An EMMY nomination in sound!


Plimsoll Productions for National Geographic

SUPER/NATURAL takes viewers on an immersive journey just beyond human perception, where animals use incredible senses and hidden powers to communicate, collaborate, navigate, catch food, fend off enemies and raise their families. The result is a unique, entertaining and enthralling wildlife show that lets the viewer’s experience the world from the animals’ points of view.

Nominated for Outstanding Sound EMMY 2023 for this series Sound Mixers Chris Domaille and Brian Moseley from Films at 59 and the team at Wounded Buffalo Sound Studios brought together their wealth of experience, innovation and creativity to create this supernatural parallel reality.

Sometimes sound enhances stories, but sometimes sound is the story, Chris explains. When designing sound that will be the backdrop for a landmark natural history series there will always be challenges to face; creating beautiful and engaging atmospheres; immersive foley that works in harmony with natural, scientifically accurate sounds; blending the quiet with the tumult. Super/Natural presented all of these and then some, with unique challenges of its own, for example: How to capture and represent sounds for that are outside of human perception?

A range of techniques were employed to give access to this world. Ultrasonic recordings were enhanced to reveal the secret code used by flying squirrels to evade detection by predators in the dark, the combining of low frequency infra sound recordings with VFX to highlight how elephant seals sense the vibrations of oncoming rivals, manipulating too-low-to-hear elephant calls to explain the secret communication between herds and even how those sounds alert the acacia ants that want to defend their tree from the giants.

The team worked with scientists to obtain rare recordings: The blue butterfly larva that sings to mimic a queen ant, thus encouraging subordinate ants to clean, feed and protect her; the hyenas that use the landscape to transmit their war cry; the Amazon River Turtles that “discuss” when to climb out onto the sandbanks to lay their eggs; the crickets that collaborate to create a sonic shield against hungry, echo-locating bats.

Super/Natural Trailer

The incredible VFX from DNEG (the team behind Dune) helped to visually transport the audience into the animals’ hidden worlds, giving the sound team some great moments to enhance and be playful and creative with sound design, in a way that is beyond the usual experience of the natural history genre.

Working in collaboration with composer Amanda Jones, Chris and Brian made her music stems an integral part of the sonic landscape, striving to make the most of the emotional impact and power of her work whilst supporting the designed sounds. The resultant blend works so well and so seamlessly, that in places you can’t be sure which is which.

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