When you see her in front of the cameras posing with her many medals, skier Lindsey Vonn seems like the personification of health, beauty and success.
But that’s nowhere close to the full story, according to a new HBO documentary that chronicles her final year of competition, Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season.
While Vonn is downhill skiing’s most decorated female athlete—with 82 World Cup victories and one Olympic gold medal under her belt—her success has come at a cost. She’s had nine major injuries and five surgeries, and had to fight to return several times. After winning a bronze medal at the World Championships in Are, Sweden, earlier this year, she decided her body had finally had enough and retired at the age of 34.
“As a marketing tool, documentaries require a heightened tone that immediately cuts through. As always, music and sound is everything,” said editor Lyle Goodale. “Lindsey Vonn defies the limits of her safety in the name of speed, so we knew we didn’t want a soft or triumphant tone. We wanted to feel her adrenaline and pain.
“We’re always mining a film for signature sounds and accents organic to its world to use in the trailer. To our delight, Alibi had an entire album of fully formed tracks led by rhythmic breathing. Musical stems allowed us to finesse the soundscape that elevated the trajectory of story in the trailer, while introducing a few more sonic devices to punctuate moments throughout.
“The most interesting thing about this release was recording ourselves breathing ...” said Alibi composer Jeff Dodson. “It’s surprisingly difficult to nail the right kind of shortness or to exhale to produce a useful series of breathing sounds.
“When we produced it, we were hoping … that editors would be able to use the beats of the breaths as editorial marks to help build tension and make for interesting cuts, and this trailer absolutely nails that use.”
The documentary airs Nov. 26 on HBO.
Creative Director: Jaehoon Oh
ACD: Patrick Cullert
Agency: Giaronomo Productions
Editor: Lyle Goodale
Creative Director: Adam Spreng
Music: Alibi Music Library
Composer: Jeff Dodson