BESPOKE: Ozploitation Season On Horror Gets A Spine-Tingling Custom Song

29 May, 2014

For the Ozploitation season promo on the Horror Channel, Chello Zone and the ImagemPM team worked together on a chilling vocal track, that features vocals by our music-supervisor Joanna Gregory. Best watched in a dark room with surround sound! And crank it up!

Kara Lippett from Chello Zone gives a look behind the scenes.

Back in December I produced a promo for the Horror Channel’s ‘Ozploitation season’, featuring some of Australia’s most revered and reviled contemporary horror films. Necessity being the mother of invention I ended up collaborating with Imagem to record a bespoke track for the promo. Here’s how it all went down:

The concept was inspired by the aura of unease invoked by one of the featured films: Crawl. I wanted to recreate that same ominous and brooding atmosphere to reflect the dark and violent nature of the films. I envisaged using an a capella track with carefully selected sound effects to create a stark soundscape reminiscent of the barren outback which sets the scene for many Ozploitation films.

In keeping with the theme I planned to use an Australian folk song. Yes, they exist! However most of them are relatively fast paced sea shanties and I couldn’t find the necessary lyrics to suit the promo. It seemed all was lost until a colleague suggested I pen my own lyrics (kudos Dan Moore!). Imagem’s Head of UK Marketing/gal pal Joanna Gregory suggested they could record the vocals for me. As luck has it Mrs Gregory is no stranger to a microphone so the sultry songstress lent me her dulcet tones and et voila we had the beginnings of a very exciting project!

Building a sequence without a beat to cut to, felt alien to me and I spent a fair chunk of tinkering with the edit (to no avail!) Just as I was about to throw in the towel I discovered a website that allows you to download a free click track. Shame on me for not thinking of it earlier! The click track saved the day as it dictated the placement of the vocals, edit points and sound effects. Finally everything started to fall into place!

Graphic designer George Bowler created a grungy, blood spattered end board and matching captions which fit with the promo while keeping on brand. Finally audio engineer Michael Pacheco added his own blood, sweat and tears to the sound design, resulting in an audio mix which gave me goose bumps.

The promo was unleashed onto the Horror Channel in December 2013 and ran throughout January. Somewhat unexpectedly the song struck a chord with viewers, resulting in a string of requests for the track name via Facebook, Vimeo and the Horror Channel website. I’m not gonna lie to you, that was a teeny weeny bit of a proud moment for Joanna and me! The track has been re-touched and lengthened and placed onto Imagem’s ‘Dark Country’.

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