10 Days to Score Part I

Anyone following me on Facebook (which, feel free to add me, anyone who miraculously reads this blog and isn't my immediate friends or family) will notice I pulled a 72 hour binge to write for a film I got hired to finish for a festival submission. I'd like to report the re-scoring was a success, and I've been hired on to COMPLETELY score the film in preperation for it's release at South by Southwest, and possibly Cannes Film Festival (...pending submission to both, of course, I'm no Korngold quite yet.)

I'll make a full announcement when I'm contractually allowed to, and of sound mind to do so... It's been a lot of all-nighters.

But I'll try to chronicle my fun journey of scoring a feature film in a little over a week here for all to watch, or rewatch when I achieve some minute level of infamy.

Sidenote, my roommate and I typically share a studio in our house, with my side being the classical hoity-toidy film scoring side, and his side the sleek recording studio / DJ deck / production station side. Though we battle for air-space sometime with who gets to play from their speakers and who gets banished to headphone land, this set-up has been incredibly fruitful for both of us pursuing our musical endeavors. Jared is usually there to fix Logic for me or help me experiment with a new sample, while I can lean over and... IDK exactly what I do to help but I do, I swear. Sometimes.

Since my post-production on Trigger lined up with my transition into scoring [redacteduntilBrandongetslegalprotectiontostatethetitleofthemovie], it would have meant several months in this shared space. And out of respect to him, my dog (who likes to sleep on my feet while I work but also likes to curiously knock over Jared's expensive equipment because he's one-years old and 80 lbs) and my girlfriend (who sleeps regular hours but often gets wrangled into playing piano and percussion that I'm not talented enough to play), I've moved my studio down to my bedroom for the creation of these last two soundtracks... That way cold showers (to keep me awake), and my bed (for when I puss out and can't stay awake) are all within several feet of my setup.

Jared, I'll be back soon. <3

(Further sidenote, he and I have been working on a musical adaption of one of my favorite childhood books for almost three years now. My trips to New York and binge watching several seasons of 30 Rock [which is basically going to New York a third time] have lit my fire to finish this endeavor, and I imagine he and I will be locking ourselves away when I get done with class this semester to finsih a significant portion of this)

Starting on the third day, I've finished about 9 cues in a disgustingly short amount of time. This relative to the 20 cues for the film I have, and probably 25 -30 for the film I don't have yet. Here are some pictures from the late night sessions...

Me looking frail from lack of food and sleep.

My whacky workshop. Fun fact, the sound design and scoring are one in the same with elements of this film, which have bits of superhero / thriller / family drama all wrapped up in one stellar creation. So for scoring involving protagonists, I used pitched metal sounds (kalimba, baoding balls, glock, celesta, guitar, etc) and bowed glass. For the antagonists, I used unpitched metal like the canteen, the bullhorn, and my

dollar store pots and pans, to create an eerie and industrial like gamelan sound. It's a subtle way to keep a sonic continuity throughout the film with a noticeable dichotomy in textures. [For those keeping count that's two, count 'em TWO uses of the word "dichotomy" on this blog... ain't I esoteric.]

My lovely girlfriend-turned-indentured-musical-sevent performing all the sophisticated and nuanced piano and sampled instrument parts at 1am. Essentially, every note except those Glass-ian repeated sixteenth notes, because it's a film score after all... I can play those. Just kidding, this is actually a picture of her recording straight triplets 'cause I can't even play those well.

From the second day, or third, I'm not sure. Really one day run into the next few. Because of the tight deadline, I had to be resourceful about the instrumental parts, since I lacked the funds, time and friends to properly record these sketches. The evil orginization's theme is actually constructed from very, very tiny samples of professionally recorded cello solos of out-of-copyright music (Bach fugues, to be exact)... mixed in REVERSE... and pitch-shifted beyond recognition. The result? An eerie and folk-like cello solo that sounds faintly Baroque while dodging between the realms of electronically synthesized and professionally recorded. Ya know I find , to achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time...

... * "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time." - Leonard Bernstein