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Topic: short film score: Coach

  1. #1

    short film score: Coach

    Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

    I finally got organized enough to post some of my latest work online at www.houseofblackbirds.com.

    For those of you with dial up that prefer direct links, I've provided the following:


    This is the score from COACH, a short film that I recently finished (although I'm still waiting for the director to get back to me about the end credits music before I post that cue). The writing is very soft (muted strings in the first two cues), and sits low in the mix, giving just the sheen of emotional tension, desire, and danger. I used all GPO except for 1st Vlns, Cello, and Bass, which are from EWSilver--no particular reason, it was just to do something different.

    The 3rd and 4th cue were originally one single cue, but the director and I decided there should be a break at one point. Also the picture changed slightly. Plus the original cue was so ridiculously WRONG WRONG WRONG for the film... talk about too many notes. The problem is I have this one voice that thinks something is a good idea, like that guy--you know the guy--who gets an idea and insists that everyone use his idea, and I start to to listen to that voice, and eventually it has me convinced that I'm on the right track, when there's a chorus of other voices (yep, there's a few in there), screaming NO! and OH GOD IT'S AWFUL!

    So for those of us who like the idea of "more is more," rather than "less is more," here is "more"... of something... I used the piccolo, flute (for 2nd) and clarinet (for 2nd) from JABB, and some perc and strings from Silver, and Roland synths.



  2. #2

    Re: short film score: Coach

    Very well done, Joe.

    Especially We Have Something -- I found that one particularly impactful and well balanced.

    As for Overkill, taken out of context, I rather like that one, too!


  3. #3

    Re: short film score: Coach

    Thanks for listening, David. The film reaches its emotional climax in the fourth cue. Considering you are listening to version five, I spent the most time in that dark and dangerous scene, getting the crescendos and the pitch of those moments just right. When we were on the dub stage, we got to that moment with the piano and it give the director the chills; I knew I had accomplished this.

    Overkill, heh heh... is simply what the cue was. Not that it is terrible, other than I'm sure somewhere my theory teacher is rolling over due to the blatant parallel fifths. When the director told me it was completely wrong for the film, it took me a week to divorce myself from it, so I could go back and fully realize what the scene was about. He felt this cue was really leading the action rather than being part of it.

  4. #4

    Re: short film score: Coach

    Hi Joe,

    Wow, very good work here.

    Love the tension in these cues. Especially the low strings in "Concentrate" and "We Have something"

    Oh, and whenever that piano comes in... Gives me chills too. Masterfully done.


  5. #5

    Re: short film score: Coach

    Very nicely done.!

    I'll admit, I liked the overkill version myself. A much broader work on it's own.
    .. but I know it has to fit with the imagery/ mood of the final film.

    Thanks for posting several Cue's... I find the profession of film composer quite fascinating, and it's interesting to see a theme in development.

    Congratulations on this fine writing!


  6. #6

    Re: short film score: Coach

    Nice cues Joe.
    I like the consistently dark tone employed.The restraint of the Piano writing, makes its entries all the more telling.
    Overkill is quite fun, shades of Holst in the beginning.

    regards Joe.

  7. #7

    Re: short film score: Coach

    Thanks for listening, Ern. This was a very sensitive film, most of the moments were extremely delicate and tense. It was tough to get just the right balance of sensuality and danger, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right? When is your next symphony going to be done?

    Hi Ryan, thanks for the comments! Originally there was a lot more piano in the score, and the director had the great idea to take it out as much as possible except for the chords in the second and fourth cue, to really make the sound as fresh and surprising as possible. Ultimately it was a very effective decision, and made me really aware of how effective orchestration can be, the use of timbre. Timbre!

    jeff - There are some really fun moments in the cue that is "overkill" aka "too many notes" aka "Joe, stop writing! hit the brakes! hit the brakes!" When the director said the cue wouldn't work, after having spent two weeks on it, I was tempted to say, "too bad! it's this or nothing." But I decided to stick with it, trying to get in the director's brain, and write the score he really wanted. And I'm REALLY glad I persevered. This was one of those experiences that made me a better person, and a better composer.

    I wish film scoring was my profession. Hopefully it will be when the right person hears my work!

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