"Everything I Can See From Here" is a 7 minute BAFTA nominated animation brought to us by long time collaborators, The Line Studio. This self initiated project has been a 2 year long labour of love for the animation team, and as production drew to a close BXFTYS stepped in to claim an undeserved slice of the action.
Line Studio leads, Bjorn-Erik Aschim and Sam Taylor, expressed their appreciation for the acclaimed sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. A 70's Doctor Who vibe seemed an appropriate route for us to take given the science fiction aspects of the story. It was time to wheel out the Analogue Modular System!
Our weapons of choice included the Makenoise Phonogene and Echophon modules, Harvestman's Tyme Sefari II and the Malekko/Wiard Borg Filter among others (thanks to Carlo at Schneidersbuero for sorting us out!). These analogue effects modules are a collection of bizarre audio modulators that allowed us to process live recordings and create audio elements that bear the character of classic sci-fi and experimental audio production.
In particular, we used the modular system to create crickets, wind, spaceship sounds and much of the musical elements that can be heard throughout the film. Musical elements included recordings of a guitar, a slowed down medley of hand drums and laughter all routed and processed through the modules. The analogue approach was invaluable in attaining the right temperament for the closing track. We wanted the theme to carry a sense of fun, carried by the rhythm, yet convey elements of unease and trepidation.
The wind was a consistent feature throughout the film, much of which was created using filtered white noise. Using the Borg Filter module we manually adjusted the frequency of a low pass filter to create the impression of varying intensity. On the arrival of the alien character, the wind takes on a more uncanny feel by introducing tonal elements via the Phonogene and Echophon modules.
We also implemented a theme of sorts for every time the alien is in shot by introducing a low throbbing loop - also created in our modular system. This approach was intended to incite a sense of threat and uncertainty upon the alien's arrival.
Another important feature of the film was, of course, the dog. This was created by recording two different yet equally annoyed dogs, namely Winnie and Hattie. Hattie, owned by BXFTYS composer Ben, provided much of the growling and was captured in the drying stages of bath time. Winnie (the bark) was made to believe that her owners June and Andrew were leaving her behind in the studio, but of course was rewarded and consoled upon a successful performance. No animals were harmed in the making of this production, although we definitely got on their nerves.
The film exhibits an (at the time) unprecedented aspect ratio that has received much commentary. The size and shape among other things allows for optimised viewing on handheld devices and actually presented us with a unique sound design opportunity. The narrow window provided scope for us to extrapolate the sonic landscape with a wide stereo image. By creating sounds outside of frame we were able to illustrate parts of the scene that were not in view and essentially broaden the atmosphere and immersion of the piece.
The film was premiered at a launch even in our London home, Netil House. The film was well received with attendees clocking in at the hundreds and was available to watch all night in a very impressive replica spaceship! Rumour has it the alien himself also made an appearance.