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Fluid Scores and Creates Sound Design for Ad Council

(October 28, 2005)

For a humorous Ad Council campaign designed to promote a nutritionally ?Healthy America, Fluid, the Manhattan-based  music and editorial studio, has created original scores and sound design for a trio of :30 spots for McCann-Erickson (New York, NY).  The campaign was shipped for national airing on October 7th.

 In Birds, two young skateboarders are sitting on a staircase eating their high calcium, low fat cheese sandwiches on whole wheat bread which the voiceover assures us builds strong bodies, are rich in fiber, are good for the heart and provide the power to dominate. On cue, one of the two youngsters belches, scattering a flock of pigeons. 

In Grandpa, a young girl and her grandfather are picnicking. Hes fast asleep in his chair. Having eaten her grapes, which we are told are packed with potassium and other nutrients and can help your heart pump strong and give you energy so you can take on the next activity, she tickles his nose with the lacy stem. Thinking its an insect, Grandpa swats his own face and wakes to find his mischievous granddaughter earnestly coloring. 

In the third spot, Bulls-eye, a young boy sits at the patio table eating his watermelon and spitting out the seeds. We soon discover that his target is his older sister who is patiently reading, until she spits the seeds back in his direction!  The voiceover tells us that fruits like melon and mango are   juicy and delicious but are also packed with vitamin A to help you see better, and make your skin and hair healthy and strong. 

All three are tagged, ?Can your food do that? Eat, run, think, throw better. 

?In each spot, the viewer is an observer to quirky moments that many have experienced but which are very difficult to capture on film. The sound design must establish a sense of place. Fred Szymanski created an environment for each of these characters. He provided just the right amount of accent to the target moments so that they come across clearly on screen, while enhancing the humor.  For example, in Birds we couldnt over exaggerate the burp or it would be silly and juvenile. But the burp had to have a certain gravitas so that there is good reason for the pigeons to disperse. In Grandpa, we made sure that he was not snoring too heavily, or that he did not slap himself too hard. We had to find the right balance so that you get the joke immediately but it does not seem slapstick. The approach was similar for Bulls-eye and the sound of the young boy spitting watermelon seeds couldnt be too over the top or it wouldnt seem real. There are also subtleties that enhance the sound, like the  ?ping Fred added when the kid misses his sister and hits the umbrella pole, explained FLUID Producer Brad Stratton. 

?The agency was looking for a quirky, upbeat track, a lighthearted score that would match the mood of the spots and enhance the humor. Judson created an upbeat, organic, breezy summer sound on an acoustic guitar, something iconic that would be identifiable with the campaign,? added  Fluid Executive Producer  David Shapiro. 

Representing Fluid were Composer Judson Crane, Sound Designer Fred Szymanski, Producer Brad Stratton and Executive Producer David Shapiro.

 The McCann-Erickson creative team included Creative Director Bill Oberlander, Producer Jeff Fischer, Copywriter Ted Mendelson, Art Director David Levy and Music Producer Mike Boris.

The live-action spots were lensed in Rahway, NJ and New York City by Smuggler (New York, NY) and Director Renny Maslow, DP  Stefan Czapsky, Executive Producer Patrick Milling Smith and Producer Paula Cohen.
Geoff Hounsell of Lost Planet (New York, NY) provided the offline editorial.
Postproduction was completed at  Nice Shoes (New York, NY) by online Editor Kevin Wade and the film-to-tape was provided by Colorist Lenny Mastrandrea. 

The final audio mix was completed at hsr/ny (New York, NY) by Mixer Steve Rosen.

Fluid, the New York-based, award-winning  music and editorial studio, is headquartered at 532 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10012; phone (212) 431-4342; fax (212) 431-6525.  Visit the Fluid website at For more information, or to see a reel, contact Jessica Millington.

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Related Keywords:Fluid, Healthy America, FLUID Producer Brad Stratton


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