Fausto took some time to sit down with us and talk us through his vision for this sound design heavy spot, and his experience with working with us here at Pressure Cooker Studios.
We got involved early on in this project, which is something we like to do.
If you don’t know who Fausto Becatti is, do yourself a favour and watch some of his other work here.

Let’s see what Fausto has to say about collaboration:

Firstly, tell us about the overall vision for this TVC?
The overall vision for the spot was to create as much of a sense of contrast between being stuck at work and the potentially annoying aspects of this space, fellow co-workers and other elements of an open-plan office, and then the feeling of freedom, joy, peacefulness, relaxation and even isolation of being out on the road in a VW Taigo.

It was also around the time people were going back to the office for the first time since lockdown, so we knew the annoying office environment would be particularly relatable and that we could really focus on creating this stark contrast.

How did you create this contrast?
Sound Design was crucial in setting the uncomfortable and annoying scene in the office. As someone who can be prone to misophonia (intolerance of specific sounds) myself, I really saw the value in playing up these sounds to create the sense of discomfort and annoyance and building them to a crescendo. We then matched the visuals to the audio. The visuals themselves are not super annoying, so we relied heavily on the Sound Design to create this feeling in the office space, and only used music right at the end to capture the road-trip feeling in the car.

It can be quite hard to sustain interest that long without the use of music, so there was extra pressure on the audio team to pull this off from idea creation through to final mix. But we definitely did pull it off.

At what stage did Pressure Cooker Studios get involved in the process?
As I mentioned before, I knew we needed a strong Sound Design approach to drive this concept, so I decided to include audio in the treatment stage to the client.

I called James (James Matthes is Pressure Cooker Studios’ Founder and CEO) to explain the idea of the project and after bouncing some ideas around they ended up putting together a test of really annoying office noises which I used in my pitch and it ended up being super helpful to have this so early on in the process. It definitely contributed towards winning the job, because I was able to portray my vision clearly by being able to play them what it would sound like.

the sound design concept we created for fausto's treatment:

Do you think there is value in collaborating with the Music and Audio team early on in a production and not just in post?
Definitely yes. For this project specifically, it was such a crucial part of the concept and storytelling, so we needed to get Pressure Cooker Studios involved from the start.

But I think for any project it could only ever add value to the end product by collaborating early on, talking more, bouncing ideas off of each other, and not working in isolation.

Are you up for sharing anything about your experience working with Pressure Cooker Studios?
I like that I have the familiarity of a relationship that’s been cultivated over a long time, so I feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone easily and bounce ideas off you guys.

Something that I also really like, even though I was initially confused by it, is the feeling like I’m working with everyone, but not one person specifically. I know there are multiple composers or engineers working on my job, which means there are more minds focused on the idea. I really like this because it feels like there is a removal of ego in this collaborative approach. 
The best idea should always win, no matter who’s it is.

We get excited when our values here at Pressure Cooker Studios align with our collaborators.

Client: Volkswagen South Africa
Agency: Ogilvy Cape Town
ECD: Camilla Clerke
Producer: Cathy Day
Production Company: Bioscope
Director: Fausto Becatti Producer: Dan Kaplan
DOP: Adam Bentell
Sound Design: Pressure Cooker Studios
VFX: Sinister
Post: Strangelove