I did the the DS 106 Radio Show Commercial assignment which was worth 3 1/2 stars. Now this particular assignment specified that the goal was to make a item that would be useful to a tv show or movie character. It wanted it to be at least 20 seconds long and include background music or sound effects. Now I’d like to think that I stuck to the character of the assignment but I also bended it to better suit an idea I felt would be awesome.
So when I was trying to come up with ideas I was sitting in my room which has a loud dripping sound of running water. I thought about how it reminded me of a cave and how in lots of secret agent or adventure movies people very frequently run through caves or sewers or dark spaces with dripping water. So I thought what would agents in those situations want most? To get back home. So I thought up an idea that sprouted from a commercial I already made for the course on real estate. What if you had relocation specialists who would help agents in dire situations when their agencies were not giving the proper assistance. So in my loose connection to a tv show I thought of the show Burn Notice where the premise revolves around an agent who has been burned from the agency meaning they cut all ties and he has to restart on his own. I decided to take that concept but amplify it for the needed product. While Burn Notice takes place in Miami surely other agents are left abandoned in far worse and more dangerous places so I decided to frame the commercial around that context. So the item I was selling was extraction service and what spy can’t use that?
Next I had to go through what exactly that service would entail I decided to try and keep it vague but focus more on the flexibility of the fake company. I also wanted it to be a little goofy in context but delivered very seriously. The name of the fake company was Cuevita Limited. Originally I was going to make it cueva which is literally just cave in Spanish but then I added ita as a diminutive which is usually used for affection or to denote smallness. I decided to do it to abstract the word some more. I also ended up not correctly pronouncing cuevita in the ad and went with the new pronunciation to add another level to the name. I personally like the idea of picking names for things that have a symbolic meaning or reference but then changing them slightly so the meaning is not overtly outright.
I wrote up a script and started practicing it then I went to free sound to help find some background sounds to make the clip sound fuller, plus that was in the assignment. I decided to make the audio sound like it was in a cave since the gimmick of Cuevita Limited was that their agents could be found in exactly the same awful circumstances agents found themselves in. I found a nice audio of running cave water by system_fm and decided to layer that with my audio speaking. Since I was also using water as a sound I recorded it while still in the room with the dripping water sound so that it was muffled in the background and added a different water sound that went with my voice. I messed around with the levels for the background cave water so that it was noticeable but did not over power my voice. After a few takes and messing around I got something I think turned out pretty well.
I think what I liked most about this was the concept. I am not sure if I hit the right tone of it with my voice or not. I did several versions with different tonal inflections to try and decide but I went with serious for the final cut.