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Topic: And now my first film score ...

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  1. #1

    And now my first film score ...

    The other day someone posted a film score here, and that finally made me grab my computer and try my hand at it. I've always wanted to do it, and in these days of powerful computers at everyone's disposal and YouTube full of movies, there is really nothing to provide me with an excuse. So, I went for it, and the result is here.

    The movie I took is a machinima, i.e. a movie made from game images, in this case Call of Duty 4, a game I liked to play for its great images and cinematic atmosphere. What you see is edited footage from one of the levels, very craftily put together by someone nicknamed SgtPadrino (Connery Kappeler). What you hear is GPO (version 2 in Kontakt Player 2) in Logic Express, with sound effects taken from the game and from www.freesound.org (great website for samples), and a drum sounds and a drum loop taken from the same site.

    The story (which is not really understandable from the images, since the introduction is built up in the game): A bad guy (Imran Zhakayev or something like that) is planning on selling uranium fuel rods, right in front of the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl. Like hell the British are going to let that happen. So, they send one of their crack marksmen, and he infiltrates the area. He sneaks past guards, kills a few for good measure, sneaks past a tank column, and takes hide in an empty building. After some time, the baddy arrives, our hero takes aim and all hell breaks loose.

    The first part of the movie is a bit lengthy (since it's the hard part in the game, I guess), but I have bravely added music everywhere, a bit too much perhaps, but well. Then I added sound effects (guns, engines, helicopters, explosions, yeah, this is one hell of a movie), even trying a bit of realistic acoustics, but that gets obscured by the rest of the sound. In case you wonder about the voices: some speak Spanish, some Russian...

    I tried to emulate the typical action movie sound (much brass and powerful drum hits). For the action and tension, I (ab)used the diminished second, that was used so effectively in Jaws. For the melodic, slow part, I tried to stick to a few rules: all lines have a strict rhythm (note duration ranging from 4 to 8 beats, and 0 or 2 beats rest in between, no two lines the same rhythm), and move stepwise, and repeat after a few bars, and lines cannot overlap. I had to let go of the stepwise movement and repetition, but not before it produced some interesting harmonies (read: dissonances). At the end, the romantic inside me won and everything moves to a peaceful resolution.

    Comments welcome, praise even more (just kidding).

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: And now my first film score ...

    FLWrd;
    Works for me! You have the general genre down pretty good and the timing is on. I remember getting so frustrated waiting to be first in line to do music for other peoples films, that I started making short films myself and moved on to 3D animations, after a fashion. It was great! I used MS SAPI type computer generated voices for the speaking parts (they have them in many foreign languages), and could tailor the lighting quickly to suit the scene.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good work!
    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  3. #3

    Re: And now my first film score ...

    FLWrd

    Works for me as well.

    I think it is a lot of fun to score movies. I haven't done one myself since spring, so I guess I should go find a short piece for myself to do.


    While I think GPO works great for movies/games/tv, it seems hollywood is too much into the big sounds with tons of reverb so GPO is not used as much as the higher priced libraries. Which in my view is a pity.

    Nicely done

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  4. #4

    Re: And now my first film score ...

    Thanks guys,

    sd cisco: that's quite a lot of trouble, making your own movie as well! I am curious to see how that worked out...

    rolifer: Yeah, it's fun. It gives such different constraints. Time is really different in movies than in classical music or pop. GPO is great. It cannot fully compete with VSL, but that costs 30 times as much, I think. However, if you don't need a 1st-violin-divisi-whistling-across-muted strings articulation, GPO fares pretty well, it's just a bit harder.

    BTW, the whole thing was made with the mouse. I didn't touch a (MIDI) keyboard, except for trying chords. Composing like that (with Logic's piano roll and scoring tools) also provides different constraints, and makes you aware of the pitfalls of composing by keyboard. I now understand you guys who only use notation programs a bit better...

  5. #5
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: And now my first film score ...

    "sd cisco: that's quite a lot of trouble, making your own movie as well! I am curious to see how that worked out..."

    Here is a link to "Lonely Street" - animated short musical - I had my sister sing it, and of course, this is from 2003 - pre-GPO days! Did anyone ever see this? Yes, it was broadcast on Canada's national TV network CBC in Oct/03 - on a late-night arts and entertainment show called "Zed", and they paid me!!
    sd
    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ideoid=6902293

  6. #6

    Re: And now my first film score ...

    Quote Originally Posted by sd cisco View Post
    Here is a link to "Lonely Street" - animated short musical - I had my sister sing it, and of course, this is from 2003 - pre-GPO days! Did anyone ever see this? Yes, it was broadcast on Canada's national TV network CBC in Oct/03 - on a late-night arts and entertainment show called "Zed", and they paid me!!
    Lucky you! But you deserve credit for it, especially for the song. It sounds a bit French to me, or is it une chanson Canadienne? The video reflects the melancholic mood of the music, and is simple, but effective. There's no need for GPO in it, although perhaps the wind machine could have been put to use

  7. #7

    Re: And now my first film score ...

    Hi FL

    I liked the movie and music. The over all mood seemed right on. I could have used a bit more motion in the music at times but other than that it was a good watch and listen!

    Congrats and thanks
    Andy
    ....................
    Phone: 917-327-0293
    Email: andy@andybrick.com
    Web: http://www.andybrick.com
    AIM: andybrick
    Skype: andrewbrick

  8. #8

    Re: And now my first film score ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Brick View Post
    I liked the movie and music. The over all mood seemed right on. I could have used a bit more motion in the music at times but other than that it was a good watch and listen!
    Thanks. The movie was an odd choice, but I'm glad it worked for you. I was afraid I had plastered the whole thing with music, but apparently it could have been more. Good to know for a next attempt.

    Could be a good challenge, by the way: score this film! I won't tell Mr. Bowser though...

  9. #9

    Re: And now my first film score ...

    Quote Originally Posted by FLWrd View Post
    Thanks. The movie was an odd choice, but I'm glad it worked for you. I was afraid I had plastered the whole thing with music, but apparently it could have been more. Good to know for a next attempt.
    OMG! I didn't know who you were, but now I realise that you are the composer of The Peacock and now I find out you actually scored Disney movies and Sims games.

    I bend down in great awe...

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