Sound Lounge’s Tom Jucarone and Rob Sayers provided the stirring audio that won the AICE Award in the Audio Mix category last year for Hennessy’s “The Piccards.” The 90-second spot, created by Droga5, visually tells the story of the Piccard père et fils and their remarkable achievements: How, in 1931, Auguste was the first man to reach the stratosphere, and almost thirty years later, his son Jacques became the first man to reach the ocean’s deepest point. To view the spot, click here.
addition to being a Senior Mixer and Sound Designer at Sound Lounge, Tom is
also the company’s President. He started his career as the go-to guy for top
creatives mixing famed Pepsi spots that featured Cindy Crawford, Michael
Jackson, The Rolling Stones, and Britney Spears (to name a few). He’s dominated
the Super Bowl, mixing for brands like American Express, Diet Pepsi, Budweiser,
Snickers and more; indeed, he’s mixed over 100 spots for the big game,
including 12 that aired during a single
broadcast and eight that were voted #1 by the USA Today Ad Meter.
a Senior Mixer and Sound Designer, is a 25-year industry veteran who’s mixed
and sound designed thousands of spots for TV, radio and the web, working for
such brands as Budweiser, Ford, Samsung, the NFL, and ESPN. Like Tom, he’s mixed
many Super Bowl ads, and is a past AICE Award and AMP Award winner.
addition to winning Best Audio Mix at the AICE Awards, “The Piccards” also won Outstanding
Mix at the 2017 AMP Awards and was a Visual Effects, Production Design and
Sound Design winner at the AICP Show. We spoke with Tom and Rob about working
together on the Hennessy winner.
Have you ever co-mixed a project before? How did you divide and conquer on this
With the amount of work that comes through Sound Lounge, there’s a fair amount
of “co-mixing” when projects extend over a long period of time, like Hennessy
did. It’s not so much “divide and conquer” as an artistic partnership. Tom and
I share a lot of the same sensibilities, so when we were passing this back and
forth it was easy to maintain a consistent creative direction, leading to a
great final mix!
Hennessy was a very sophisticated and in-depth project. There were over 10+
sessions that extended more than a month. We really built the spots over time –
it certainly wasn’t a one stage process! Even though the award-winning :90 has
no voiceover, I recorded the rapper Nas as VO for the :60, :30, and :15
versions. At this stage, we recorded multiple scripts and tried lots of
different versions. Over the course of several later sessions, we received some
amazing sound design (from Q Department) and music (from Woodwork) that
continued to build and come together over multiple mixing sessions. The “co-mixing”
happened in three stages: I began this project, Rob picked up where I left off,
and then I finished the final tweaks!
The 90-second version is pretty amazing; there’s no dialogue or VO, and the
entire story is told through the visuals. What was the biggest challenge you
faced in the mix on this spot?
The creative is obviously brilliant, and I think it’s just a combination of
great storytelling accompanied by those amazing visuals and sound that make it
so special. Everything is taken up a notch. Without voiceover, it was important
for both picture and sound to communicate the entire story. If I had to say
what the biggest challenge was, it was balancing all the sounds in subtle ways
and making sure they supported the visuals instead of overwhelming them.
Yeah, with a spot like this you really want to make sure you honor the
incredible visuals with a mix that helps reinforce the vast spaciousness you
see; whether in space or under the ocean. It was a real pleasure to work on
this and help achieve the creative's vision!
This spot has been honored with numerous awards. What, in your opinion, made it stand
Its' range is really extreme. From the force of getting out of the atmosphere,
to diving down deep in the ocean, all with the common thread of father and son.
I think the story and production value really made this a winner.
And it’s entertaining. It's truly a special and unique story with a great
creative vision and execution. I have to give credit to the creatives at Droga5
and a special shout out to producer David Cardinali, who has such a great
talent for knowing how to put the best team together, ensuring an amazing
Speaking of awards, how does it feel to have this honored for the audio mix by your
peers at both AICE and AMP?
I’m incredibly proud to win both of these awards, because I know the kind of
competition we were up against. I feel even more honored because it is the second
time I’ve won an award from both of these important groups. Getting to partner
with Rob on something like this, while working with a great client team, is
what it’s all about.
Droga really knocked it out of the park with this one and getting to work with
Tom is always the best. Double the pleasure, double the fun!
2018 AICE Awards is the 17th annual post production competition, and the first
under the auspices of AICP. It comprises 27 categories: 18 for editorial and nine
for post production crafts including audio mixing, color grading, design,
original music, sound design and visual effects. Winners will be announced at
the AICE Awards Show on Thursday, May 10 at Unici Casa in Culver City,
California. For more information on the event, click here.