Sound Design

AMC Horror Channel Branding

12 x 10 second idents

Directed by Chris Turner

Producer – Thalia Murray

Agency – Holman + Hunt

When director Chris Turner approached me to do the sound for a series of channel idents for The Horror Channel, inspired by scenes from classic horror films, I was thrilled.  Opportunities to combine personal passions with work don’t come along too often, and as a big fan of horror movies and a specialist in crafting dark unnerving sounds, the project was very appealing. Creative director Richard Holman’s plan was for a series of idents that would eschew the obvious scare tactics of the genre and instead use subtle techniques to unnerve the viewer.

It’s rare for television idents to be broadcast without voice-over, but we wanted these idents for the Horror Channel to be as much about sound as vision. We worked closely with Simon and the director Chris Turner to design audio which not only enhances the palpable, spine-tingling sense of unease pervading the films, but also lovingly references classic scores of the genre. Simon did a brilliant job within a short time. It was a pleasure working with him.
— Richard Holman - Creative Director Holman + Hunt

The idents are all ‘one-shot’ with the camera often ‘creeping’ in to reveal an unsettling detail in the scene.  My first job was to create the on screen sound using foley and ambience recordings. As no audio was recorded on set, everything you hear was added in post production.  The ‘supernatural’ sounds were created using a range of tools from electronic synthesizers to treated ‘found’ sounds. My favourite is the Levitation ident where everyday objects mysteriously hover, rising and falling in front of the camera. The sounds I created add to the sense of an unseen force and a suggestion of hovering. I also added very subtle foley to give each item a sonic presence in the scene. Other idents called for bathtubs full of blood dripping from a tap, burning toy dolls, ghostly voices inside a TV set and whispering mannequins in a gloomy basement. 

I also had the opportunity to create a slightly more dynamic trailer version which director Chris Turner cut together. Heavy percussion and sub bass ramp up the terror and impact. View this in my main showreel clip here

The full package of idents and trailer were delivered to tight deadline working closely with Director Chris Turner. 

A more chilling and permanent way to disturb people is to activate a sense of things being not quite right in conforming to the way we understand the world, to do it by suggestion and implication rather than making something overt
— Richard Holman - Creative Director - Holman + Hunt