The First 48 is a documentary series that airs on A+E. Filmed in various cities, it offers an insider’s look at the real-life world of homicide investigators. A+E had a very “now” challenge: how do we stop viewers from using their DVRs to skip commercial breaks or flip off the channel? The answer was to develop innovative, original “bonus” content from their top-rated shows. The result was a series of short documentaries that dug into the personal lives of the detectives featured on The First 48, and took the viewer inside the mind of these detectives while keeping them glued to A+E during commercial breaks.
The atmosphere needed to be unsettling, uncomfortable, much like the lives of the detectives. And because these are mini-documentaries, they should sound real, not like a promo. But they need to be modern as well, this is not your father’s docu. After trying many approaches, we settled on this ambient piece, with a subtle pulse to give it some drive, but not so much as to interfere with the story. The sound design as well tells the story of the urban detective, but without being too literal. The entire audio picture tells the same story as the picture, but from a different perspective.