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The commercial shows action on a New York City street, where panic takes over with the announcement, “It’s here!” A voiceover explains that “King Kong is here,” the newest game in the New York Lottery. The New Yorkers, as it turns out, are not fleeing the giant ape, but are instead running to the nearest newsstand where they can buy their King Kong Millions lottery tickets. The commercial’s crowd shots are intercut with footage of Kong from the upcoming film.
Buzz audio engineer Michael Marinelli handled the sound effects-heavy mix.
“The mix needed to come off more like a trailer for the film than a commercial for the Lottery until the reveal,” he explains. Working with Digidesign Pro Tools, Marinelli integrated Crew Cuts editor Clayton Hemmert’s OMF from Final Cut Pro and began to embellish Hemmert’s own sound design.
“We enhanced his effects with sweeteners to play up the film-trailer feel,” Marinelli says. “We wanted to feel the tension of people panicked and running.”
Marinelli pulled sound effects, many from his custom library, and manipulated and combined them to give a sense of footsteps running on different surfaces all over the city. The King Kong movie clips had no audio at all, so Marinelli pitch shifted, slowed and manipulated various animal sounds and roars to bring the towering gorilla to life. He also gave Kong some reverb treatments for the feeling that he was lurking in the distance in some shots and up close in others.
Additional scream tracks were recorded by Marinelli in his booth at Buzz and mixed the with library track from Megatrax, “which happened to work perfectly,” he notes. “The spot is driven by the running and screaming and the music carries viewers through it emotionally.”
Buzz online editor Peter Flack finished :30 and :15 versions of the spot on the studio’s Quantel Henry while Marinelli completed the mix. Flack repositioned scenes to better play in the spot’s letterbox format and gave a Hollywood treatment to a searchlight-enhanced graphic sequence with bold King Kong Millions titles and Kong animation.
Area 51/LA produced the spot with Charles Wittenmeier directing and Phyllis Koenig executive producing. Crew Cuts’ Hemmert was assisted on the edit by Jon Daniel. Scott Burch of Nice Shoes/NY handled color correction.