Sound studio

EMMYS 2022: Interview for the best arcane sound montage

The publishers of his Eliot Connors and Brad Beaumont tell Indiewire their unique impact on the double nominated at the Emmy Awards.

Based on the popular “League of Legends” by Riot Games, “Arcane” from Netflix quickly became a successful program for Netflix. He dropped “squid games” of the most watched rankings for streamer and received glowing criticism – a rare feat for a video game adaptation. “Arcane” not only won the Annie Awards, but he is now nominated for two Emmy Awards: exceptional animation program and exceptional sound editing for a comic or dramatic series (half hour) and animation.

“We spent a lot of time trying to recreate the unique sounds of the game that stand out while playing, and ended up discovering that we could simply use these emblematic sounds as they are and they worked”, Eliot Connors, editor of sound Co-supervised, says Indiewire. “But overall, we tried to get as much original sounds as possible when building the Library of Sounds for the show, while choosing in the Riot library that they have been spent for a long time.

The key to “Arcane” is that it is not a direct adaptation of the game, but rather a free prequel. The program focuses on the rivalry between the sisters Jinx (Ella Purnell) and VI (Hailee Steinfeld), two favorite characters of fans of the “League of Legends” who are taken in a war between the prosperous and technologically advanced city of Pilotver And Zaun’s oppressed underground, while the discovery of magic – here called Hextech – promises to change everything. The show is beautifully animated by the French studio Fortiche, which has a long working relationship with the Riot video game studio. (After the release of “Arcane”, Riot strengthened this relationship by making a significant investment in Fortiche.)

Riot supervised all aspects of the production of “Arcane”, a rarity in terms of video game adaptations, which gave sound designers a unique opportunity. “We arrived on the project early enough after it was enlightened to take the time to play and explore,” Brad Beaumont told Indiewire. Beaumont, who works full time at Riot with Connors, said that the team had found the sound of “Arcane” while the show was still in the animatical and storyboard phase. “We have played an important role in the creation process and actually had a place at the table to make calls or make suggestions on what could be good for history, even only on storyboards.”

“Esoteric”

Due to the time it takes to produce an animation, it also allowed “Arcane” to be a rare spectacle where the sound had an impact on the images on the screen and not only the opposite. “Many artists could take the sounds that we have designed and scripted around them,” added Connors.

“Arcane” stood out from most television animation programs because of the way he used lighting, camera movement and cinematographic techniques of live action and applied them to animation . The result is absolutely breathtaking, and this influence of live action has also applied to the sound of the series, Beaumont and Connors looking at the production tracks of live programs and films to draw inspiration. “We were looking for something really enveloping and immersive,” said Connors. “So, backgrounds and truly rich and lush landscapes, and in particular the sound component, were in good place on our list of things that helped sell the realism of the series. Things that you often do not see the time devoted to animation and fortunately, we had the luxury of doing so.

This last part is particularly visible in the episode nominated at the Emmy “when these Walls Come Tumbling Down”, which serves as a highest point for the series, VI and Jinx meeting after years of separation and immediately engaging in a brutal struggle Against the gang known as The Firelights, while making new discoveries with Hextech. Although the end of the episode understands an explosive and almost lyrical combat scene, the first half is surprisingly serene and calm, with a strong accent on the bruits and minimalist music.

It was important for Connors and Beaumont, who wanted to avoid a cacophony of effects and sounds and give way to silence. “We wanted to allow the sound to breathe and make room for music to do their job too,” said Beaumont. “Even during the Lourdes action scenes, it is a question of making decisions and playing the right sound at the right time, even if it is a question of taking the relay to music or dialogue.”

Esoteric.  Cr.  With the kind authorization of Netflix © 2021

“Esoteric”

With the kind permission from Netflix

In addition, they wanted the sounds of “Arcane”, even when the series plunges more deep into its elements of science fiction and fantasy, feel organic and real. Beaumont described the show as not being futuristic as “Star Trek”, but rather as an alternative universe, and its sound design as inspired by Ben Burtt’s work on the original “Star Wars” and rendering the sounds anchored in reality.

“We tried to adopt the same approach because it really gives the impression that the spectacle is alive,” said Beaumont. “We are really proud to try to find organic sounds, voices and natural animals.” This was even applied to the most fantastic parts of the series like Hextech and the Shimmer, two technologies imbued with magic with great repercussions on history. “At their base, the two have a vocal component which is supposed to give the impression of being alive,” added Beaumont. “Hextech has a pure and clean tone and a voice that almost calls you, while Shimmer has a more visceral and raw tone because it is more primal.”

Arcane (from left to right): Hailee Steinfeld like VI, Ella Purnell as Jinx in Arcane Cr.  Netflix © 2021

“Esoteric”

At a time when many filmmakers focus on production specifically for the big screen even if their projects will never be projected in theaters, “Arcane” knows its audience. The show can be nominated for an Emmy for its sound design and has moments of action both large and spectacular and moments of meditative silence, but Beaumont and Connors have assured that the show would sound both on stereo earphones as On the best home sets.

“The show is made, number one, for the players,” said Connors. “And Riot is present in many regions of the world where people play the game or watch the show with headphones. So we spent a lot of time designing explosions, punches and sounds that would result in headphones, and I tried many different, good and bad pairs, to make sure that the experience was the same, that you have an incredible system at home or a pair of old headphones.

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