The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth - "Sizzle" Trailer
One of my earlier cinematics. This game won a ton of awards including Best Strategy Game of E3 2004 and the 2004 G.A.N.G. Award for Best Cinematic / Cut-Scene Audio. Actually, the audio team didn't realize we were even up for the G.A.N.G. award until we had won! None of us were G.A.N.G. members at the time, so we weren't self-nominated. I really loved how this game ended up sounding, and this particular trailer was nominated in the 2004 Gamespot DLX Best Trailer Award category. I'm most proud of the moment in this trailer where there's this bit of silence before Mordor attacks Minas Tirith, a calm-before-the-storm, hold-on-to-your-butts moment. Initially, the picture wasn't edited this way, but I managed to just sneak a short pause into the mix. They liked it so much, they decided to lengthen the break to give me an opportunity to refine it better. Who says audio only serves the picture! Starts around 1:17. Having said this, I think my opening cinematic to The Battle for Middle-Earth II is better.
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - Cinematic Proof-Of-Concept
The Command & Conquer franchise has a history of live-action cinematics, and when embarking onto Command & Conquer 3, I did the sound for this cinematic trailer as a proof-of-concept for the Cinematics team. One technique I employ in my sound design is to batch a group of select sounds overnight with a certain processing I find interesting, and in the morning I spot listen through them. Most of the time you just get crap that's unusable, but every once in a while you'll find a gem. One of these gems turned out to be a processed frog which worked great for the wideshot of the Orcas flying-by.
"LMNO" (working title) - Trailer
One version of a trailer I sound designed and mixed for "LMNO," the working title of a joint video game venture between Steven Spielberg and Electronic Arts.
Resistance 2 - Cinematic Audio Test for Insomniac Games
This is my submission for the Cinematic Audio Specialist position at Insomniac Games in 2010. A few raw dialog lines were supplied, and everything else was up to me. I got an interview and subsequently an offer which I eventually very reluctantly declined because of the extremely long commute.
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth - "Moria" Trailer
This is early in-game footage from the very first opening mission of The Battle for Middle-Earth. I did the mixing as well as any additional dialog and sound editing.
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath - Trailer
This one's all mine except for the beginning part of the logo, I believe. I particularly liked the sound I came up with for the laser beam striking earth. The first pass on it was OK but muddier somehow. Some processed animal sounds were cut to fit Kane's "Peace... through... power" line.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - King Oni Concept
Robotech? Macross? Transformers? Yep, an almagamation of all of the them. Definitely influenced by Japanese anime. This was something I created when we were trying to define the "sound" of the Empire of the Rising Sun faction, and this guy's called the King Oni. Anime is an area I'd like to explore more as a Sound Designer.
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight - Trailer
I found this trailer particularly challenging because so much of the dialog and music (neither of which I had a hand in) competed against the sound effects, even though they didn't have to. I think anyone making trailers can learn from this excerpt. I remember thinking to myself while working on this, "Ugh, why did the dialog have to come right at the pinnacle of the ships flying by?" Or, "Why does the voice on the P.A. play simultaneously on the close-up of someone else talking?" Or, "Why is the dialog/music at this moment even necessary? What does it add?" I had to duck or EQ the sound effects at times where they really needed to be punchy. The first half of this trailer is essentially like a chase sequence, and so many of the best chase sequences in cinema have no music: the Pod Race from Star Wars: Episode I, the Speeder Bike sequence on Endor from Return of the Jedi, the car chase from Bullitt, the James Bond motorcycle sequence from Never Say Never Again... I promise to do upload a version of this trailer with just the sound effects, and you can compare for yourself which version is most impactful.
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II - Opening Cinematic
This was initially released as a trailer and was done very early on in the dev cycle. It ended up opening the game! I think this is a good all-around showcase. I did all of the dialog, foley, sound effects, and music editing as well as new sound design and all of the mixing. There is a lot of intrictate music editing in this cinematic, and note how ambient sounds are interwoven instead of just layered, which is so often the case. I especially like how this video reveals the lesser-known Middle-Earth races and environments, and also how it takes time to breath a bit before jumping into the faster cuts.
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight - Cinematic
This began as an internal proof-of-concept cinematic that became the opening for one of the missions in Command & Conquer 4. I cut all of the dialog, foley, and sound effects, and mixed it. I like how everything sounds very natural and in their proper space in this piece. Location dialog is an area that game sound designers are infrequently exposed to, if at all, and I really enjoy working with it. I was a Dialog Editor -- which really is a misnomer: "Production Sound Editor" is more accurate -- and also a Re-Recording Mixer for many years for film and television, and that experience came in handy trying to make this production dialog legible and smooth (granted it's easier with one long continuous shot). I also worked for many years in New York which produces more dialog-driven movies than Hollywood, and that focus helped me hone my ears and chops. One of my pet peeves is ambience on footsteps not matching the ambience on the production dialog, and I always try to make sure that's not the case with my own material.
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - Electronic Arts Logo
Sound design for a tiberium-infected Electronic Arts logo.
Copyright © 2011 by Evan T. Chen. All rights reserved.