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Topic: My TCM Contest Composition

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  1. #1
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    My TCM Contest Composition

    This is my first time entering the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Contest this year, being that I just turned 18.

    I tried for two things when composing this, make it sound somewhat more "traditional/old" and well frankly, compose better than I've ever done.

    So if you'd like tell me what you think, I'm mainly looking for composition advice, cause I already know that my sequencing is a little sloppy(I was short on time near the end)

    Any Help is greatly apprectiated!

    Here are the links

    Music only http://www.evangamble.com/music/Scuddys_Scurry.mp3

    Movie and Music http://www.evangamble.com/music/Scuddys_Scurry.mov

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    Hi Evan,

    In short, I would peel most of this away, and have another go. The musical tone does not currently work with the scene.

    I think it is too apocalyptic and dark for the piece, fundamentally. It sounds more like a space adventure than what I am seeing on screen. That is what I would comment before anything else, and then I would address the actual way the music is relating to the picture on a shot by shot basis.

    Tonally, examine where you are in the action, and try to detach the musical motion so much from the specific action on screen and to the human stakes in the story. What is happening? Everybody has an emotional stake here, and you have to create music which encompasses them. What are the motives of the pursued? To get away. What are the motives of the cops? To catch the guy. What is the motive of the other people in the scene? To avoid being hurt or killed in the melee.

    Where is it all leading? What's the climax of the clip? You may not know what preceded it without the entire piece to examine, but people don't just find themselves in handcuffs being held, so there was already something heavy in the air. This isn't just starting. As well, it's going to go somewhere when it ends. So, you defnintely need to give a feeling that you've hit the ground already running, and have some underpainting of story even in the opening frames.

    One specific note, the big jump and hit when the guy breaks away from the cops is overbaked. It is rather like doing a boldface italic and changing the font simultaneously in a, in order to give emphasis.

    So, what you want to do is find a way to complement and build the scene without any contrivances of tying motive to frame. In fact, I would say that in a clip this short, you'd want to find the one single moment which should be tied to frame dramatically, identify it and determine what you want to do, then work away from that in both directions to get your basic sketch. Then you have your one "big bang" to work with. Everything else either leads to it or moves away from it.

    I hope that doesn't sound hyper-critical. You have obviously crafted this, and it shows. But what you need to do, in order to win, is to demonstrate that you know what needs to be scored in a scene from a dramatic standpoint--as well as demonstrate the ability to craft music. You have done the latter, but the former is what needs the work, both in the overall tone and in the way you move the scene and action forward to some emotional grounding. And I think you probably need to go back almost to scratch to get the tone locked in with what the scene is really doing.

    And of course, this is only my response, but if I were judging this as an entry, those would be my comments about the scene--wherever it happened to land in the pack.

  3. #3

    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    Hey, I just turned 18, also! Unfortunately, I didn't do anything for the contest. I was going to, but depression set in and it's been a low, low month for me. I regret it.

    I thought it was really good! But I do agree with some of the points Bruce made, especially the point about it being too dark and apocalyptic. It seems to me the clip is more comical than anything, especially during the beginning.

  4. #4

    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    I agree with Bruce's comments above with regards shaping it to the clip. Aside from that, it's a really well-done bit of music ! Good luck !

  5. #5

    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    I think you guys are forgetting how heavily scored those old pictures where. Can't be afraid of big music. Especially not in Hollywood.

    I think the mood perfectly fits a film noir style. It's the orchestration and the style of writing that's in question.

    I don't think that this film is a comedy.

    The guy looks like a racketeer.

    Evan, check out the old movie "Force of Evil" scored by David Raksin. Also, check out "Laura" scored by him too. He came from this style of film. Working in the 1930's to just recently.

    Also, my man. Instead of big string and low drum hits and chords I'd try to write more countrapuntal lines. It's more fitting for the time.

    Cheers,

    Jose

  6. #6
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    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    Thanks for the comments so far, I agree with alot of them and I did have a lot of trouble getting the tone of this piece(It took me three tries and I still didnt get it right) So I agree Bruce, But the clip is definantly not comedic. I read the plot on another site to get the background info, and the guy is the evil husband of the flick. Keep the comments coming, I learn alot more from negative comments than I do from positive ones!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    I think Jose's suggestion to explore a more contrapuntal style is probably the ticket. A more frenetic kind of energy, even up front, could tie things together.

  8. #8
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    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    could you define contrapuntal?

  9. #9

    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Gamble
    could you define contrapuntal?
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=contrapuntal

  10. #10
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    Re: My TCM Contest Composition

    Oh counterpoint..ok...

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