As part of the Coachella Music Festival, Donald Glover built a custom multi-channel screening theatre for his film Guava Island. I was brought on to craft the audio design for environmental ambiences around and inside the theatre, as well as adding additional overhead audio effects to the film. It felt a bit like designing the audio ambience for a theme park ride.

The movie would be shown multiple times a day for festival-goers, but part of the goal was to make the overall experience feel like an oasis from the endless energy of the festival grounds. A custom theatre was constructed just for this event, and its design would allow for a smooth transition from festival fun into the island world of Guava Island.

2n Design, the company responsible for visual effects at the Childish Gambino Pharos dome shows, designed the structure. It included a spiral that grew from a small entrance and curved around to an inside circular theatre sanctuary. As visitors approached the entrance, the sounds of this island world could be heard. Venturing deeper and deeper into the theatre brought in sounds from deeper and deeper in the story, with echoes of scenes and settings that made up the world of Guava Island.

To enhance this special screening, the film was presented on a curved screen, and musical scenes were accompanied by animations and visual effects surrounding the viewers. The primary film audio was presented in traditional 5.1 format, but we added four overhead speakers for extra immersion during these highlighted moments. I was responsible for mixing in elements from the film as well as additional designed moments to bring the added height dimension to life sonically.

A custom artistic architectural structure, with ambient world-building audio design, paired with an immersive film experience. What a great project, and what a unique addition to the Coachella festival.