Pull Composes a Percussive Score for Emmy- and CLIO-Winning ESPN Campaign
Big Drums & Voices Power “I Believe”, Part of a Package That Captures the 2015 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Promotional Achievement, 2015 Silver Sports CLIO
Pull collaborated with Brooklyn-based Picture Farm Post to create the score for the :60 “I Believe,” one of a critically acclaimed trio of spots created by ESPN to promote the 2014 FIFA World Cup. All told, the package won the 2015 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Promotional Achievement, as well as a 2015 Silver Sports CLIO.
“I Believe” encapsulates the intense excitement of a capacity crowd at a FIFA World Cup match. The drama builds as throngs of spectators arrive at the stadium, then become united in chanting “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” as the game kicks in and the pressure increases. A booming drumline is seen in the stands, their beat intensifying as the World Cup action builds to a competitive climax.
The chants and drumming appear to have been recorded simultaneously with the film footage, which was shot in Ohio during a World Cup Qualifier between the USA and Mexico. In actuality, the soundtrack was assembled in Pull’s New York City studios by composer Mitch Davis, who relied on musical problem-solving to make a complex assignment seem simple.
“This project was tricky, because it required us to figure out the rhythm of the crowd – when the crowd wasn’t really jumping in time to anything that was on-location – and then build the drums with as many layers as possible to match their movement,” Davis explains. “It was like post-scoring a music video, giving something a rhythm when there is no discernible rhythm onscreen. And since the action speeds up, we had to match the film with a lot of fine tempo adjustments to ensure that we’d land on certain beats.”
For Davis and Pull producer Scott Brittingham, executing the “I Believe” project required adopting two mindsets at once: sonically portraying true-to-life events and a fantasy at the same time. “It’s literal in the sense that you hear chanting and a drumline – exactly what you imagine is going on in the environment,” says Davis. “But what viewers are experiencing is really an idealized, impressionistic version of that. The score is a much bigger, hyper-real chant and drum sound that adds to the excitement.”
Picture Farm collaborated with the ESPN promotional team and Scott Duncan of Other Films to produce the spots “I Believe” and “The Big Event.” “I thought of Pull because they’re so good at building soundscapes like the one for ‘I Believe,” adds Toddy Stewart, Editor, Producer and Partner at Picture Farm Productions. “They have a great sense of environmental sound, and Mitch Davis has an amazing rhythmic understanding. Pull’s soundtrack gave ‘I Believe’ the punch that made this spot stand out.”
Experience the Emmy and CLIO-winning “I Believe” here.
2014 FIFA World Cup: ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
Seth Ader, Ryan Campbell, Tomas Ferraro, Brendan Gillen, Bryan McAleer, Aaron Taylor
Brandon Henderson, Temma Shoaf
Andrew Jasperson, Toddy Stewart, Matthieu Zarbatany
Scott Duncan, Stacy Wall