Film Scoring – The Journey – Day 4 – Official Biz

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Saturday morning about 10:28am – rainy, but expected (glad I got the front and the rear lawn mowed). It’s been a busy work week so I’m glad the weekend is here, From a scoring standpoint, it was a bust though. Wednesday night I gave it ago, but starting at 10:15pm was to no avail, especially since I’s still learning Logic Pro X and can’t yet navigate it as quickly as with Logic Pr 9. I had an idea for this third and final submission idea for the theme music but I just couldn’t find what I wanted to quickly in the software. Add to that, I was having some unusual application freezes, which slowed the process down. About 10:40pm here comes the frustration and the fact I knew I had to get up at 5pm….oh well.

Thursday was a bit different (though I didn’t actually get into the studio). The official contract came back signed from the director. Everything was agreed to, so that was cool. With that, she also sent me a private link to a demo her and the videographer/music supervisor put together. This demo was actually Episode 1 which she used for a quick presentation at her alma mater.The demo included not only some stock theme music but some cue music for a few scenes in the episode. What was cool about this was that the demo the supervisor chose as a place holder for the theme music was essentially the same idea I had recorded, so that let me know I was on the right track. In addition, cue music in for the scenes were essentially placed in the same place I chose, another sign of thinking in the same lane. All of that was encouraging, as the more you’re inline with the director’s vision for music the better.

So, this weekend I’ll continue to work on cue music for Episode 2, but mainly focus on getting more familiar with Logic Pro X and incorporating the use of various plugins I have, and will use. Speed always helps in getting this type of creative job done.

Quick shout out to a few friends who gave me some opinions (and examples) as answers to a question I had about what kind of music they would expect to hear in watching a certain scene. This type of scene I never thought about writing to because, despite seeing many “variations” of it, in TV shows and movies, I never paid attention to the music. “What kind of scene is it?”, you may ask…stay tuned to future blog posts, I’ll post and talk about the answer in the future.

For now, peace….


Film Scoring – The Journey – Day 3 – On and on….

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Greetings readers. 12:28am Monday morning, and yes I work today (why do I do this to myself….?). Pressed forward a lttle more last night. I’m pretty much complete with the second idea for the film’s theme music. A third idea should cap it off for now and will allow time to discuss all three with the director in the near future.

Last night it was back to going over notes on tracks for scenes in the first two episodes. As said before, I have ideas/cocepts for what I think will sound good, time to start recording this week and see how they manifest….should be interesting.

This alarm clock will be going off before I know it, needless to say, this is a short post …. (now I’m hungry…sigh).

Have a great week.


Film Scoring – The Journey – Day 2 – Forward Motion

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Hope all is well. As mentioned in my last post, I’m working with rough footage from episodes 1 and 2 of this webseries I’ve been asked to score. Watching them daily is a habit I need to adopt, as it will surely allow me to develop a “oneness” for composing the right music – something that I think is more at the forefront than any other aspect of this.

Admittedly, I am pretty much meticulous note taker, always making log entries in my studio notebook of a great deal of things that go on in here – troubleshooting, song ideas, article references, phone calls with other artists and producers, the whole nine, all logged by date and sometimes time of day. That said, I think the pages will fill up fast. (Aside: This note taking habit as been with me for decades, instilled in me by my first boos of the career, a SES (Senior Executive Service) Program Manager of the naval satellite program I worked on as young engineer. He trained all of us junior engineers to always keep daily notes of what we are working on to maintain traceability and identify key points during our project;s development lifecycle. I still have some of those government-issued green notebooks given to us 🙂 )

So, the tools, what am I using? My digital audio workstation (DAW) is Logic Pro X. I’ve been using Logic since v7 (Logic Express 7.2, to be exact) and never looked back. it wasn’t until I got Logic 9 that I started doing minor video scoring (short movie of Vine time-lapsed clips I put together for a track I composed). I need to get up to speed on Alchemy. this fantastic new synth that is now part of Logic X as I hear it has some good sounds that lend themselves to movie scoring. As for plugins, I use a number of Native Instrument products – Maschine, Massive, Komplete Select, and now Evolve Mutations 1 and 2, recently cross licensed to Native Instruments for purchase. The bundle has always been popular for movie scoring, specifically science fiction and action-type scenes, but its flexibility allows for it to exceed that. NI recently had them on sale a few months ago, so I thought it’d be a good first investment to use in the scoring arena.

To date, I have one idea complete for the series’ theme music – that track will lie over the series title sequence. It surprisingly came quicker to me than I thought, so I’m kinda amped about that. I got the nod of approval from my SRRC (Senior Resident Creative Consultant aka wife LOL). My JRCC (Junior Resident Creative Consultant aka daughter) will be home from college next month, so I’ll have to see what she says…LOL. After this second idea is done, I’ll transition back to working on the bridging music for both episodes as that music are just ideas in my head, notes in the studio log so far. I hope I can transfer what I hear in my head to a listener’s ears. We’ll see.

That’s about it for now, time to get back to it.

Thanks for the read…


Film Scoring – The Journey – Day 1 – The Background

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Greetings readers, thanks for stopping by.

This is the first of many planned posts that I’m sharing with you regarding my foray in to film scoring. I ope you come along for the ride. Most of you reading this post already know me as a musician, composer, songwriter, producer and home studio owner (for those of you that don’t, check the About Me page here on my website). That said, I’ll start this debut post with some back fill as to how I took the first step on this journey…bear with me.

My first steps (or should I say crawl) took place about two years ago. My cousin asked me to score a 10 minute film that he and his friends shot. This film was to be submitted to an international film festival. I jumped at the opportunity because I had never done music-to-film before and figured, “Why not? It can’t be that hard”. After I started I found the complete opposite to be true. Couple that with the fact i was unemployed and constantly looking for a main 9-5 again, it didn’t work out.

Fast forward to last year, my current PR gal, Felicia Hodges, turned me on to her cousin, who happens to be a screenwriter that has heard my releases and work in progress tracks on my Soundcloud account. Next thing I know, I’m being asked to score the music for her webseries which is already in production. I, being in a better space than I was with my previous try, jumped on it again. Doing so made me realize that, despite getting another crack at this, found it is no more easier than it was before.

Scoring music to film is not like writing and producing music for yourself. That music for the film must be synergistic with the visuals that lie atop the music, so it helps convey the story in the way the screenwriter intends, as well as delivering the essence of what is going on at every place music is used to convey whatever is meant to be conveyed. That is no easy feat, but I have been told by mentor to “make it fun and enjoy what you’re doing: (more on him later).

Prior to writing this, I’ve received rough video for the first two episodes as well as the title sequence (the opening video for each episode). I (as I usually take this logical approach) have been reading a lot articles and spending time collecting YouTube videos for reference. So far, surprisingly, the juices are flowing 🙂

In these posts, I’ll go in to some detail about the composition tools I’m using (my music production friends will love that), as well my own feelings. I’m excited but I admit my confidence level is not where I wanted to be yet …guess I need to correlate this to learning how to ride a bile – gotta start off with training wheels.

Much thanks in advance to my mentor, various composers and music producers on Facebook that were more than glad to spend time sharing their thoughts and advice – it’s highly appreciated – more of who they are is forthcoming,

Last night I completed the first musical idea for the aforementioned title sequence and have an idea for another. My in-house creative consultant (bka wife) likes what she’s heard so far for that. As for the bridging music for the first two themes, I’ve got detailed notes written down in studio log…..let’s see if I can translate what I hear in my head to what everyone else will hear (and see) for the video. The challenge begins.

In the next post, I’ll elaborate a little more on what’s been done and how, as well as the tech side of what I’m using, tool wise.

Thanks for bearing with my “long windedness” and thanks for the read as well.