For many moviegoers, the CG-animated spots that demonstrate the dynamic sound quality at THX-certified cinemas have become part of the experience, much like the cartoon refreshments that once encouraged theater patrons to go to the lobby and get a snack. Acting more or less as trailers for audio portion of the feature presentation, the animations feature that unmistakable, trademarked electronic crescendo known as THX Deep Note. The latest in the series is titled ‘Amazing Life,’ and it is set to debut this holiday season.
‘Amazing Life’ focuses on photo-realistic, but otherworldly, organisms of various shapes, sizes and colors that grow out of a metallic surface. As the story unfolds, the creatures grow to cover the surface of the metal, with each one communicating through its own unique sound. These sounds build upon each other until they become more harmonious and eventually form the Deep Note audio mark. A final shot reveals the metallic surface to be the THX logo covered by these vibrant , musical creatures.
The THX trailers have been produced by some of the world’s renowned animation, visual effects and sound design teams. In the 1990s, THX teamed with artists from Pixar Animation Studios to create the robot character TEX, who has since starred in a number of the spots. Recent entries have featured characters from such popular feature films as Shrek and The Simpsons. Pixar recently unveiled a new one starring the robotic title character of its upcoming film, Wall’E.
For ‘Amazing Life,’ THX turned to veteran composer Marco d’Ambrosio to design more than 160 sound tracks featuring voices of “speaker flowers,” “helicopter plants” and other unique organisms. The final mix was completed at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound under the direction of award-winning re-recording mixer Gary Rizzo. The visual effects were led by Eyestorm Prods., a Venice Beach production and creative production company founded by former Lucasfilm artists Kyle Ruddick and Michael Klima. To view other THX trailers or to find a THX-certified cinema near you, go to www.thx.com.