Before Mars

National Geographic

National Geographic boldly ventured into new creative territory with their part-documentary, part fictional limited-run global series, “Mars.” But the innovation didn’t stop there… The forward-thinking teams at Variable and National Geographic created this 32-minute “Before Mars” prequel to introduce the series’ main twin sister characters to air on digital platforms. The talented creative team was comprised of director Lloyd Lee Choi, DP Kate Arizmendi and executive producers Andy Baker, Tyler Korba and Tyler Ginter.

From the first frames of this film, we are transported from a cool, sleek spaceship to Anytown, USA— a gentle setting that stands in stark contrast to the high tech shuttle. Here at Defacto, we believe nothing is more transformative the sounds of the natural world. So our goal with the sound for this film was to let the rural gentleness be a character in itself, transporting viewers and allowing them to be swept away in the thought and emotion of the film.

But don’t let the quiet nature fool you… this piece is incredibly sound-rich. Beyond the dialogue, we rebuilt the sound from the ground up—including the actual ham radios used in production, brand new backgrounds and lots of Foley to bring the story to life. The sounds are thoughtfully woven together to elicit a subtle romanticism and feeling of nostalgia from the viewers.