SuperExploder Performs Cinematic Sound Design, Mix for History Channel’s “Vikings”

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This was not your standard sound design and mix: NYC audio post facility SuperExploder went big with their work on “Story”, a :60 promo that plays like a mini-epic for History Channel.

The sound of seafaring northern Germanic people who excelled at raided, trading, and exploring -- courtesy of SuperExploder.

The sound of seafaring northern Germanic people who excelled at raiding, trading, and exploring — courtesy of SuperExploder.

Listen to the work of SuperExploder Mixer and Sound Designer Jody Nazzaro on this project for the History Channel’s first original scripted series, “Vikings”, which debuted last month on the cable network.

The “Vikings” series follows the adventures of semi-legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lodbrok and his crew and brood.  In the promo, “Story” provides viewers with a cinematic vision of ferocious battles, ominous roundtable gatherings and treacherous expeditions over land and water.

Looking ahead to a cinematic release, Nazzaro got to mix in surround and create original sound effects for “Story,” and others in a series of promos — three broadcast spots as well as a cinema spot — for “Vikings”.

“Story” delivers a film trailer aesthetic, pulling in viewers for the series as a whole with an offering of compelling imagery from the season, overlaid with grim dialogue excerpts and music.

According to SuperExploder, Nazzaro worked closely with JP Balas of Hussar Films to craft “crisp and exciting” audio for the promos.  To inform viewers of this new type of History Channel programming, the duo worked to design the promos in as cinematic a fashion as possible.

Nazzaro chose not to overuse standard library audio, and created almost entirely original audio for the promos.  To achieve the appropriate cinematic scope, he elected to mix all of the spots in 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Pro Logic II for the stereo broadcast.

“From an audio perspective, I needed to approach each of the promos as if they were going to be for the cinema,” Nazarro explains. “I knew History Channel would eventually use a version of one of them for the theatrical release, so it was a nice treat to mix all 4 in surround. It was fun to be able to think outside the box and really blur the lines between sound design and music.”

Nazzaro and SuperExploder also recently collaborated with Hussar Films  and History Channel, crafting the audio environment to promote another new series, “The Bible.”

SuperExploder, located in Chelsea, NYC, offers mixing in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound, sound design, creative services and casting, for commercials, promos, radio, feature films, web content and experiential projects.  The facility’s five mix studios include two 5.1 Surround Sound studios, one designed by John Storyk and one by Brian Dorfman of Orchard Design.

Client: History Channel
Title: “Story” :60
Creative Director: Pablo Pulido
Production Company: Hussar Films
Writer/Producer/Editor: JP Balas
Audio: SuperExploder
Mixer/Sound Designer: Jody Nazzaro
Audio Executive Producer: Beth Cummins

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