Psyop and Doner Storm Onto Screen for JBL

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For a powerful in-theater JBL promo, Psyop and Doner collaborated with Skywalker Sound to create a whirlwind of photorealistic CG and stunningly crisp audio.

Racing camera angles sweep the viewer backward across a salt flat desert as a massive tornado erupts onto screen. The twister uproots a home theatre, whips the JBL speakers into the air and ultimately sucks the camera directly into the eye of the storm.

“Earlier this summer, Psyop was approached by Laurie Irwin, executive producer at Doner, who described a project they were developing for JBL,” says Psyop creative director Anh Vu. “Doner executive creative director Murray White had a concept for JBL’s second cinematic branding spot that would fully envelop the viewer. He wanted people to witness the birth of a natural phenomenon and vividly experience the destructive sounds of mother nature.”

“We were aware that we needed to communicate a real narrative even though we were going for a photoreal look,” said Psyop Creative Director, Eben Mears. “The spot had to be artful and carefully finessed chaos.”

An effects-intensive project, “Ear of the Tornado” tallies around 70 million particles from start to finish. The choreography and animation of the flying and crashing objects were all designed with particular attention to the rhythm for the sound design. Psyop collaborated with Skywalker Sound to guarantee the 5.1 mix of the audio was as impactful and engrossing as possible.

“It really was a unified team effort,” applauded Psyop Effects Technical Director, David Barosin. “We had a great compositor in charge of the complex and vast number of passes, and the lighting and rendering were all masterfully carried out by our team.”

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