Consequences: Composing from different character perspectives

The first track on my album Journey is called Consequences and comes from my score for the feature film Sasquatch (2016). Writing this piece taught me a lot about character points of view and I’d like to share with you what I learnt. To avoid major spoilers, I’ve changed the names of the characters, but you’ll still find a few minor spoilers ahead. Be warned!


MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

During the film there is an accident with a gun and someone, lets call them Brian, ends up shot and bleeding out in the arms of John. Standing around them are two of their friends, holding each other.

From John’s point of view (and the nearby friends) the scene is obviously very sad. And this is the point of view that the music takes. However, initially I had scored this from the point of view of Brian. As Brian speaks his last words, he is not afraid. Instead he is almost hopeful. He lost someone very close to him, but sees death as an opportunity to see them again, and reassures his friends that he will be alright. So we have the same scene, with two different points of view and approaches. My first approach was to score the scene from Brian’s perspective, which you can hear below.

However, a week before we had to submit the final version of the film, I was asked to rewrite the music from John’s perspective. And thus the piece was born in its current form.

The final version, which I called Consequences, is a lot more minimal in it’s approach. And I was amazed at how strongly the music was able to say so much with just a few simple notes.


My First Soundtrack Release!

Whilst you can’t yet watch the film, I wanted to celebrate my first short film score with a free downloadable soundtrack.

Friend Request is a 20 minute short film that I wrote 15 minutes of music for, in just 2 weeks. This is technically my second film score, as I actually started working on a feature film before this. However, that’s still in post production, hence I’m posting this one first. For the feature, I was writing an average of 5 minutes of music a week, so I was really pushing myself with Friend Request. Professional film composers write on average, 2 to 3 minutes of music a day, which is what I always try and aim for now. Although working a full time job obviously means I can’t quite produce as much per week as they would.

It was just 18 months ago that I actually started learning how to write music, so the completion of this film has been a big milestone for me. And I was lucky enough to watch the film at the O2 Cineworld in London a couple of weeks ago, where hearing my score on the big screen was such a wonderful experience and a great way to mark this achievement in my composing career.

We’ll soon be submitting the short to film festivals, when I’ll hopefully be able to share the film with you. But until then, I hope you enjoy the music, and please do share it with your friends 🙂

Keeping Up With Technology

I recently spotted an advert online seeking a composer for a short film. The job was unpaid but you needed to submit some of your work, as well as list your experiences. Well most of my work is still in progress and my experience is lacking, therefore I decided to write a score for the teaser trailer that was included with the advert. I’d give myself one weekend to complete the project. If the piece ended up being good then I could submit it with my application, and if I got the job then brilliant, but if not then it would still be good practice. After all, I didn’t feel 100% ready to write to picture, so it was more of a test if I could actually do it.

I imported the video into Logic Pro X and begun exploring some of the different electronic instruments in Logic that I could use in my score. I don’t have the equipment to record live instruments or the money to buy amazing orchestral samples, so Logic’s electronic instruments seemed like a good way to go. However, problem one: the video wouldn’t play back smoothly. A pain in the ass, but… I guess I’d just have to work with it. It wasn’t long before I was stopped in my tracks again. This time Logic simply stopped working. Why? Because my MacBook Pro was sizzlingly hot! The spinning wheel of death came on screen so I couldn’t do anything. Normally the problem is solved by waiting… So I waited… In fact I even went and washed the dishes! I came back and there was no change. So it would seem my 2010 MacBook Pro isn’t cut out for scoring movies! I thought it would be me that wasn’t ready to score to picture, but it turned out it’s my computer that isn’t ready!

500x_macbook-on-fire

Unfortunate I can’t afford a new Mac at the moment, but I’ve still got plenty I can get on with in terms of writing and learning. Nevertheless, I’m going to have to solve this problem eventually, as I won’t make any progress as a film composer if I can’t even score a one minute video!

A New Beginning

Welcome to my revived and repurposed blog. This is a blog about my sudden impulsively contemplated decision to switch careers, from filmmaker to film composer. Unfortunately my compositional skills are in their infancy, so this is where I’ve decided to blog about my journey to Hollywood!

In sharing what I learn along the way, I hope to keep track of my progress and push myself to learn more, taking that next step closer to my ultimate goal. As time moves on my posts will undoubtably evolve, so stick with me as I follow my dream, and if you’ve not started, then start following yours!