'Nearly 600,000 views!!! I’m sorry, but has the world gone crazy?'

Nick Smith van Stainless Sound was deze week curator van Nils Adriaans’ RPOTDFAW*. Zijn thema: let’s keep it real (interesting).

Nick Smith

Sinds een jaar vraagt Nils Adriaans mensen uit het vak om een week lang curator te van zijn *Random pic(k) of the day for a week: ‘Iedere dag plaats ik dan een door haar of hem gekozen visual van beeld/film/muziek/poëzie of wat dan ook, plus een korte toelichting (waarom heb je voor dit fragment gekozen?) op mijn Facebook-pagina.’ Daarnaast bundelt hij sinds kort iedere vrijdag de bijdragen van zijn curatoren op Adformatie.nl.

Deze week was reclamemuziek-maker en sound designer Nick Smith, oprichter van Stainless Sound (met klanten als 72andSunny, 180Kingsday – zie/hoor deze parel voor DHL –, Ogilvy en Droga5 Londen), curator.

Deze week verscheen ook de nieuwe commercial Run For The Oceans van adidas x Parley, waarvoor Stainless Sound de muziek maakte.

De rode draad in zijn curatorschap: 'The world is mad, let’s keep it real. It’s so easy to do mad stuff, big explosions, strange sounds, wacky sound tracks and so on. But the most difficult stuff is the real stuff, because everyone knows how something sounds – or should sound – so if you do it wrong, it’s obvious. To do it good is an art form. Fixing bad dialog, smoothing out crappy set sound, seamless foley and adding ADR (Automatic Dialog Replacement) to pre recorded dialog. These things take talent and unfortunately it’s also stuff that no one really notices. It is time to feel real!'

Hier de 5 bijdragen van Smith:

1. The (very funny) Voiceover Guy

I’ve always admired voice talent for their ability to perform in very demanding situations and in front of even more demanding people. What might seem like a rather simple task, talking waffle into a microphone, is actually quite difficult. So many people have thought it would be easy, but once behind the microphone they tend to freeze up and fail. The art of talking properly and articulately under pressure is something best left for the professionals. As a sound studio we often get asked for voiceovers that don’t sound like voiceovers. Fair enough. They sound fresh and new and obviously less commercial. But there is always room for a good professional voice talent that does sound like a voiceover. They’ll get the job done on time and in time. This guy might have gone a little too far though.

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Voiceover Man van Monkey Dust
Voiceover Man van Monkey Dust

2. How car manufacturers come up with some of their unique car names

Yet another animation lifted from the Monkey Dust series. This sketch gives an inkling into how car manufacturers come up with some of their unique car names. Monkey Dust was a satirical cartoon produced between 2003 and 2005 which dealt with some rather dark and taboo topics. There were 3 series in total, of which a few snippets can be found on the internet. Unfortunately the quality is pretty crappy. If you can find any of the series on DVD I thoroughly recommend ordering them and indulging in an evening of good old binge watching. With the theme music from The Eels and various contributions from the likes of Goldfrapp and Boards of Canada, it’s also a musical treat. If the person who borrowed my copies a million years ago is reading this, please can you return them to me as soon as possible.

Car Name van Monkey Dust
Car Name van Monkey Dust

3. My ASMR Top 5... WTF??

I recently had the privilege to record and mix for a series of amusing ASMR films for Lynx / Axe, produced by 72andSunny.

For research I watched numerous ASMR films and was totally amazed at the amount of views these films were getting. Some of them in the millions! Millions of views for someone whispering into a microphone! And not only that, it wasn’t just a few minutes, some of them are hours long.

Here’s one of someone whispering.

And just in case you have trouble sleeping and think that by watching a 2 hour film of traffic at night in the rain might help, why not watch this one.

And one for people with a strong stomach. This one has nearly 600,000 views!!! I’m sorry, but has the world gone crazy? I know TV is old fashioned but to be honest, I’d rather watch an episode of All You Need Is Love on Dutch national TV than most of this stuff that literally millions of people are digging. I may be severely out of touch, but I’d like to keep it that way.

Luckily there are innovators within the ASMR sector. People who dare to be different. People willing to move the trend forward and shape it’s future into something even more stupid!! Check this dude out. I mean. WFT?? As a sound designer I’m happy that people are willing to come closer to and pay more attention to the finer details in sound, but honing in on the micro details is a slightly unnerving trend to be honest.

Thanks to Gregg Clampffer (formerly from 72andSunny) for the last link and praise to his tireless research on the subject. And just in case I made it all seem bad. Here’s a cute dog eating various vegetables. Thanks to Rachel Sato-Banks (from 72andSunny) for that link. Nearly 1,600,000 views. Jeeeez. It might be time to rethink how advertising works.

4. This feels so real it’s hard to believe (it's not)

This music video – Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey, ‘Blind Faith’ (director's cut), watch it here – follows a bunch of lads off out to an illegal rave in the early 90s. It’s so well crafted it’s hard to believe. It’s amazing how good the director Daniel Wolfe managed to recreate not only the look and the style, but also the tension and euphoric build of such an evening. The casting is perfect. The film is shot on VHS for authenticity. The house and the pub are so reminiscent of northern England around that time. The music is the only give away that it’s not 1990 (it’s 2010) but it still fits perfectly as the evening evolves into a banging night out for a bunch of lads from Manchester. Goose bumps!

Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey, ‘Blind Faith’ (director's cut)
Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey, ‘Blind Faith’ (director's cut)

5. Commercials in slow motion

As this is my last instalment I’ve decided to make it last as long as possible by showing a few slow motion adverts. It might not be keeping it real, but certainly keeps it real interesting. There’s so much more you can absorb in slow motion. Handy for an old fart like me.

The first one is just amazing. The music, the sound, the visuals and the message are just top notch. Hard hitting safety commercial in slo mo! (See below.)

The second from TribalDDB Amsterdam is a bit of a classic so a shame not to include it in any slo mo adverts article. There’s even a making of afterwards with Chris Baylis talking you though the process.

And the third one is hilarious. Not only the film itself but the music and lyrics are just awesome. A must watch.

So, that’s it. My 5 days of fame are over (or has my fame just begun?). Hope you enjoyed it.

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