Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sparkhouse Stinger

A branding piece I helped develop for the Sparkhouse division of Augsburg Fortress Publishers. I assembled sound effects and created custom musical elements to accompany the animation.

The brief was to come up with something reminiscent of PBS branding, finding a home for the piece in the realm of educational programming. I received a rough animation file and took it from there.

Originally I made the opening segment depicting the house shape's assembly much bigger and thumpier, as in the construction of an actual house. Eventually the creative direction became that the convergence of forms resulted in a smaller object, portraying the company's own creative work as opposed to the creation of the company itself. Hence the more intimate clickety-clack as the pieces notch into place.

We also went a few rounds as to how to acknowledge the spark and fire elements, in an effort to keep it subtle but still clear. For a while we had a variety of fire-oriented sound effect options in use, but all were discarded in favor of articulating the flame musically. I think this was a wise direction; music underscores the imagery in a much more imaginative way.

My favorite part of the spot: the chord that fades in with the word(s) "Sparkhouse" shimmers and wobbles a little bit, recalling the dance of an actual flame. It's an accident due to the routing of plug-ins within the audio session, but I left it alone since it communicated so well.


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