Making of: Pagani Zonda R demonstration video

This post will talk to you about how we created the soundtrack and sound design for one of our demonstration videos: the Pagani Zonda R commercial.

First of all, here you are the original one:

Quite a beast, isn’t it?

It’s an Italian, hand-made (seriously!), sport supercar.

We wanted to use music and sound design to tell a different story, who will narrate about these elements who strongly identify the Zonda.

So, we started by stripping the video clip of its former sound (a stock, epic orchestral soundtrack).

And here’s what we came up with:

And, of course: here’s the process behind so.

Step 1: narrative analysis

We proceeded to carefully analyse the mute footage, identifying the main phases of its narration. If you have a big screen, open the mute video in another window and read this script while watching it: it’ll be fun!

Phase 1: the concept (0 – 30”)

A prosaic introduction to give you the taste of Pagani’s brand. Minimal, elegant, deep, and abstract: they’re just ideas.

Phase 2: from concepts to reality (30” – 50”)

There’s a sudden shift. They’re not anymore just ideas: they start to become reality.

You see glances of this astounding reality: high end technology, solid shapes, aggressive lines.

Phase 3: artisan care (50” – 1.5”)

High end technology, strong design, aggressive lines… But with an artisan care behind them.

You see the people whose passion made this possible: you see their hands putting together this technological marvel in their studio.

Phase 4: it’s done (1.5” – 1.11”)

You finally see the outcome in its beautiful entirety, with its strong lines enhanced by white lights while standing in the darkness.

Phase 5: boots on the ground (1.11” – 1.30”)

Things start to get serious. The Zonda leaves the studio and is brought into its natural habitat: the race track.

It’s show time.

The atmosphere starts to accelerate: technicians run all around the car making the last checks. And, from the fog, you see emerging the second half for which the Zonda has been waiting for: the pilots.

Phase 6: take off (1.30” – 1.45”)

The Zonda meet his master, and they get ready to start their race. With a nice Michael Bay reference too.

The slow motion fades out, and everything gets real.

Phase 7: the showdown (1.45” – 2.40”)

The Zonda unleashes all his beastly power. And what better way to get you feel this, other than leaving all the scene to the scream of its engine?

Phase 8: accomplishment (2.40”)

The maker overlooks the race track, to see his creature in all his majesty.

He watches in composed silence, while she still roars on the asphalt: everything fades in a dreamlike atmosphere, while we see again the Zonda in slow motion while showing all its power and majesty.

…poetic, isn’t it?

I hope I didn’t brought you tears while at work.

Step 2: audio direction

Having gathered a clear narrative view of this video clip, we proceed with finding the right music or sounds to match this story.

Phase 1: the concept (0 – 30”)

A minimal, elegant synthesizer pad is the best choice to convey the right feeling for this phase.

Phase 2: from title to reality (30” – 50”)

We underlined the sudden shift from “soft” ideas to “hard” reality with aggressive drum fills: violent and quick drum fills have the exact opposite soul of a slow, “abstract” and minimal synthesizer pad.

Phase 3: artisan care (50” – 1.5”)

Cajon, dry electric guitar and a snare: a minimal, almost country-like set up to give the feeling of an artisan working in his studio.

Following the action, tempo is now faster and steady.

Phase 4: it’s done (1.5” – 1.11”)

Same orchestration (instruments and sound choice) as previous phase, but now the tempo slows to follow the deep breaths with which you see the completed creature (almost like long “wooow”).

Phase 5: boots on the ground (1.11” – 1.30”)

Same orchestration of past 2 phases, but now with a more aggressive variation: we’re not anymore in the studio, we’re in a race track. Adrenaline starts running. The snare is not anymore just accompanying: it’s a charge.

Phase 6: take off (1.30” – 1.45”)

The quiet before the tempest: everything slows down for several seconds, before all Hell breaks loose. The synthesizers of first phase make a little comeback to suggest how, before making a big jump, you think again about what brought you there.

Phase 7: the showdown (1.45” – 2.40”)

This part has been REAL fun: the original footage was completely mute and we had to manually sew every sample according to what the Zonda was doing. This includes: speed (RPMs), gears (pay attention especially near bends: we followed a realistic gear shift), distance from camera.

We used only real Zonda R sounds, of course.

Phase 8: accomplishment (2.40”)

It’s again a dreamlike environment: motor screams disappear into reverb to give the feeling of focusing only on your mind rather than action, and synthesizers from the 1st phase make a comeback together with that.

And, of course, here’s the video we created: