Well before I provide some final thoughts, I figured I’d share the music I came up with for the film project. (Click on the song names to download, or on the newly implemented audio player!)
In The Dark — This was the first thing that I came up with. After leaving the initial story meeting, I was feeling a sorta serious and mysterious mood was going to be prevalent. While this was not used in the final cut of the film, it did get my mind back into recording. The song is a slow repetition of pianos and atmospherics, then subsequently reversed, filtered, and processed like hell. I like it, though maybe its not quite right for this weekend, but rather more suited for a horror or western or sci fi picture.
Horror String Orchestral — Another rejected song idea, though this one is clearly rooted in the lo fi 80s slasher movie genre… I picture a really haunting horror movie title opener set to this with plenty of gore and melodramatic overacting. Maybe next time.
Alex’s Mallets — Named after an old high school friend with the same name, this was by far the favourite of the team. Compared to the previous two, this one is certainly a bit more upbeat, quirky and though repetitive, extremely catchy. At times, especially when used in a particular scene, this theme borders on darkly demonic, like a sicko circus clown theme, but maybe that’s just because I’ve heard it a million times in the last 24 hours. One aspect I like a lot is the shaker, which turned about to be the hardest track to get a good sounding recording from. Makes me wonder how people mic that type of percussion without accidentally hitting the microphone like I did.
Theme For a Drinking Establishment — One type of music I knew we were going to need was background music for a bar and a party. The former, this theme, is a standard, shoegazey rocker that I thought would be something one might hear playing on the bar’s music system. Intended to be mildly generic wallpaper, it actually came out pretty well when mixed down really low.
The Long Walk Home — This one which was also used in an earlier bar scene, was originally envisioned as a introspective, mopey ‘I’m walking alone b\c I’m sad’ noir thing. It has a little of bit of a jazz feel because of the melody on celeste and some faint melancholy strings to fill out the rather simple guitar chord progression on this.
There was a last minute drum loop of some break beats that I mixed from samples for the party scene, but it’s not really worth posting because I didn’t really write per se, but just arrange for some background filler noise as if it was music being played at the party. I also have quite a bit of aborted or under-developed themes and scratch tracks but certainly nothing worth showing off in this space.
When all is said and done, I estimate about 60 to 90 seconds of music was used in the near 6minute film… but I think in the scenes they inhabit, it works well. As I wrap up this process, I think the challenge itself is pretty daunting, but a rewarding one — not only for the music creation, which in many ways just felt like crafting songs for our EP series, but for just pulling together so many things to get the project done.
It certainly has made me want to try to make a short film of my own, or at least one that has a plot or point I can actually recognize more clearly. Still cool to be involved.