Law takes us through his process on this dark brooding film for Mercedes on valentines day.
Immortal love is an ambitious film with Hollywood epic levels of craft and scope. I’m a real sucker for cinematography and this film really is beautifully framed and shot with incredible design. I had a tough time exercising a little restraint choosing a few stills that don’t give too much away for this little write-up, every shot really is a treat to look at. Performances are excellent, music is a contemporary delight… Basically it’s an expertly put together piece of work that required the same level of attention to detail to the sound design and mix.
Director Sebastian Strasser was keen to experiment to find what’s best for the visuals and the story. Eager to veer away from horror sound design tropes but in other ways, embrace or evolve them. Seemingly abstract sound design moments always have narrative meaning to push the story forward, perhaps heavily processing an element from a different point in the story to imply a connection, or some kind of foreshadowing perhaps. It can be tempting to really push the sound design in a film like this but Seb was particularly keen to avoid tropes like jump scares, usually preferring to push transient punchy sounds further back into the mix, championing the story and giving a more cinematic feel to the film.
Every sound design choice threads closely with the score. The composers did an amazing job, with huge changes being made right up until delivery. The car chase scene for most of the post production process had big punchy engines, crunches and grit, high in the mix taking you on the journey with the protagonists. A super fun job for a sound designer as you can imagine. But the whole scene really changed with the music you’ll hear on the final edit, creating a much more anxious vibe that big, bolshie engines interfered with. We decided to be much more nuanced through the whole scene, to keep the ideas that the music inferred clear and present.
We spent a lot of time on the crowds at the film’s intro, chanting:
‘A queen, a concubine, a sculptor and a spy’
The mantra of the pop star about to kick off her gig. After layering and processing there must be between 500 and a 1000 voices building the scene. Sculpting the energy of the crowd was also something we spent a lot of time on. The music and track comes first of course but shaping the reactions of the crowd to the show was all very carefully considered.
With the rave scene at the end it was tempting to throw a bunch of dark party buzz and ambience under there, but we closely considered the tone of the story at that point, the tone of the music and what the scene needed. I’m pretty sure every possible version of this scene is there on the timeline, every footstep and closing rustle from anyone in shot and in the wider scene, but we carefully sculpted what’s right for the story to land on the final result.