Drive What You Love

Adam takes us through his process creating this exhilarating thrill ride for Lego and Highly Unlikely.

The last car spot I worked on was for BBH and Audi called “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.” It was an early morning sonic joy of low revs and trickling streams. LEGO’s ‘Drive What You Love’ produced by the extremely talented team at Highly Unlikely was the polar opposite!

Initial meetings with Alex (producer) and David (director) proved invaluable in setting the tone and approach the sound design had to take. David gave me a shot by shot, second by second breakdown of the action, with extremely detailed references of car engines, turbos or rotary's he liked the sonic attitude of.

We knew the manufacturers wanted the real sounds of their engines in the film, so I spent a huge chunk of time researching and sourcing great recordings to embed alongside David's 'to 11' references. It's not always easy to get time with a Formula E to get a perfect recording! We already had some excellent source recordings for the cars used in the film. Very detailed multi-tracks containing engine/exhaust/air intake/interior mics all on one car pass for the natural ebb and flow as you'd experience on the road.

Editing these recordings took a lot of my time up as I ‘fine-tuned’ the action to each shot. I made a conceited effort at using the right mic/recording for the right part of the car in-camera, to give maximum dynamic, ultimately helping to emphasise the transition into the kids’ imagination. Layering up some cinematic hits, whooshes and synth modulations gave the whole piece extra bite! Of course, there are a few animal layers to spicing things up a bit. Lion roars on revs? Why not! We went quite detailed with our EQ and panning automation to get the approaches for each car just right. Overall, I think we created a really high octane ride for anyone who watches it! Really proud to have been involved with a wicked team.

Adam