Killing Reagan

National Geographic

Delusion. Self-Importance. Menace. These are the dark motivations of John Hinckley Jr., as he reflects on his attempted assassination of president Ronald Reagan in this promo for National Geographic’s “Killing Reagan.”

It may sound harrowing, but going inside the mind of a killer in 30 seconds is pretty darn fascinating from a sound designer’s perspective. In a very short amount of time, we’re able to tell the story of this deeply-troubled kid… the disjointed thoughts in his mind, scrambled voices, the what-ifs and ultimately the violent action he takes. Layer by layer, we built the chaos until there’s a single focal point that moves the chaos into reality. Reverb, risers, slams, panning, whispers, gun foley, morphing sounds and stutters convey the message. (No music required!)

For this campaign, we worked closely with Evolve’s creative team. Evolve’s approach puts as much value into the way something plays sonically, as how it does visually. This is music to a sound-designers ears because it leads to a beautiful blend of visual and sonic storytelling that can only be achieved when there's an editor on the other side who cares about the audio just as much as we do.

Below, you'll find a few other spots from the campaign.