Cannes Lions Film Craft Grand Prix for Under Armour, Michael Phelps film

We were incredibly proud to see Droga5’s film for Under Armour, starring Michael Phelps, pick up this year’s Film Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions international festival of creativity.

We had serious amounts of fun crafting the sound design across 3 x films for their “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light” campaign but it was the Phelps film that seems to have struck a chord. The story of the most awarded Olympian of all time’s comeback ambition was also singled out as this year’s D&AD president’s pick.

After an initial phase of prep work at String and Tins HQ, Toby, Laurie and Adam flew over from New York to join us for a couple of weeks of intensive sound work. Phelps was given more visceral sound treatment when up close and softer touches when moving away from the viewer, swimming along an infinite swimming lane. The Kills’ bittersweet ‘Last Goodbye’ was re-cut to add extra poignancy to the lyrics and then it was time for the team to head back across the pond, adding final touches of sound with Q-department and getting an excellent mix from NY engineer Chris Afzal. If you’ve not seen the film check it out here:

The next film in the series featured Memphis Depay, Manchester United’s underperforming superstar signing. After building up the bed of sync and sound design we turned our attention to the voices in Memphis’ head. That week Liverpool were at home to Manchester United so Sam and Pat travelled up to Anfield to record fan interviews and roaring Northern crowds. As you would expect the fans were a goldmine of material and a goal at the away end meant they returned home jubilant.

The “Attack Attack!” chant was built from scratch using the whole String and Tins team, recorded a zillion times over, re-pitched, eq-ed and embellished with stadium crowds and textures. The resulting film, with a moody score from Woodworks’ Philip Kay, was again finessed and mixed stateside:

The final film in the series follows the training regime of Team USA Women’s Gymnastics team. Matangi by M.I.A. was, from the very early offlines, clearly not going to need much support in terms of sound. A banger of a track to match some badass gymnastic moves.

Massive thanks to Toby, Laurie and Adam for getting us onboard at an early stage and for everyone on the team for pulling this mega-project across the finishing line.

Mike Bamford, Founding Partner, String and Tins