The Hey Papa LEGENDS hit international headlines for their work on the film ‘The Burial of Kojo’
The audio company, Hey Papa Legend, was founded by the McDonald brothers, but you might not have heard from them in a while because for the last 8 months or so the team has been responsible for all the audio, sound design and final mix of the film ‘The Burial of Kojo’. You know, that one that casually received Critic’s Pick by The New York Times and was called a ‘Spellbinding experience’ by The Los Angeles Times? Yes, that one. We got all deets on the project that’s now found it’s home on Netflix and we even regretfully encountered a harrowing and a totally disgusting tale about a cockroach and a Woolies mini-fillet…
Hey Papa Legend launched over eleven years ago with only a dream and an inflatable South Park themed couch in the waiting room. But they’ve come a long way since reclining on Cartman, like winning the One Show Best in Radio for ‘A War of Words’ (a first for South Africa). But honestly, talking to the brothers, Ross and Myles, about all their award-wins is like pulling hen’s teeth, especially dealing with Ross saying things like ‘You can’t talk about that stuff without sounding obnoxious.’ 🙄 But luckily Google doesn’t mind sounding like that and damn, to go from being just composers with classical training and degrees in music, to now being a multi-award-winning audio company (including a 1st and 3rd place in the recent Creative Circle Ad of the Year awards), is seriously impressive!
iDidTht: Your recent collaboration with musician and artist Blitz the Ambassador on his directorial debut; ‘The Burial of Kojo’, saw The New York Times calling it ‘a near-virtuoso work, a feast of emotion, nuance and beauty…’ Congrats you clever nuanced people you! How did this colab come about?
Ross: I had played the trombone for Blitz the Ambassador’s band in various shows of his around Africa and he was really somebody that we wanted to work with because he was so creative and driven. Usually, the way that a feature film works is that there are all these layered jobs in sound – so you’ll have your dialogue editor, your final mixer, one guy who just works on atmosphere, a Foley artist etc, but we did all of it. At times it was a challenge but it really paid off in the end.
The ‘Burial of Kojo’ is a story of a father who is haunted by his past and his daughter who is haunted by the future that awaits them. The drama is set in Ghana and can be streamed on Netflix in selected countries. But, wait for it, not in South Africa! We know, it’s ridiculous! But gang, it is available on Vimeo on Demand so please make a plan, you won’t regret it.
‘The Burial of Kojo’ Trailer
iDidTht: What was the most memorable moment working on this project?
Myles: Well, there was this really cool scene in there but it’s pretty gross…
iDidTht: Tell us immediately!
Myles: Okay, because the film was on a tight budget, the location sound was not ideal. There was a scene where the main character eats a cockroach and he was supposed to eat a dummy-roach while filming, but he got so into character that he grabbed the real cockroach instead and chowed it down. Blitz totally freaked out and started speaking over what he was filming. Thus we had to recreate the sound of that entire scene ourselves.
iDidTht: Please don’t tell us you had roach for dinner?
Myles: Not quite. I took a Woolies mini-fillet and put a Lays chip on top of it, which served as my cockroach crunch. I then went in the sound booth and ate it, adding all the retching and coughing noises that were needed.
iDidTht: We have never regretted a question more…
(Watch the super gross cockroach moment from the film🤮)
Myles: Ross did the first half – you can hear the feet of the cockroach and I was responsible for the second half.
Ross: Another pretty memorable moment was when the film premiered at the Urbanworld Film Festival at one of the biggest cinemas in New York and they needed a 5.1 mix and although we didn’t have the budget we rented a 5.1 studio and did it. That was a great feeling.
iDidTht: What’s a 5.1 mix? What does that mean?
Ross: Well you have to…
*For the purposes of word count (and because we literally could not keep up) we omitted the following 10 minute workshop that Ross gave on surround sound. But Google is your friend.
Apart from the feature film, the Hey Papa brothers have also been responsible for various radio and TV work since we last caught up, including their latest spot ‘Escape’; a trippy sci-fi short film set in a future controlled by technology. The ad was picked up by Ad Age, and awarded a Special Mention by Fran Luckin for Music and Sound Craft in our most recent iDidTht Craft Awards. The team worked on all the sound and composition for the ad.
Toyota Hilux Hill Assist ‘Labola’
Toyota Hilux Hill Assist ‘Boss Man’
iDidTht: So not only did you give us all the feels from that cockroach story but that Hilux ad has now given us the yaaaay/ahhhh earworm.
Myles: Haha, we know, we are always yaaaay/ahhh-ing.
*The next couple of minutes were spent yaaay/ahhh-ing… seriously guys, things spiraled.
iDidTht: So lastly, where does the name ‘Hey Papa Legend’ come from?
Myles: A random conversation with our dad…
Ross: Myles answered the phone and said ‘Hey papa legend’.
Myles: And our dad said ‘That’s a great name for a company’.
Hey Papa Legend might be specialists in sound design, music composition, TVC final mix, radio & voice production, but for this humble duo, no amount of experience or awards will keep them from working hard at their craft. And no cockroach will stand in their way! The team is even in the process of expanding by opening offices in Toronto and we’re all aboot that life. Why not give them a call and say ‘Hey Papa Legend.’
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
*This content may not be reproduced or used in any part without the prior written consent of iDidTht. Reprints must credit iDidTht (iDidTht.com) as the original publisher of this editorial piece and include a link to this site.
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