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Topic: PNW film scoring summer intensive

  1. #1

    PNW film scoring summer intensive


    I just got back from the PNW Film Scoring class summer intensive in Edinburgh a few days ago. I thought I should post on this forum to tell you people a little bit about it, and to thank Gary again for the opportunity.

    When they say summer "intensive" there not joking. The amount of infomation they cram into those two weeks is amazing. This is just a quick summery of what we did over the two weeks, I would be here all day if I was to list everything we covered.

    In the first week Hummie spent a lot of time explaining the none-music side of the film scoring business. This gave us a fascinating insight into the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, covering a huge range of topics such as who works for who, who does what, contracts, royalties, fees, different timecode software/hardware etc...

    The second week was much more music oriented. We went into some pritty deep music theory and learned lots of interesting tricks which I'm sure will prove to be very useful for people who end up writing to picture, and even for people who dont.

    The elective courses were also very good. I chose "Music theory for the contemporary composer" and "Sound recording". The music theory helped me a great deal and the sound recording course was fascinating.

    I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in film scoring. Even if you take this course but dont end up writing to picture, the stuff you learn in the second week will surely improve your level of composition.

    Thanks again Gary and Hummie for this wonderful opportunity.


  2. #2

    Re: PNW film scoring summer intensive

    I've taken Hummie's program, spread over 8 months and it is truly fantastic. I wish I lived in Seattle to take more of his courses. Truly practical info and some of it felt like the secret insider information that the people in the biz know how to use for getting the job done, not only business-wise, but from an arranger/composer/producer aspect as well...

    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  3. #3

    Re: PNW film scoring summer intensive


    Thanks for the report! I'm glad you learned a lot there. It's great that you got the opportunity to learn so much. (Even if it was in such a small amount of time! ) I can't wait to hear any new music you will compose! The concert from way back in March is still a great inspiration for me. Congratulations!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: PNW film scoring summer intensive

    Just take a lot of notes. He covers an immense amount of material that you will be reviewing and relearning for years to come. Film Scoring I is mostly business side, but he does get a little bit into technical aspects.

    Film scoring II is much more musical, and he discusses many practical aspects of orchestration for film score. You will not be able to get into that class without a pretty solid foundation of music theory. It will NOT be neccessary to learn voice leading, counterpoint and all that university stuff. But, you will need to be able to read and write just about any chord, you will need to be able to transpose lines diatonically correct, you will need to pass some ear training (melodic and rythmic dictation). Its not an easy test. The guy sitting in front of me got a perfect score but I know he was a music professor at UW. My score was far from perfect, because I made silly mistakes. The test is timed and you have to kind of rush through. But between acing my ear training and I guess doing well on the take home assignment I squeaked in. If you are not pretty literate in these things, that class will be difficult for you. But I think mainly Hummie uses the test to filter out people that he doesn't want in Film Scoring III where they actually score for a film. There is only so much room in the class and he doesn't want to waste time covering that material for people that still need to drink their leche. Fair enough.

    Regarding private composition lessons, I actually was taking private counterpoint and other compositional topics from a guy up at MusicWorks in Bellvue. That particular guy unfortunately got a teaching job at the University in another city and is no longer available, but I know MusicWorks has people like that and not too expensive, about the same price as piano lessons. Hummie might be able to reccomend some people too.

    The Seattle Composers alliance does regular score readings....they get together and analyze orchestral scores... They also have workshops (Hummie has taught at some of them). Check it out. That group was actually kinda started by Hummie and a few other people, Hummie participates actively and it was because of those members constantly asking Hummie to teach them about film scoring that his film scoring school came to be. Some of the later classes he added to his school came out of some of those workshops he gave on music theory, writing techniques, modal interchange, etc.. Its a mish-mash of Berklee theory and other stuff that he learned on his own over the years. Main thing I like is that he doesn't waste time getting all complicate and theoretical. Everything he talks about comes down to how to make good sounding music from a very practical perspective.

    One thing Hummie likes to say is that there is no music school in this country that really teaches music students how to be "professional" musicans. On the contrary, most all of them focus on highly theoretical concepts that are interesting and perhaps in their own mind advance the cause of music composition. But after 30 years in the music business Hummie is kind of sweeping away all the useless stuff and focusing on the practical points which will help a composer to compose music that actually sounds musical, has commercial value and can pay money to working composers, arrangers, etc. Its very practical, no-nonsense stuff...and NOT thin by any degree.... Good stuff.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  5. #5

    Re: PNW film scoring summer intensive

    Thanks for the info! I will be attending also, but in a year or so, I am taking 20 credit hours this semester at my university in theory and composition and I'll be busy for a while. I'm hoping after I'm done with grad school in composition I'll be able to head over there to check the course out. Thanks again!

    Captain Hook (if you see Pan let me know!)

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