SYN-composed CNN Spot “WHY WE GO” Wins News & Documentary Emmy

October 16th, 2017

Syn, the global music production house founded by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, Nick Wood, and Yasmin Le Bon, wins at the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. The team was presented the Emmy in the Outstanding Promotional Announcement category for their work on the spot “Why We Go” from CNN’s well-received “Go There” campaign. Prior to the Emmy win, “Why We Go” earned a staggering 16 awards at this year’s PromaxBDA, including Best Use of Music and Sound Design.

Directed by Klaus Obermeyer, the spot chronicles a day-in-the-life of a real correspondent, following CNN reporter Nima Elbagir as she is woken in darkness and embarks on a globe-spanning journey in order to cover the world’s most pressing stories. The film was shot in Washington D.C., London, and concludes in Idomeni, Greece at the Syrian refugee camps. There Elbagir finally arrives to report the breaking news, live from the front lines.

“‘Why We Go’ was truly an international undertaking,” explains Simon Le Bon. “The film was shot by an LA-based director, composed and produced by Syn between Los Angeles & Tokyo, and orchestrated by Todd Hayen in Toronto. We then recorded a 40-piece orchestra in Macedonia in real-time using Source-Connect, while we listened in remotely from Los Angeles, Toronto and Tokyo. That’s exactly the kind of globe-spanning artistic collaborations we love doing at Syn.”

Wood and the Syn Collective set out to craft an original piece that would accentuate the emotional weight of the narrative and pull the viewer into the urgency of the scenes. Delicate strings transition and swell into sweeping passages that drive the visuals with a nuanced yet gripping mastery.

Nick Wood says, “For ‘Why We Go,’ I really wanted the music to support this real life drama and highlight the story of this modern day crisis. Recording a 40-piece Orchestra in Macedonia where the refugees were trying to travel to was an interesting way to make the music an authentic part of the story.”

Syn has long been a trusted collaborator of the network, having worked together for nearly a decade. “We’ve done some of our finest work with CNN,” says Wood. “Musically, the creative direction can make such a significant contribution to the overall story, emotion and mood of a piece.”

Notable CNN collaborations include “The Heart Of The Story” campaign, which chronicles a side-by-side day-in-the-life look at Anderson Cooper and Anthony Bourdain, and the upcoming promo “World in One Place.” Bourdain also contributed the voiceover for “World in One Place.”

Wood and the Le Bons launched Syn in Japan in 1991, combining their experience and passion to challenge and explore the world of original music and sound design in advertising. It expanded its borders into the U.S. in 2013 and China in 2016.

The Emmy win was announced at the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards held on Thursday, October 5th 2017, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City, an event attended by more than 1,000 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and esteemed journalists.

Syn is represented by VLM.