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PROJECT STORY: SCORING A COMMERCIAL FOR EZRA BROOKS 99

The Brand


Ezra Brooks is a brand of Kentucky bourbon whiskey that went out of business in the 70’s and was brought back in the 90’s. This campaign was created for Ezra 99, the 99-proof whiskey they produce.


The Brief


The good people at Bruton Stroube/Outpost brought me onto this project early on. They already had all the shots but they didn't have an edit yet. In the brief, they explained that they wanted a guitar-driven sound and that the music should interact with the visuals. The VO dictates what will happen in the music. We decided it would be best to get the music in place first so the editor could work around the track.


The Process


I wanted to provide a few “demos” with various vibes for Outpost and Ezra to choose from. I used programmed drums and a scratch guitar and bass to get my ideas across. I provided two different options. One was a little more straightforward southern rock and the other was a bit more psych-rock. They ended up going with the straightforward southern rock track because it more accurately aligned with the character of the brand. I printed some STEMS of the demo for the editor to use while he pieced everything together.




The Feedback Library

This was probably my favorite part of the whole project. The client wanted some ambient amp sounds (the guitar plugging into the amp, feedback, and guitar noise) to coincide with the visuals. So I created a “library” of amp and guitar sounds. The editing and sound team were able to use these sounds in addition to the sound design. This resulted in a great blend of sound design and music.

The Recording

When the final edit was approved, I edited my track to the visuals using the temp score (my first early demo) as a guide. I replaced the scratch guitar and bass with better performances and tones and sent the track to Devin Vaughan, a session drummer and studio owner in South Carolina who replace the programmed drums with big, bombastic rock drums. I was asked to stay very close to the original demo so he played exactly what I programmed.

The Mix


When everything was approved by Outpost and the client, I sent the track to Matt Arcaini, a mix engineer with a knack for punchy rock music, for the final mix. He made the track sound loud and punchy. It worked perfectly for the spot.

The Final Product

This was a really cool project to be a part of. I hope you enjoy the final product.

Producer: @mattcsiemer

@jonathonhansen

Set builds / Sonic Manipulation : Jim Langley


Stills \\

Photographer: @jakepotts

Assistant: @mattw6886

Retoucher: @gauncer


Motion \\

Director: @wilsonworld

DP: @greatbignerd

AD: @dustiecar

AC: @mike__dalton

2nd AC: @cam_assist


Post Production: @bssoutpost

“Hints on Vanilla” VO artist: @andydv

Editor(s): @andydv | @50chent

Colorist: @briansingler

Sound Design: @Steve_horne_sound

Original Music: @StephenKeech

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STEPHEN KEECH

Stephen Keech is an American producer and film composer based in Nashville, TN. He has been professionally writing and performing music since 2006 when he began his career singing for the band Haste the Day. After years of touring internationally, Stephen settled down in Nashville where he expanded on his passion by producing records and composing original music for film and TV. Stephen has worked with clients such as Mazda, Express, Tractor Supply, Eureka, and Spotify, as well as creating original scores for award winning documentaries such as Revolution Picture's Remand and The Bears on Pine Ridge. Stephen strives to create meaningful and interesting compositions that complement the visual and narrative context of each piece, while invoking an appropriate emotional response.