Lawrence recalls the making of this hilarious spot as lockdown conditions took hold last year.
After collaborating on the epic Alexa Superbowl commercial I was very excited to get stuck into the next Alexa flavoured hijinx! Between the director, Andreas Nilsson, the team and Droga5 and us at String and Tins, I think it’s fair to say we’re big fans of experimentation and planning and this operatic comedy spot is no exception. For this ‘Music’ script we tested a boat load of tracks with a talented and accommodating opera singer, dialling in the funniest song choice and delivery.
Once options were locked down and we orchestrated the song choices, I flew off to Prague to attend the shoot. Armed with a folder full of scores, USB drives full of every possible combination of music we could need and a laptop with Pro Tools for on-the-fly amendments I arrived at the beautiful, Baroque ‘Troja Palace’.
Luckily our rigorous planning paid off, and after spending a morning with the sound recordist everything went smoothly. The orchestra and singer were performing live, synchronised with our prepared material. This gave us the perfect combination of a real performance with all it’s spontaneity, and a controlled piece of music giving us no headaches in post production.
All of this happened just before lockdown, which was fortunate as it meant we had plenty of material to get stuck into during isolation. Edits were refined and I got cracking with the sound design with regular Zoom meetings and reviews as we wrangled the commercial together from home. As restrictions eased, I recorded our opera singer across isolated, linked rooms and remotely attended the orchestral record. We worked with the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra that was able to work safely (with restrictions of course), putting together the final pieces of the audio puzzle. Luckily, restrictions loosened before the mixes were finalised so I popped into our studios to mix and finalise work in our studios.
I’d been really keen to work with a real orchestra since the planning stages, not only for the authenticity, but also so we could direct how the orchestra should be interrupted by our hero. They were kind enough to try a host of ‘interruptions’, chair scrapes and reactions so we could get something believable and funny for the final mix.
‘Music’ wasn’t the only Alexa film captured and put together through these months but the epic ‘Ironing’ job is a story for another day. The guys at Droga5 are at the top of their game and I’m always proud to have the opportunity to work with them to make something great.