Skip to main content

photo & video

Modern Film Composing

Lesson 8 of 17

Spot the Film

Will and Brooke Blair

Modern Film Composing

Will and Brooke Blair

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

8. Spot the Film

Lesson Info

Spot the Film

This was an awesome contest that again creative life set up a bunch of great films were submitted and this is resurrected by a director named omar lopez uh great guy was able to speak with him quickly on the phone last night let's just watch it once a short film about two and half minutes we're going to we'll just watch it once and they will jump into sort of a game plan wait but now we're thinking about that hey sam you okay what happened here were accident or something okay chicos someone getting up you're gonna be okay? You okay? Are you sure you okay but just hang in there were engaged in helping that he's gonna be okay oh don't you worry about me amigo the police are here waiting for you the best thing the studio yes wait I think it's great I think this one was selected for a number of reasons and like some challenges to it which will be fun I think in this in this stage of the game this is a short film for sake of the workshop you know things are going to play with little differe...

ntly. We're condensing what is normally say feature film again blue ruin was five days that was not ideal but you know what could be a month of work for a feature film? We're looking at a short film two and a half to two minutes two minutes and we're going to convince that into the next hour or so. So, um, at this stage of the game, the two of us really like to get as much information from the director as possible and that's not just discussing musical ideas, you know, that will come later. Um, in a perfect world, we would be in a room with omar, you know, and we would be discussing character motivations, production challenges, just general production based questions toe learn as much as we can about, you know, omar's ideas, what he thinks, you know what? He's trying to get across how he thinks music could enhance the film itself, so we would again, we would start with just a very general conversation point as much info as we can. We would then spot the film with him in a spotting session typically is is generating a road map, which keeps you on track, and it generates a list of cues you'll hear us keep referring, accuse cues or think of them as just a snippet of music. It could be anywhere from a second tio, you know, ten twenty plus minutes, but it's just the individual snippet of music that's used against a picture in a film um, so we would early on generate a q she and there is a queue sheet in the bonus materials kind of in tandem with a spotting session we would explore the temp music that's there the temp music being omar has essentially sort of placeholder music he's I spoke with them yesterday um he's not a musician but what he was able to do is find just individual little elements from a licensing website download probably little mp three's airwave files which he he explained he tried to move them around and help set the mood and approximate an early version of a score just to kind of get his idea across this attempt music is often something we're used to hearing very early on it's used for editors just to help keep pace as they're putting a picture together it's not intended to stay there oftentimes you know it's music from another movie that already exists I heard stories somewhere you guys are probably familiar with working in and around temp music or heard stories somewhere that american beauty the score by thomas neumann is like the most used temp music of all time in other words, other directors plug that into their working cut just to help set mood um knowing it's going to be you know deleted and rearranged but it is it can be challenging and it can also be helpful temp music can be challenging and that directors and editors as they're working with the picture they really get used to hearing what's there and it's a very riel phenomenon called temp love they get attached to it and, you know, they don't own the rights to that music and it's not part of the final score, but they're used to hearing it and seeing the picture against that music day and day out, um, which which also can be very hopeful because it's an indication to us that they think this works, the director has decided, you know, that this musical decision is working for him, so it gives us a place to start it gives us, you know, parameters of things that work and things that don't work again for blue ruin. Jeremy had minimal cynthy, you know, atmospheric stuff and plugged in as a temp music, and he said it really need help with the suspenseful stuff I don't really I haven't found the right tempeh, temporary music for the system it's, suspenseful stuff. Um, you know, it's, a good it's, a good way to start it's a good way to get, you know, get your head thinking about about what could work and what needs to go. So we have omar's temp music, a separate element which is always helpful, of course, because ultimately it has to go, it will be replaced, but we can refer back to it, um, let's start generally spotting and again, spotting would just speed I'm going through uh sort of top to bottom there's really no place you need to start you could start spotting in the middle of the film we like to do it chronologically, so we're just we're literally just making notes but where we think music could and should go generally speaking, when does it start? When is it end? Um and a general that could be sort of an emotional character to like what you're trying to get across that could be an idea of an instrument you like to use were taking notes of that can you move the picture and then I'll try to do all of you and then there's notes and then is a complete you know, and we feel like it's done that's it's literally just a check off list that helps organizer workflow oftentimes, especially for a feature film will generate, you know, a cue sheet that could be forty fifty plus cues you know individual musical segments it's helpful and then, you know, placing a cue sheet literally next to a calendar your google calendar, whatever you might use and plan a workflow and say here's, our deadline here's our schedule let's try to get some momentum going early let's anticipate, you know, challenges and roadblocks, but you can literally put a handful of cues on your calendar throughout the week um don't keep your workflow moving along keep you organized and keep checking things off the list this is going to be sort of abbreviated spotting session because it's a short film I talked to omar about his ideas musically he kind of thinks some of those musical elements he put in there sort of working but he didn't really get it where he wanted it to be um let's just watch the first quip you will leave the temping for that yeah this leave the temple and just watched first clip of the hand comes in three way said just some sort of namby it happens here and then we've got this big impact on that hand we're not sure whose hand it is yet is that a zombie? Is this a you know a victim or a felon but he definitely wanted to punctuation there of some sort his idea was he almost wanted to um at first trick the audience into thinking this is a you know, be rolls on the movie and he wanted that big overt obvious impact on the hand um to think he's leading you in one direction then he really liked how that sort of dissipated and we're just left with ambiance I remember omar said he just wanted like we discussed earlier wind and kind of just a general creepy ambience and atmosphere until you start to see um thiss character way don't know much about him yet um and I didn't get much character backstory omar time permitting we did as much detail as we can I like to name things it drives brooke nuts but I like it like, um it gives us a reference point to keep discussing things I'm going to name them the victim right? Because we're not sure if he's if he's infected with something that he's injured it is but something is definitely off to me. He appears to be, um victim like let's call well, that's what this fight was yeah that's fine, her first sort of entry point where we're starting and I think that's very early on what we're gonna do is keep track of time code, you know, on the bottom of this working picture and make timing notes of when things were coming in and out and knowing that it is again it's a general guide it's a general road map they can and will change they often dio delicious indicate exactly when that first that first week atmosphere needs to start followed by the hand impact it's kind of right off the bat on brooks made a marker on pro tools he's got a really good over that he's ready for the for the hand to pop in the screen there's a what's the keyboard shortcut it's, anther just um and he's can you see the portals marker there it is and he's he's title that hand you know and that's just we're going up doing that from beginning to end but that's just a general indication of this is where something musical is occurring and they also bounced back to it really quickly he needs so for further on the film and then you won't go back to hand her back to hand where I got the market yeah um so again our kids she kind of works in tandem with pro tools and and it was their work so long quite a bit so let's just put have always called atmosphere for what? One yeah and thank you she is always broken down it's numbered one two three four upto however many cues the film they need in this case based on the length of it it really sounds like it's going to be one q you know one long q that's going to change quite a bit um we're going to sort of name the changes that we're walking through so atmosphere is a place to start and that's right off the bat is that's what we're going to start that when the picture rules but it's timeto ceo it's zero that atmosphere it is kind of gluing the whole thing together that's what we're going to add in first and that's gonna knowing that we're going to sort of sculpt around a carve around it and remove some of it. But that's the start point honestly, the outpoints going to be it's gonna be close to win, they shift to an interior. But halfway through the film, this shift to here we go, baby. Okay, so consider the atmosphere that we've been helping. You gonna be okay? That's a general transition consider the atmosphere we're looking for. We call it a bed report referred to his bed where we're going to plug it in where it needs to be it's kind of kind of just blanket the whole thing, knowing that it can disappear, that it can fade out, fade up, but we're going to kind of labor. I don't think the whole thing it is definitely going to shift when we get to an interior, the atmosphere we're going to focus on is going to be exterior in nature. It's going, we're going to think about what we're looking at. We're looking at what seems like a desert, you know, someone's out there all by themselves. There's obviously wind is part of the sound design that's going to be a focus of that atmosphere, we'll get there, but it's going to shift when we get indoors to a much different atmosphere. And the next kind of significant moment that we've already marked and pro tools, we'll just call it the hand, so essentially be q number two. It will be for the people who are watching at home who have this q she and they're following along. This is something where, you know, they can kind of make this their own and see what aspects they agree with you. Is everybody gonna have a little different way of going through this process? Absolutely. And I think you'll find in the next hour everyone should have, you know, we have our own different way, and this is this is how we do it. Yeah, by all means do it your own way. A lot of a lot of films we jumped into, we didn't have a kyushu to get started and we said let's, just start making music and let's look at the film let's get really excited about it. And we realized as the films we sort of working on got longer, longer and the schedules started get shorter. It seemed like it is really helpful to spend a little time right off the bat focusing on the kyushu. Um, but do it your own way, I mean, it's a it's, a general list it's a general thing to keep you on track. In bigger films, they're going to as the film was delivered to a distributor of some sort there going to request a very complete, very detailed to shoot that's something else to consider that something else to work towards um, you know, we've done documentary filmmaking where a cue sheet was never required and was never something that was requested of us, but it helped keep us on track, so we did kind of loosey goosey approach to it, you know, not everything had a description, not everything had a note and it changes as you go, you're going to find that one q you think works at, you know, one minute, fifty seconds works better if you slide it back later all of this is subject to change um also on the other, the other end of the spectrum, the film that we just finished where there was a music letter involved and music supervisor that q she was in a document that all of us were zeroing in on and changing and making notes, and it was the road map of the only to score but all the music in the film and um that's part of the final delivery as well yeah, it was it became a shared document we'll get into this a little later, but we found that google drive is great for storing your issue and allowing everyone access to a different departments? Um, yes. So that's one that we just finished that had a big, big post production team? Um, I mean, I'm curious to just know as we're going through this from our students here have you guys worked on cue sheets before? Do you have a process? Because as you can see, everybody here has printed it out. They have their cue sheet there following along so you guys can kind of make it your own, but yeah, just curious. What's your experience with cue sheets. I've used cue sheets for I don't do any music sound editing and that will be you because this is basically going through and writing down every sound that I want to put in and they especially walking, walking through lots of markers and then I can take that sheet and go to a sound library effects library, check off the ones they get from the library, and then I have the list of ones I need to record after that. And but in a very similar fashion, yeah, and in an effort to keep like communication, going with different departments again would become to share documents. It's great for you guys were directors um yeah, and you work in the director sided, yeah, well, I mean, it will become you know you should request that you're working with a composer um they should be as organizes you'd like them to be an expected to be um it's their job to generate occasion you guys should do it together you're spotting the film and you say you know, seeing number two, ten seconds and I really picture this powerful thing happening musically encourage that to get listed on the cue sheet right off the bat and so then by the time we've generated a complete, relatively complete cue sheet you guys also have a checklist um and as you're going to the process you know let's skip to q number twenty so you want to hear you want to hear a revision you want to hear a different version of it you've got some sort of level of accountability to keep them on trigger composer on track as well. So I think a lot of different apartments should share it yeah, it starts to get through the sound design department. They start to see where music is getting plugged in and how that affects their work flow. Um and ultimately it ends up um with the distributor who a sort of record of working an archive of the score. You I think it's interesting that you bob sounding music so I I worked on a short while ago and I was I was at her and post supervisor and we had a sound designer and we had a pair of composers also from germany so there wasn't much hands on work with them and they never communicated with the editor they both communicated through the director with the sound editor on so we got to our final makes we had a score and we had a complete sound design that clashed in pot for the soundscapes because there was no coordination between those two is tio part of the process and like that a communication and working and especially shared cue sheets you know what there's gonna be a big sound moment here? Maybe I don't need music or vice versa exactly sure yeah it is a detailed archive of the work flow and it's a tangible tool to keep everyone accountable and on track um but it is fluid you know like the filmmaking process in general it's it is subject to change and morph and develop you when you working on your case she do you think of like the the one scene with a few different cues as almost like a track where you're interested to like leave them together or is it more like the isolated sounds are more important than like how they interact that's a great question I think um in the case of this film so short and it's kind of bridge together by this atmosphere we're almost looking at it as one q one long queue because it probably will be one final file without identifiable break and it but with different moments musical moments occurring um and without spotting the whole thing together I think brooke and I would agree that that whole first exterior scene up until the car slams on the brakes um there's going to be some dips and dynamics you know? But we're looking at it almost as one q which will probably last almost a minute and a half um but what we're adding into the cue sheet is the different yeah, the different shifts that we need to be aware of and right now we're doing in just a general way and then we'll go in and really frame by frame kind of fine tune it um you want with descriptions of anything yeah and again it does seem like it does seem like a little upfront busy work but it is it could be like a lifesaver and keep you on track yeah, well put well put a note like low impact on the hand omar really likes again the percussive like punctuation when that hand comes into the screen um yeah and again brooke has not put an out point for the atmosphere number one right now that's going to continue this kind of throughout this whole exterior scene we're going to come back and revisit that outpointing kind of plug in where we think it should disappear at some point kind of not there yet so use a q she does a way to sort of jump around you're gonna jump around on the timeline you're gonna jump around on the cue sheet let's find the but I think the net ex couple shots we start to meet the victim and listen to the temperate their ice like that little there's a little bit yeah again omar said he was piecing together a temp track of music to get the mood right he said he really didn't get it where he wanted to be you'll notice this this atmosphere in this tone it disappears for a moment it's a little distracting and then there's a local little chime or a little whistle of some sort that starts to pick up as we see the president started victim um right here is where omar said have you watched the dark knight and we were just talking about hans zimmer's score from the dark knight and omar got really excited about that one sound it's used every time you see the joker, which I think hans zimmer you know, like a single piano wire and he was scraping razor blades across the bay area where to create this this again not quite musical a little bit a tonal but abrasive tone that sort of became the joker steam omar got really excited about that and he thought that would work um for the victim let's look a little closely and see when that could potentially start and make a note of that what's that kind of here's what our brooke tell me if I don't tell me what you're thinking but my gut would say he's pulling himself up and again right now we're sort of focusing on that editorial pace um like what's happening in the picture where we're going to enter where is an appropriate place to enter with this um we'll call it the victim drone will try to develop that later um to me you're not quite sure what's happening yet you know and this is this is a moment where we have to kind of rely on just like a creative intuition I think would be way too obvious to just hit this big sound over as point himself up but you'll notice a z gets his footing you know any standing up he kind of comes to a stop he comes to a pause gathers his footing a little bit I would say this is still just minimal atmosphere and as he stands up we're gonna have the first victim drone enter and will create a transition into that next shot of the footsteps um so brooke's gonna mark that and when he's up yeah what do you say he gathers his putting it's not heroic so to speak but he's you know he's more established and I think that's a good time to sort of punctuate this character um and then provides a transition into the next shot in the foot steps so let's put the third you've got footing you've called it footing let's add that to number three but you're welcome to rename way no actually looks that way do not see eye to eye on names said well let's call this let's call this this's the the victim drone. Okay, this is the first time we hear that. Um what was that one? I feel like it was fifteen seconds in. You know that bounce around twenty. Okay, cool. Um the victim drones going to repeat are we going to worry about out point right now I think that's going to be fluid, let's, let's see where else it might I feel like it could work. Let's put one more as he's crossing that shot. I think there's something about repetition that could be important. I mean, if we just sit here and repeat the victim drone over and over because you see this guy walking through the desert it's gonna get way too monotonous at the same time is is once enough, this might make more sense as we actually plug in the drone. Um I'm going to say we introduce it twice you were just helping to establish that character it's nice wide shot um and you'll notice what's coming next is that source music so yeah it's a second drone again that first atmospheric element that's kind of going the whole time underneath this knowing that we can we can carve it away but that's creating a bed so I think I think this film is a great example for a few reasons like sound design he has captured enough sound design that's something for us to consider working around this footsteps at the beginning I mean, that is a character in and of itself um I think that your regular pattern and rhythm of those footsteps you know it indicates something's not right with this guy I think something's a little off um that is pretty much percussion and I mean there's not us right now there's not room for anything to rhythmic or to percussive we're going to leave as much room as you can for those footsteps than the next sort of sonic element that takes a big part that's already part of the picture is what brooke titled source source music being um music this part of the production is part of the story that's on screen so in this case it's rock n roll plane from the car stereo um in another scene in another film it could be, you know, dance music playing in the back of a club but it's something your intended to see and hear is part of the picture and if or something that we have to be really aware of and we have to work around dietetic music is another term if you heard that term before, I think it's the same thing just it's music that exist in the picture um rather than a score itself so there's a lot of considerations to make what key is the source music? And, you know, does that affect what key we start writing and do we want to write in a complimentary key where they start to work really well together or two? Well together, do we want to write in a, um, you know, contrasting key to create some distance of some separation between the score in the source music, but again, all we're doing right now is spot in the film, so let's, let's, listen to the source you'll notice halfway through the source music there's, another very distracting audio element that appears on picture no way, but now it's about that market. So brooke smart cell phone um, again, another on screen audio element we have to be aware of. We have to work around brooke let's back up one more time and just do that whole scene and let's mark that sort of dip in the source music it's interesting what they've done, they've source music appears when you see the van now it dips out of the way but it doesn't completely disappear I think what omar is trying to do is he's he's now providing a little distance with the source music but he's generating the idea that this guy's getting closer to this guy like they're getting closer in proximity but he's dipped the source music down so potentially that could allow room for more score um if it needs to be there and then it quickly shifts into an interior shot uh in the jeep itself so that interior shot like the source music is doing the work that's what needs to be there and that is now sort of this this we'll call him the driver um this driver's sort of theme the score fit in and around that source music maybe maybe not it's going to be challenging I think that that music is doing you know, all the work right there. Um and then we get up to cell phone. Okay? Okay. Okay. So the cellphone school because now we have a distraction and that's the moment you realized the others distraction with his driver and there's an impending collision that's what I'm getting from it that's going to be a point for us to really start considering attention and building that up um the cell phone itself is this obnoxious like ring tone and that is doing this this chaotic unexpected sort of musical work in and of itself I mean that's in some ways is going to help the score um and then back up and in brooks brooks noted stop when the jeep comes to a stop back up a few frames before that okay there's not a collision he has not you know he's not run over the victim um as soon as the tires come to a screeching halt there's a sense of safety at least the very next right here like, are you ok? Are you ok? There's there's a sense of you know they're not after each other there's an implied sense of safety at least I think what brooke and I would probably naturally do tell me if I'm wrong is like really start with cell phone and create um a big pretty overt ramp of tension and then release that quickly at the stop you know, I'm not all right, so for sake of time we're going to focus on this first segment and if we get into the interiors seem that we're making good time. We're in great shape, but we really want to spend time like showing you different elements and making sure they fit making sure they sound right we'll jump into a little bit of pre mixing and editing we'll focus on that in the next segment as well, but right now we just want to get you know, a list of elements in there that we think could work this is before we're even plane something this is just throwing ideas back and forth so we have a game plan when we start picking up instruments wait, do you have to plug? We've identified atmosphere I'm going to take a note of these there's oftentimes in addition to accuse you there's some sort of sketch pad um that's helpful and just taken notes and we'll do it sort of sort of chronologically atmosphere hand and I think we've said this is a victim drone so that's like a separate element we're going to build on its own which will probably be an iris and instrument and about four different layers and and I I resents instrument but that will be our purchase you just leave the second drone as they would probably be the same instrument right? That hope you they're going up until the g maybe is where we're ramping up so maybe that's just all one section with some dips and yeah, we don't need to make another q yeah right, that sounds good and then the next big sort of element we have to think about is um that ramp of tension that starts correct but now it's about maybe cell phone yeah it's around cell phone so again a ramp attention for us it probably in involves a pulse of some sort um kind of like the blue ruin heartbeat something that keeps momentum like there's a faster pace there's um you know, an increase in tempo so they'll be a pulse will have will introduce a good bit of like, low end a base element of some sort just could be a big stringed upright bass this could be a base synthesizer but you know, just to get started will call it low end um you know and we'll add I don't know two three other elements that start to really ramp invention reverses did you mention reverses earlier? Yeah, which could be a really cool trick we'll show you that you know, an instrument this is played pretty loud and aggressively and it sustains and then if you convert a reverse that that wave form um you create a ramp and yeah, just a second I just wanted to get some clarification on some terms that people are asking the chair I know that you guys just mentioned the term drone you quickly just clarify exactly what that means. We have some people in the chat, we're wondering what's a drunk yeah um and you guys I'm curious how you would describe a drone one long continuous note and that could take on so many different sonic sort of characteristics but it's kind of it's not going to drift too much melodically so literally one long sustained note and this is um this idea kind of came from the conversation with omar this's what he was looking for he referred to the score from the dark knight and that sort of joker drone he pictured the same thing on the victim here um and a drone could be anything from a synthesizer to the bull bull that we showed you I have a feeling we're probably going to try to generate a victim drone on the bobo uh is that how you guys who describe a drone yeah I mean as soon as you start moving and note from one to the next you're introducing a melody and I just think and omar think would agree um iran might be all this guy needs you know and I don't know if we need a theme for him our approach might not include too much melody is that clear long a long sustained note really of any length I think a drone by nature you start to think of long and long and long but we're going to keep these we're going introduce this twice it'll probably be a four second drunk if that's ok great now before we go on would you mind I know that you've been reading some things down on the white board anything there that you want to share with us do what you're writing down there I have the handwriting of a preschooler yeah we're going to hear your own personal file yeah but yeah, we've got the okay we get the victim drone then we've got into we've identified that's gonna happen twice let's do something like that. This is literally something I'm just as brooke is sort of working on a cue sheets I'm just sketching out ideas so we have a game plan of how to start to build these elements this is happening twice more often than not it's probably going to be a layer of sounds in irises were sort of you got that sort of you know we're sort of pre game and I can see then we get into this ramp what I'm gonna do and red is sort of like like visual things that are occurring we call that so phone it begins a ramp of tension um which will include a pulse is that going to work? We're not sure that could compete with the source music the rock n roll that's in the jeep we're going to try a pulse. We're going try low in just the base thing of some sort to us it reads as danger and like impending doom just something you know something deep um and then how about some high you know attention? Yeah, high tension we always use the word high tension it's just could that be a string? Could that be a synthesizer? Could that be the global again? Um but that's something that's going to help thiss ramp and then we'll release all of that tension it's not coming to like this this final moment of action again there's not a car collision no one got hit by the car it's coming to this release of tension where everyone's safe so we're gonna have this ramp kind of come to a screeching halt it seems like however they'll be a tale so it'll hangover naturally I mean it does you're going to notice that son really awkward of things just cut hard and fast right there we're going to a tale which will involve just like river bs the atmosphere presumably is still going to be going, but you're also giving the mixture of the option if they want a hard cut they could do that but you don't want to give him a little bit more and go past maybe where he needs where we think we might hear that is a great point about ends and out points that we're plugging into the kitchen q she um these air general guides of where we feel like naturally something should start and where we feel like naturally something should stop we kind of a long gait them and you'll see this on either end so we're giving the guys were mixing the film um a lot of flexibility they're going to be able to provide fades and provide much more accurate in points and outpoints um so we could sort of like spillover on either end of these in points and our points als with with more like media to work with this thing handles yeah instead of them handles um on the outpoint side of things we call them tales handles but you know think of it like a spillover where there's more media toe work with more audio files to work with that can always be trimmed in a little bit you know the worst thing you'd like to do now you could do now is maybe um not provide enough you know and then they have to say we have to start stretching things out copying and pasting easy for them to track this's giving them to everyone including ourselves a bit more media but more audio toe work with now um and so they have a hard stop and then um I think there's a few more shots before we get interior hey you okay way released like we're released tension of the impending collision but then the victim drops back to his knees you know we think everyone safe we're still not sure what's going on with this guy mark let's think what we'll call it a you know knees or something like that hey literally these air just talking points and notes for us something you give you ok? You ok? Yeah things are a little bit higher yeah he's collapsed here is he still conscious and still awake? What exactly is going on with him? There's someone here to help yeah, but we're not quite sure where he is I think we're going to introduce a bit more um I'm not going to call it doom what should we call this it's just sort of another element of tension this is not the same sort of collision tension that we've built up and released this just another unease e maybe a little bit of mystery to mystery um uneasy queasiness comes to mind so we're gonna think about just a pallet of sounds and a group of elements that could help you've called it knees I've run out of room but we would jot something down from these I think were going toe I think we're going to leave if knees like experimental we're not sure what we're going to do yet let's focus on the victim drone let's focus on the the sort of tension ramp we'll see what kind of elements we actually have in the session that sound cools and we're gonna work better than others and when we get to knees will sort of will have a well, you know palette of sounds were working with and we'll see what can what can work that could be, you know, an opportunity just to move things around andi when are we out brooke I think that might sort of be it he needs just sort of like segways into interior, so thinking of the larger score um as a whole, that interior transition is going to be a big shift for us let's try to get to that if we don't get to that that, you know, that's next on our list, but we're going to focus on the exterior stuff you want to try let's, let's look for just the basic tone analysts, because those blue ruin and green room examples toe like, just decide on basic tone that will help steer the atmosphere along. Um so what sort of talent we're trying to set again not a ton of information on the story, the character, the setting, but presumably we're in the desert of some sort someone's definitely alone right off the bat there is like, a solitary loneliness to it. Um again, there's wind yeah, and again, a bit of mystery there's not sort of a we're not we're not sure where we are in location. A lot of what we did on jeremy's movies was early on is like identifying a tone of location helps that set the mood. I think we talked about that for the role of the score. This is a very early example of just setting a tone of location we did for blue ruin and the notes we had from jeremy, where um beachy washing atlantic ocean solitary drifter that is sort of the intro to the scene the intro to the movie itself um and you know I think you give us a few days and he said just think about that just try to get that atmosphere in that tone captured as minimally as you can um this is like the first idea we came up with it is to courts way and then trips into the stabbing stuff but you know that was that was our approximation of just washing beachy nous and rather than later in a bunch of different tones in a bunch of instruments it opens up the movie and it just follows this loan character not too different from this film this loan character across the beach towards the atlantic ocean and we realized that's all it really needs jeremy really got attached to that q and the way it worked in that first cut we thought it was too simple are our feeling was like let's go back and really add to this and really developed this he allowed us to do that but it didn't work ultimately we resorted back to this very simple you know to note thing that is the opening scene of the movie so that's what we're kind of trying to do here is just is just pick a tone of location and that's going to become our atmosphere track number one I think this would be fun we just finished jeremy's second film, which is premiering this week its called green room rather than tell you the tone of the movie I think we're going to play just sort of our audio approximation of the tone and see if you guys have any idea of what it might be about what kind of mood we're trying to say so this is a theme from green room we called it weapons ready so I was a very different atmosphere that we tried to set for that's a different film um I don't know what did you guys get from it? Obviously very different than the blue ruin you know, general tone of sounds and atmosphere um doesn't give any indication of like, setting location story way of some people in the chat rooms I mean visy a says I get a very early escape from new york terminator eighties action flick five years very fast that that's poured in there yeah, I was thinking terminator too bad that that beat is very reminiscent of the bad fight we believe it's bad fidel did music for terminator does in the theme that yeah, ok it's that constant pulse yeah um and the tones themselves very different there's more layers it's more dense, very distorted tones. Yes, the film is about it's honestly follows like a punk rock band in this siege uh survival the horror thriller situation there's a lot of on screen punk rock source music like I said, so we were trying to develop a tone and a general palette of sounds that works well with that punk rock music you're seeing on screen you're watching these musicians play on stage in the movie itself so all of these tones are much more distorted like you might hear in punk rock we were able to get a little percussion into it that driving like uh wooden posts that we keep going um and unlike blue ruin, this movie has like a bigger scope, bigger stakes or higher there's a bigger cast of characters um what's also interesting they haven't picked up on that kind of eighties genre films and that was right from the get go almost that that was what he was going for it is like I'm making this film from our nineteen year old self and the movies that I used to watch and so there is a bit of a wink towards those knows it of a retro uh having genre film another one that just came in that I love brian c says an abandoned industrial war zone it's funny jeremy is referring to this movie as a war movie you know it feels like a siege some people are saying horror movie but in jeremy's idea it's a war movie um so obviously a very different tone then what we're trying to set here, the tone we're trying to say here, is similar to what we shared from blue ruin, you know, it's, this vast landscape, this, uh, lone victim in this case, um, and a little bit of mystery, we're not sure exactly what we're getting into, so I feel like we've. I feel pretty good about the kyushu. I mean, that's again. Some out points are to be determined, that's, normal. We got to start to see what's working and what doesn't work and revisit this and start to plug. Plug more info into this. We've gotta notes. Column. That's going to be helpful as we build instruments, we're going to keep track of what layers aaron iris or what plug ins or we go into, uh, what key are we in?

Class Description

A film’s score is so much more than background music. It creates a mood, shapes the story, and influences the way viewers interpret the action. In Modern Film Composing, Will and Brooke Blair ("The Blair Brothers") will examine the art and illuminate the science of scoring moving media.

You can hear The Blair Brothers’ work in award-winning features (from indie films to Disney), documentaries, commercials, and television shows. 

In this class, they’ll share their expertise and help you:

  • Find the style and tone of music that best suits your film 
  • Create dynamic musical elements that fall within your budget 
  • Improve your collaboration with composers
During the class, Will and Brooke will also score two CreativeLive student films – one prepared in advance and one scored live on air – to lend an artistic insider's view to the film scoring process and results. The Blair Brothers will also discuss their professional trajectory and how they maintain careers as composers. 

Composing music for a film can be an intimidating process for both filmmakers and composers, in this class you’ll learn practical strategies for approaching your project and producing a final product that fits your artistic intention.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Materials

Cue Sheet Template.pdf

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Will and Brooke Blair - Home Studio Gear Guide.pdf

-UNTITLED- Film - Audio

GREEN ROOM Score Proposal.pdf

Wll and Brooke Blair -RESURRECTO- Pro Tools

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Will Blair

Thanks to everyone at CreativeLive for helping produce our workshop - and thanks for everyone at home for taking a look!