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Topic: Film Scoring Question

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  1. #1
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    Film Scoring Question

    This is probably something that doesn't get asked here often, but I have a question about what Emotion I should evoke with music on a scene.

    You see I'm scoring a 12 minute student film that was made just to give the director practice with his editing skills. So there is no plot at all. But here is the jist of it.
    1.) Man sees another man boxing up a body in a warehouse.
    2.) Other man sees him, the start chaing each other for 5 minutes
    3.) The chaser eventually hides, hits his enemy..they duke it out for awhile, then proceeds to shot the man in the forehead
    4.) the audience sees that oil and microchips, not blood comes out from the head, you see this guys kills robots for a living in the future.
    5.) He then proceeds to box up this new body and there is a 4 minute long sequence of him rolling the box along a conveier belt where you see there are tons of boxes containing robots.

    This last scene is where I'm having trouble. I'm not sure to celebrate the robots death or to be saddened by it, since the audience is never hinted at which is the good guy. Right now I'm making a slow string piece that modulates between Major and Minor. the director said he really doesnt know and I just dont know..any suggestions?

  2. #2

    Re: Film Scoring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Gamble
    This last scene is where I'm having trouble. I'm not sure to celebrate the robots death or to be saddened by it, since the audience is never hinted at which is the good guy. Right now I'm making a slow string piece that modulates between Major and Minor. the director said he really doesnt know and I just dont know..any suggestions?
    atonal - electric - techno

    but that's just me...

  3. #3
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    Re: Film Scoring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Gamble
    This last scene is where I'm having trouble. I'm not sure to celebrate the robots death or to be saddened by it, since the audience is never hinted at which is the good guy. Right now I'm making a slow string piece that modulates between Major and Minor. the director said he really doesnt know and I just dont know..any suggestions?
    I don't know what the rest of the score sounds like, but I'd be inclined to keep it neutral in terms of emotion. Electro-acoustic minimalist.....something that leaves the audience to decide wether its a good or bad thing. Moving between major and minor sounds like a potentially good idea.

    I always find my mind changes when I see something though. How many times have you read the script, or a storyline, or seen the storyboard and a thousand ideas have hammered through your mind only to change completely when you get to see the real deal.

  4. #4

    Re: Film Scoring Question

    In general, I think of the composer as being an extra actor.

    In order for any actor to get a believable performance across to the viewer, the actor would have experienced the situation in question and knows how it feels - or at least how he experiences it. Now, we are only human so we can't put ourselves in all kinds of situations just to know how it feels like to us, but an actor need to be able to connect to the situation in some way to be able to convey a believable image.
    For the movie "The Bourne Identity" for example, CIA let actor Matt Daemon come to their training camps and get to talk operatives and some instructors and stuff - I heard he spent some time there. From that, Matt assumingly got himself a picture of what that kind of life could be like and from that picture he could sort of bring out some emotion that he himself had experienced somewhere in the past, that would be fairly close to the kind of emotional and psychological person he would impersonate in front of the camera.

    As a composer I'm sort of doing the same thing. I can go as far as lying down on the sofa and actively sort of provoce up the emotional state in myself that the characters in the film sequence is in, to remind myself how it must feel like. Then I say out loud the kinds of impressions I get, what i feels like, just things to make it easier for me to get back to that feeling without being in it all the time. Oh, and when I say things out loud I keep a tape recorder running, recording what I say. Surely it must look kinda stupid to anyone else watching (if there ever is) but that's one way I found works good for me. After that I sit down and start forming the kind of sounds and rhythms that makes that emotion come alive in me, or at least reminds me of it.

    From that aspect the composer is very well an extra actor since we usually are putting the kind of music and emotional cues in there that we ourselves think is fitting to what is happening on the screen. 2 Different composers may very well be able to portray the emotion of sorrow for example, but both of them will be doing it differently, depending on how sorrow feels to them.

    Hope some of these far fetched thoughts gives you an idea.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  5. #5

    Re: Film Scoring Question

    If I understood correctly, the robot has killed a human and the human kills the robot so it's a chain of revenges but the audience doesn't know which started it or is the bad party for some reason. Might be more interesting to keep it unbiased than to show that the human rightfully killed a bad robot or vice versa.

    [OT]Rather long movie for such a script. Nice concept though.[/OT]

  6. #6
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    Re: Film Scoring Question

    Script?....what script?....hehe. Well the rest of the score so far sounds like this... FEAR, if that would help.

  7. #7

    Re: Film Scoring Question

    How about maybe no music at all for the concluding conveyor belt scene,
    and just a pulsing heartbeat, fading out as the scene closes.....
    - this could evoke a parting question as regards whether robot or human is alive...

    Brian :-)

  8. #8

    Re: Film Scoring Question

    I like the idea of a feeling of doom and gloom. Assuming that the scale of the operation is slowly revealed, each step would add another layer of hopelessness.

    Or, you could just dub in the Seven Dwarfs singing Whistle While You Work. I bet the director's reaction would be priceless.

    -JF

  9. #9

    Re: Film Scoring Question

    Hi,

    if the killer presides as the hero or main star in this flick, a melody that supports him from the getgo should be present as he rolls the deceased away. Of course that melody could take on another rhythm or groove. If the killer presides as having no noticable status in the flick and can be considered a fill in character so to say, I'd agrree with John Fairhurt's suggestion.

    Alan Russell
    Please Visit My New & Revised Official Website Below

    http://AlanRussell-Music.com

  10. #10
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    Re: Film Scoring Question

    Thanks alot for the responses it is really helpful. I'm actually really considering Brian's idea to an extent, have a heartbeat for a while then slowly add dark music.

    And as for Jon';s Idea "whistle while you work" . I dunno that seems mighty tempting to do..hehe. Maybe just for fun . I love it!

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