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Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries
Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries

ARTICLE: Behind The Sound Of Challenger

We are pleased to share with you some of the behind the scenes processes from our work on the Canadian racing film Challenger.

"Based on true events, when a race track owner loses his business due to the world wide pandemic, only one thing can save him from his despair..."

Challenger is a heartfelt short film with a great story and a unique setting, with the film taking place in the Humberstone race way in Canada. This film presented an interesting challenge from an audio perspective, as we had to live up to the intensity of the racing scenes, whilst not overshadowing the more emotional elements of the story and the films musical score.

Director Daniel Everitt-Lock had this to say about the film:

"Challenger was originally shot as a piece to advertise some new kit that we had bought for rentals, but then when the narrative we route for the piece unfortunately came true a few days after we finished shooting, we decided to make a full short in honour of the track and the owners."

Race day at Humberstone Raceway.

When creating the sounds for the vehicles in the film, we took the approach to make everything sound as natural as possible, meaning that all the sounds would come from the location sound of the real vehicles going around the track used in the film.

The filmmakers really went out of their way to give us the best possible sonic ingredients, which was a massive blessing and helped us to create a memorable and exciting soundtrack.

Microphones were mounted to the front and back exterior of the vehicles. The drivers then performed several "takes" of racing around the track to capture the full range of sounds that you hear on the track such as engine revving at different intensities, gear changes, heavy braking, tire squealing and wheels churning the dirt track.

We then took all of this source material and used it to create the soundtrack for the racing scenes in the film. The inclusion of exterior sounds was especially useful, as most car recordings you find in sound effects libraries tend to be interior, and don't have that raw, visceral sound that we needed for the race action.

We really enjoyed this approach to designing a race scene, and we plan to release a forthcoming sound effects library using the vehicle sounds from the film, so that you can get in on the action as well.

Working on Challenger.

Working on this film also presented a unique challenge because of the dialogue. All of the lines in the film occur when the characters are wearing their racing masks, so we had to assemble the dialogue from the rushes and decide on the best moments for them to be spoken. This then had to be carefully balanced alongside the sound effects and the musical score, which takes a fairly heavy role in the mix, driving the film forward between the racing scenes and cut-away shots.

All of the work for this project was completed remotely by our team, including the mixing stage where the director patched in using our remote workflow.

For more work from director Daniel Everitt-Lock including his colour grading studio True Colour check out the links below:

You can watch the completed film below:

We hope you enjoyed this article!


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