Dead Island trailer: How music made a viral hit

Plus: New Dead Island Tragedy Hits Paradise trailer lands

At the time of writing the Dead Island: official announcement trailer has racked up over 4 million hits on YouTube. As the new Dead Island trailer hits the web, we begin to edge closer to knowing more about one of the most talked about games of 2011.

Those first three minutes of footage miraculously transpired into a rollercoaster of emotions as we played witness to a family being torn apart by an infestation of zombies. Yes, it is a game, but it felt more poignant than that, and composer Giles Lamb played a big part in creating that cinematic feel to it all.

As the latest Dead Island teaser trailer launches (which you can see below) we managed to grab some time with Giles to find out what is was like to be part of one of the viral hits of the year so far.

"Initially, we had a meeting with the trailer director, Stuart Aitkin and producer Andrew Pearce from Axis Animation to discuss what they  envisaged for the music and sound design. Axis were given a brief  from Deep Silver as to what they were looking for which was something different and pretty bold to emphasise the realism of the game. They had a very rough animation at this stage which was essentially a blocked out sketch of the action built over motion captured material. There was no rendering or texture or colour, but enough to sketch some ideas."

"From a music perspective, it was a rare and exciting opportunity as it  was clear that music was going to be at least 50% of the experience and completely drive the emotional context of the film. The sound effects were restricted to the flashes of realtime reality but the vast majority of the film is mute other than music, a film composers dream."

"I have scored a few game trailers (Turning Point, Crysis2 teaser, Under Siege, Risen 2) and more often the music does a job of underpinning the visuals creating impact and often being very subliminal. Dead Island was the opposite, the music is the thing that locks you in and the slow and deeply emotional music contrasting with the brutal visuals gives the film its power. It is rare for a game trailer to use emotional impact in this way."

"The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the trailer was stunning, a testament to the power of social networking, clever marketing and a  brilliantly produced film (which stands up as a short film in its own right - lets see if Hollywood bite!) The number of comments about  the music was gobsmacking, usually the soundtrack is never mentioned -  when Malte from Deep Silver phoned to suggest we make the music  available on iTunes - it suddenly took on a different dimension."

"There is no greater thing than to connect to people through music. I have been composing music for film, TV for 15 years and never had  recognition like this and have been inspired to make more of my music  available and we are discussing and album inspired by Dead Island - another but of mutual beneficial marketing! It is worth mentioning, the trailer was eintirely produced in Scotland and has been a great profile boost for the talent up here in  Glasgow. I think it is fair to say, it doesn't matter where you are  anymore, the internet has changed the way media is produced - only 10  years ago, we would be couriering DAT Tapes or CD's to production offices. Often now I never meet the client in person the other side of the world!"

Watch the Dead Island Tragedy Hits Paradise teaser trailer

Watch the Dead Island: Official Announcement trailer

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