- Friday, Aug. 18, 2017
In the stirring CG animated film, a struggling single mom finds her job at the factory in jeopardy as robotics replace people in the workforce.
The inevitable finally happens as she is out of work and at a crossroads, floundering to see a path forward. Inspired by the love she feels and the responsibility she has for her kids, the mom enrolls in an online course at the University of Phoenix to get a degree in Information Technology (IT).
Hers is a story of triumph—for her, her family, and for women who are sorely underrepresented in the tech biz.
Directed by Dan & Jason (Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson) of animation studio Hornet Inc. for agency 180LA, this University of Phoenix commercial titled “We Can Do IT” tells a tale that is complemented and advanced by music and sound design from Beacon Street Studios in Venice, Calif. Also deployed in the spot is the Cranberries’ track “Dreams,” with bicoastal Good Ear Music Supervision providing its services.
The Beacon Street ensemble included composers Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau, EPs Adrea Lavezzoli and Leslie DiLullo, producer Lindsey Lerman, sound designer/mixer Amber Tisue, and sr. mix producer Kate Vadnais.
“We Can Do IT” topped a strong field as the number one entry in this quarter’s SHOOT Top Ten Tracks Chart.
Supporting the story
“Our biggest challenge was to make it authentic,” said composer Feltenstein. “The subjectivity of the spot is extremely current—the job force being moved out by innovation (not immigration). A single mom struggling to reinvent her life and career is a sensitive subject.
“The lyrics of the Cranberries song are poignant and Good Ear did a great job finding this song as they pertain to the story,” continued Feltenstein. “But we had to reinvent the song, much like our protagonist, in a way that wasn’t preachy nor sappy. That was a challenge. So we set up live and tried to capture a true soulful moment, not over produce and not over think; just feel it as truth. The team from 180 was with us that night and we captured a beautiful moment. I feel it when I watch the picture with our music and we are grateful for the opportunity.”
Beacon Street sound designer/audio post mixer Tisue shared, “I feel that, in this spot, the music needed to take center stage to covey the emotion and poignancy of the hero’s journey and the passage of time. Since the spot doesn’t have dialogue, I wanted to also be able to create that same idea through my sound design. The development of technology plays such a large role as well and I wanted to punctuate certain moments so that the listener can feel it, but not necessarily hear it.
“It was interesting to watch the development of animation over time, the changes of scenery, the more details that became apparent and added to her journey,” continued Tisue. “It really allowed me to keep evolving my sound design to the very end.”
See the Top Ten Music Tracks here.
Music/Sound: Beacon Street Studios, Venice, Calif. Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau, composers; Adrea Lavezzoli, Leslie DiLullo, exec producers; Lindsey Lerman, producer; Amber Tisue, sound design; Kate Vadnais, sr. producer. Good Ear Music Supervision, bicoastal Track: “Dreams” by the Cranberries Audio Post: Beacon Street Studios, Venice, Calif. Amber Tisue, mixer; Kate Vadnais, sr. mix producer Agency: 180LA Production: Hornet, New York Dan Abdo, Jason Patterson, directors Visual Effects/Animation: Hornet, New York; Hana Shimizu, EP; Sang-Jin Bae, head of prodn; Kristin Labriola, development producer; Nikke DiCesare, producer; HyeSung Park, art dir; Stephanie Andreou, editor; Kendelle Hoyer, storyboard artist; Aiden Sugano, character designer; Christina Faulkner, designer; Riley Spencer, coordinator; Richard G. Kim, CG lead, ltg & render TD; Fred Kim, lead compositor; David Soto, Pedro Conti, character modelers; Michael Altman, character TD-animator; Javier Leon, Esau Perez, Marta Pomb, Javier Jaen & Isabel Garciad, environment modelers; Gabe Askew, FX TD; Matt Parent, Andrew Boccio, previs artists; Roman Kobryn, lead animator; Ozan Basaldi, Hee-Jin Kim, animators; Aaron Baker, Christine Kim, ltg & rendering; Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, texture & look dev. artist; Dark Hoffman, matte painter; Shawn King, colorist. (Toolbox: Maya, Nuke, Adobe Creative Suite, Resolve, Vray)