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POP Sound Does Audio Post for Toyota Campaign

Challenge was mixing 32 sound design tracks and half dozen musical stems (December 20, 2001)
POP Sound engineer Mitch Dorf performed audio post production work on a new campaign for Toyota that humorously explores the new Camry's attraction to car buyers.

The spots, "Launch" and "Psychic," were conceived by Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, and are built around the tagline, ?Youre going to want one.

"Launch" offers a witty take on subliminal messages. A man watching a space walk on a television set in department store window is puzzled when the picture breaks up and a Camry fleetingly appears. The same thing happens in other locations with other monitors ranging from a portable TV in a Times Square kiosk to a giant video display at a South America soccer stadium. Each time, the regular image stream is displaced for a split second by a Camry and a graphic reading ?You want it.

The commercial has no dialogue. The only voice-over is the end tag. ?The whole is thing is imagery, music and sound, said Dorf. ?They tell the story.

For the mix, FilmCore editor Paul Norling supplied Dorf with some 32 sound design tracks. Composer Richard Miller from Amber Music provided a half dozen musical stems. Dorfs challenge then was to prepare a clean mix that helps to move the story along with just the right sense of mystery and humorous intrigue.

?There were a lot of images, they were very full images and they go by quickly, said Dorf. ?We therefore used the music and especially the sound design to help the viewer ?see whats going on. Some of the sound elements are calculated to draw the eye to a particular part of the frame. At one point, for example, we use a crackling sound to direct attention to a monitor at the back of the frame. Viewers might not have noticed it, if the sound was not there to point it out.

The second spot, "Psychic," centers on a man trying to bend a spoon with the power of his mind. He doesnt have much success, and so he gives up, staring out a window in frustration. Its then that he spots a Camry and suddenly his mind is alive with power. Not only does the spoon curl up and fly across the room, every other metal object?a radiator, cabinets, a wall clock, chairs?lifts off the ground and takes flight. The audio tracks that Dorf mixed for the spot helps to set up the kooky, quasi-scientific atmosphere of the ?Area 3 Psychic Testing Lab where the spot is set and tell the tale of the supernaturally animated objects.

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