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BRAAAM! (a.k.a. the Inception sound)

This is the Wilhelm scream of movie trailers. I was commissioned to put this little piece together for a talk that composer Mark Petrie gave recently. He wanted to highlight the ubiquitous BRAAAM sound that was popularized by the trailer for Inception and has since gone on to appear in dozens of trailers. It started out as a two-minute piece, but we had to whittle it down to around 30 seconds.

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“Airglow” by Mark Petrie + “Ouro” by Eva Jiahui Gao & Pierre-Jean le Moel

This delightfully dark short was created by students, believe it or not. Because of this, I had to tweak a couple things with the animation to make it flow a little better. But thankfully the rest of it is beautiful and well animated. I don’t point this out because I think they had sub-par animation, only that it’s one of the rare times when I actually fix something within the original edit.

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“Ironbark” by Mark Petrie + Shadow Fight 3

It’s hard to believe that such a powerful trailer is meant for a glorified mobile game, but who am I to complain? The song and the video have nearly identical rises and falls, so they fit together nicely here. My favorite aspect of it is watching the ending slip into slow motion right as the music reaches its peak.

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“Uncharted Realms” by Mark Petrie + “Fortress” by Dimitriy Fedotov

This haunting short film is a variation on another film by the same creator. It imagines the world after war has been completely automated for decades, and war machines are all that’s left of humanity. The soundtrack is equally haunting in its ethereal nature and almost lackadaisical meandering through what appears to be a melody trying to form and re-form itself. Collectively, these two pieces come together beautifully.

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“Invincible” by Two Steps from Hell + Smite

I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time, but none of the videos I found seemed to have the constant kinetic energy that this song requires. I had the first trailer for Smite in my queue for several months before I stumbled back upon late last night. Within minutes, it became clear that the two would work great together. A bit of tweaking later, this video was born. This is one of the only first drafts I’ve felt comfortable releasing.

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“United We Stand, Divided We Fall” by Two Steps from Hell + For Honor

“Perhaps we had a chance for peace, but desperation and trust are seldom allies.”

This is my first video in 4k, which is interesting because I think they overdid it. It was hard to find a still shot that summarized the whole video because so much of it only looks good on a big screen. But boy does it look good on a big screen. And the music is epic enough to belong in 4k, so I feel like it works really well.