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Modern Film Composing

Lesson 4 of 17

Continuing Education

Will and Brooke Blair

Modern Film Composing

Will and Brooke Blair

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Lesson Info

4. Continuing Education


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 The Role of a Score Duration:07:55
4 Continuing Education Duration:08:21
5 Building Your Home Studio Duration:21:35
7 Develop Your Voice Duration:04:25
8 Spot the Film Duration:52:34
9 Focus on Instrumentation Duration:38:15
12 Create Stems for Delivery Duration:02:36
14 Getting Your First Job Duration:16:28
15 Working Remotely Duration:26:41
17 The Composer's Philosophy Duration:04:17

Lesson Info

Continuing Education

Continue education we sort of move this segment around a little bit couldn't fit at the end of today yes, like here's some things to think about here some recommended reading and I go teach yourself we think it's important to follow identifying your strengths and here's why the previous list? There are things that some of us are going to feel we lack maybe maybe it's a musical thing it's an instrumental thing maybe it's a text rain maybe it's comfortable marketing yourself and right there when you feel like you're lacking something there's there's that voice of fear and resistance that like pops in that says this is why you you might not be able to do this. Um we like to think about this early on um you know as a way to notice what, what you might be lacking and how to keep brushing up on those for example music theory it's important and it does relate to film music quite a bit. It does sound like a strict set of rules and a lot of math and a lot of homework and in some ways it is but ...

getting a basic sense of theory and a basic foundation of it now trying to build upon that as you continue to score it's only going to help you kind of in the long run a specific a specific example of theory and how it could help and composing um writing outside of your cultural comfort zone or your genre that you're most familiar with, so we'll get into the idea of, like developing your voice, developing the sound that you do it's probably going to based in your likes and dislikes, you know, it's going to be based on the music you like to listen to, um, hopefully we'll find a job where you were asked to push outside of that you're asked to right outside of your comfortable genre, for example, a you know, a turn of the century irish war moving comes your way, and they're looking for somewhat a score that's, that's influenced by traditional irish folk music and it's, not something you grew up listening to and it's not something you're not familiar with. A sense of theory will help you get in study that style of music, study that world of music, analyze it, pick it apart and sort of quickly find ways to compose the nets in your own style. I think that's that's where theory could help and there are, you know, incredible college programs that could help you get that there's all sorts of things online to start getting a general sense of theory together notation and orchestration I think, um, I read music and brooke doesn't think you can get through a lot of scores without noting I think they'll be project that will require you to no tater output a score some sort of published a transcription of your work I this is with me at all times essential dictionary of orchestration I think was on amazon for three dollars and ninety nine cents I totally recommend it um a lot of what we do is quick and synth driven and middie based, but we try to incorporate live instruments when we can we're working on a project right now a documentary that calls for, um a big foundation that we do on her own again with since but it live cello player in alive violent player, which I didn't come notated for in quite a while I brushed up it helped move things along yes, uh suffers way do finale, but where we also there's a score editor function in pro tools, we'll get into that where it is a super quick way to translate your midi performance, which will explain into a notated piece of music. But we also often have issue of of music notation paper so um and taking notes with a pencil and eraser like recording in production so this I think might address your question we're again you need because there's two of us and we've been able to sort of divide and and jump into different things brooke has really impressively jumped on the recording in production side of things since we got the feedback from jeremy that that's something we need to work on think it just comes more naturally to you and um in some ways you enjoy it more and I think that's important and what are some places you've looked you know to improve a recording our editing the text out of things a lot it was the mixing side um figure out how to improve our mixes a lot of that was just going back to the drawing board and identifying problems and then quick google search and figuring out um you know, finding some videos or reading material that you know you kind of brush up on and then try examples myself this is a little on the tax side but we example that was something we found ourselves using quite a bit in our scores we're pulses um which are pretty easy with synthesizers you know they're kind of like the gentle pumping adding a tempo into a sound that can kind of push scenes along and give it a rhythm without maybe relying on percussion that's something for ourselves doing a lot of and a lot of these programs we use have sort of like in the box pulses electronica generators pulse is there synth driven and they have a certain tonal character to them that works and this you know, we were looking for organic you know howto acoustic wilson that's organic and maybe something that's droned out are long, long decays how couldn't get that kind of move a bit more so that was just a problem we identified how can we get that how we make that happen very much and so that was just figuring out online looking for example, of how to do that and detective work I won't get too too techie about but how we do that was using a noise gate um on the instrument and maybe using it click track or something rhythmic to trigger the noise get to go on off effectively volume, you know, going on off really quickly on dh maybe speeding up, ramping up for certain scenes that, um increased tension and that was just figuring out and then trying it a couple times and now it's something that finds its way into a lot of what we're doing. What dog are you ok, so you're not using anything else and then dumping into pro tools no right here that's something we're gonna be ableto definite touch on that that's and I feel like a lot of here a lot of composers using logic and maybe more midi friendly programs. Well, this is just something we kind of naturally fell into and ultimately it's where the score is going to end up on the dub stage anyway so there's we didn't find the work flow is kind of natural yeah hotels is the industry standard for the least the mixing the final mixing of film so we found there's a lot of compatibility with delivery proton's files to, you know, final pro tools mixed stage um we'll definitely jump in a pro tools I think like any second now one of the thing to think about as faras continuing sort of a general education as a composer is just filmmaking in general again, our approach craftsman approach to it is we want to be part of this larger collaborative team you'll start to realize you're working with all sorts of different departments in the filmmaking process, especially the post production aspect so we're working with sound designers quite a bit fully artists the final mix guys um and of course you're working with directors and producers the whole time the best way to sort of get comfortable with that process is to explore other departments of filmmaking azad composer I think it might not be enough just to just to write great music and apply it to picture I think there's a larger conversation that's going on and have a better sense of what you're talking about and who you're talking to I can only help, so I think we just enjoy that as well we like we like the bigger picture approach we'd like tio consider self storytellers and be a part of the team in that way

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.


Will Blair

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