Tourism Australia today launched "Transformation", a new advertising campaign being rolled out in 22 countries around the world. Baz Luhrmann, known for his movies Moulin Rouge and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, was responsible for the television and cinema commercials set in New York, Shanghai and Western Australia.
Original music for the New York commercial, Billabong, was composed by Sydney composer and song writer Elliott Wheeler, from sound and music boutique Nylon Studios.
The music for the New York spot was composed and recorded within a 48 hour timeframe in early September. Film directors Baz Luhrmann and Bruce Hunt called Nylon Studios on a Friday night a month before the launch, asking for a demo to be completed by the following Monday. Elliott composed two pieces on the Saturday before recording them with a string ensemble from Sydney Symphony Orchestra on the Sunday morning.
Once the creative team had chosen one of the tracks further work included the addition of multiple layers of piano tracks to create a a signature sound for the main piano melody, and careful sound engineering and mix by Wayne Connolly. Encouraged by warm response to the soundtrack, Wheeler has written an extended version with lyrics recorded by Abby Dobson from Sydney band Leonardo’s Bride.
"We wanted to use strings, but not on such a scale that we’d be dictating to the audience what they were meant to feel, so in the end we went with a much smaller chamber ensemble. We put a lot of energy into finding a balance between the intimacy expressed in the dialogue, and the grandness seen in the cinematography."
The Tourism Australia campaign was developed at Bazmark Inc by Executive Creative Director Baz Luhrmann, Copywriter Paul Taylor and Art Director Tony Banks (Day & Age, Melbourne), Music Supervisor Anton Monsted, Executive Agency Producer Amanda Luhrmann..
Filming was shot by Director Bruce Hunt via Bazmark and Revolver Film, Sydney, with Director of Photography Mandy Walker, Executive Producer Michael Ritchie, Production Designer Karen Murphy, Costume Designer Eliza Godman.
Editor was Drew Thompson at Guillotine. Sound was designed and mixed by Simon Kane for Song Zu. Digital effects and film finish were completed at Animal Logic.
Original music for New York was composed by Elliott Wheeler at Nylon Studios, with Executive Producer Mark Beckhaus and Sound Engineer Wayne Connolly.
Original music for Shanghai was composed by Maja Petrovna Hilcisin, a Sydney composer from the Australia film team.
Music was recorded at Trackdown Scoring Stage, Fox Studios.