Smoke gets in your eyes

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Auckland production house Smoke took a trip to Broadway for the theme song to Three’s ambitious new current affairs vehicle.

With producers promising a “fast, polished, informative and funny” format for new flagship The Project, it fell to director Jeremy Wadzinski to conceptualise an equally bold hero campaign.

The show’s February curtainraiser featured a choreographed dance routine, with the hosts fronting an army of colourful characters stepping out in Albert Park to a bespoke theme tune.

Fuelled by the resurgence of musicals and his love of old MGM choreographed numbers, Wadzinski called for an ambitious soundtrack – a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Broadway song & dance routine, with the show’s hosts Jesse Mulligan, Josh Thomson and Kanoa Lloyd strapping on their dance shoes to front the track.

Street idiom
Wadzinski tapped Smoke to produce a track to go with his ambitious vision.

Lead producer of the track Nic Manders says Smoke wanted to find a “street idiom” for the track; something with more punch than syrup. “We listened to a lot of the classic showtunes – Leonard Bernstein, Leiber & Stoller, etc.

“It wanted to be something with a swing feel but the energy of a West Side Story gang tune.”

The Project’s ambitious score features an eclectic ensemble of trumpets, trombone, tuba, clarinet, bar-room piano, mandolin, drums and double-bass, giving way to a dubstep breakdown at half-time.

Manders corralled session singers, family members and wayward studio employees to bolster 40 tracks worth of backing vocals, before Mulligan, Thomson and Lloyd arrived to lay down lead vocals.


Production Company: Smoke
Producer: Nic Manders
Director: Jeremy Wadzinski
Marketing: Sarah Fabrin
Music: Nic Manders
Lyrics: Jeremy Wadzinski
Featured Voices: Hosts Kanoa Lloyd, Jesse Mulligan, Josh Thomson

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