High Five in association withThe Immortal Awards

High Five: Recent Faves from 19 Sound's Oscar Kugblenu

Music & Sound
London, UK
Producer and partner at 19 Sound, Oscar Kugblenu, shares some of his most admired recent work from around the world with a particular focus on sound design

I was really chuffed to be asked to select my recent favourites for High Five. Having clocked up 25+ years (and counting) in audio post, I was relishing the chance to use this opportunity to focus more on sound. On those creative ideas, where sound does make at least 50% of the experience...a big thank you to Mr Lucas for that one. Three of my five absolutely hit that mark: one where the sound design has been wonderfully crafted to beautifully compliment the story telling of the visual, one a technical and creative masterpiece, and the one remaining has such a wonderful, clear and inspirational message - it was always going to be there, regardless...

B&Q - 'Flip'

Agency: Uncommon
Production: Pulse Films
Director: Oscar Hudson
Post: Electric Theatre Collective
Sound: Factory

There’s probably not much that I can say about this ad that has not been said already. It’s majestic. What I particularly love about 'Flip' is the warmth and subtlety of the sound design and music. Beautifully layered and perfectly balanced, it takes you on what I can only describe as an 'emotional journey'. It’s a perfectly crafted spot on every level. 

Disney+ - 'Stories You'd Expect and Stories You Wouldn't'

Agency: Leo Burnett London
Production: ProdCo
Director: Ian Pons Jewell
Post: Time Based Arts
Editorial: Trim Editing
Sound: String and Tins

If you know me, you know I’m a film geek at heart, so this spot is made for me. The direction, the editing, the seamless camera movements, the CGI / live action blending - everything about it is flawless. But it's the sound design by Will Cohen and Culum Simpson that really bring this alive. This is a great example of sound design and music working in perfect harmony. The music, 'Wondrous Place' by Billy Fury, anchors you all the way through as you journey through each of the Disney+ content-inspired themed rooms. Each room has its individual sound design inspired by its matching content. It is all seamlessly blended and perfectly balanced, so it does not distract or detract. 

BBC - 'We Know Our Place'

Agency: BBC Creative
Production: Stink
Post: The Mill
Sound: Factory

The message of this film is loud and clear, front and centre! It’s powerful! It’s celebratory! It’s inspirational! I love it!

Royal Australian Navy - 'The Audio Ad You Can See'

Agency: VMLY&R Melbourne x VMLY&R New Zealand
Sound: Squeak E Clean Studios

Within the audio is a hidden recruitment print ad. It can only be revealed by use of a spectrogram, the same technology Australian Navy intelligence officers use to analyse frequencies to help identify possible threats at sea. If you can find the message, you are then given information on where to apply for a suitable role within Australian Naval Intelligence. The more I read about its creation and production, the more I am amazed. A technically and creatively outstanding achievement. 

Stone Island - 'Piattina 82/22 - 40th Anniversary'

Agency: &Son
Director: Nick Griffiths
Post: Pete Croker
Sound: 19 Sound

The work related by &Son for Stone Island is a perfect fit for the brand: bright, colourful, energetic. The accompanying sound design / music has a fine line to tow. It needs to be unique enough to stand up on its own merits, but also sound and rhythmically feel as though it’s from the same world.  Will Ward & Jack Wyllie work with the visuals, using the cuts, edits and camera movements to guide them when creating the rhythmic structure of the overall track. Then, at certain visual cues - maybe a VFX glitch sequence or a camera movement - they’ll add subtle 'hits' or layers of sound design to give the track an energy and vibrancy that compliments the visual. 

Work from 19 Sound
Raja Ampat - The Last Stronghold of Healthy Coral Reefs
National Geographic & Prada