cinema, part colossal art installation, my role involved shaping the sound design from a completely blank canvas. No sound was recorded whilst filming, and if any were recorded I doubt it would of been used due to the extreme nature of the post apocalyptic world that needed to be created. This however gave me free creative reins over the sound design process and the results where outstanding and horrific!
An unusual approach was required due to the nature of both the films content but also the medium in which it was filmed. Raw pre-war footage and the fantastical plot gave light to the gritty, lo-fi sound design created. Anything too clinical or clean just didn't marry with the image so I found myself downsampling bit depths quite a bit and narrowing frequency ranges to more that of an AM radio. So whereas I would normally be keen to reduce hiss and improve clarity, this was a refreshing change and I found myself spending more time on the creative sonic landscape of the film.
The main characters needed quite a bit of time spent developing their signature sounds. The horrific Golgotha, a nasty piece of work, developed from the use of crows and pigs to create deep, foul laughs and howls. The Glitch, a group of jabbering henchmen to Golgotha, where probably the most challenging. I ended up using baby bear grunts and pig squeals mashed up then through the AIR Talkbox plug-in which gave the sounds a vocal quality. These then were layered over electric sander revs which added the frantic intensity to their jabbering insane movements.