Skip to main content

Modern Film Composing

Lesson 1 of 17

Modern Approach to Film Composing

Will and Brooke Blair

Modern Film Composing

Will and Brooke Blair

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

1. Modern Approach to Film Composing


  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

Modern Approach to Film Composing

Welcome to the next generation of film education, the creative live film channel. My name is robert malala's o on the head of the film channel here, creative love were honored and thrilled that you would be with us online and here in the studio as well. We have really smart, incredibly dedicated group of students, and we're really excited today to launch a new live course. The film channel is is the youngest of the channels here, so we're trying to put our best foot forward, and today I think we're putting more than a foot, maybe two feet, maybe hand maybe a chin with modern film composing, instructed by two instructors call modern from composers you before we introduced them properly, I would say, you know, we're kind of living in this golden we talk about the golden age of writing and tv, I think we're in a golden age of composing more so than ever. Composers come from different traditions, whether they're classically trained or not with the starting bands or not, eh? So we're really...

excited to have our course today with you and featuring our two guest instructors next round of applause for will them, brooke blair way make of that idea that we're kind of in this great age of film, composing and especially, you know, you guys come out of a bands tradition you had a band but what do you think about that? I totally agree and that's something we're going we're going to touch on in a minute here yeah since we got started we've seen things shift pretty dramatically in both you know the business and and the craft itself yeah and open up plenty of opportunities for new young voices and some of our favorite musicians air composing now jonny greenwood a lot of crossover yeah held yesterday you know, death punk so you know, we're hoping and I'm thinking these skills now controls like more easily than ever or at least more readily than ever a couple of small pieces before I get out of the way and introduce another member of our team in the studio we have a couple of really exciting add ons to this course one is you guys are going to score well what too small too short pieces that we solicited from our our students online one that you've already kind of worked within scored and I wanted to introduce that filmmaker because I call him the filmmaker whether he calls himself that is with us in the studio you could be working showing the fruits of your labor having sex ford pieces of of a film created by noah who's with us no noah from here in california right now not too far away thank you for joining us on how you feeling I'm feeling pretty good. Yeah excited yeah and you haven't seen anything? They don't I have not nothing at all so this is opening night for you exactly awesome on dh we also have another film that you scored that we're going to score kind of on the spot right? Which I'm curious to see how that way way don't know much about the film itself but we're looking for and that happens a times professionally the red you kind of in the mix and you have you don't have a lot of time to premeditate you just kind of toe work off what you see is that every project is different, but yes scheduling congee part of the challenge is having to jump into it often what we find ourselves doing omar lopez eyes the other filmmaker he'll be communicating with us through we got a skype call later he's in mexico so we're excited to expand our user base is, well, a question for the students here with us who in here would call themselves a composer of music awesome who and here would call themselves a filmmaker? Not not per se a composer, I think that's great I mean, I think we've kind of lined it up right that this is not that there's an agnostic sort of thing going on now with new movies and music and and I think you're we're honored to have you here. Thanks. Thanks for having you guys excited. Yeah, go enjoy having good. Thank you. Thanks, guys. This is great. Brooke and I were talking and, you know, we do work in a very fast pace and collaborative aspect of post production a lot of external input, but oftentimes, like the bulk of the work is the two of us with their heads down in a room on. So this is a treat to have, like a bunch of new faces, new perspectives. Like chris said, we love it to be as a conversation this interactive as you like questions feedback when we tell people we do oftentimes we get the same siri's of questions. How does it actually work? What are you actually doing? How does the score get put together? How did you get into it in first place? And how do you continue to find new work? Um and I think what's been really cool about putting this workshop to the other is for the first time we've been able to step back and really analyze and kind of deconstructs our process what's been really insightful for us the past few months getting everything together and yesterday, a process someone in here described the process is what seems kind of like a venn diagram where normally unrelated disciplines kind of meet um I think a big part of what we do is emotional awareness and empathy for collaborators but also for the characters were working with a lot of technical precision goes into it on a lot of detective work and that comes to sort of finding work itself but working with the film and all of that sort of meets around making music so there's a lot to cover today we've tried to convince it and keep it moving along um get started, we're goingto go over some basic tools these are things that we've picked up along the way tangible tools, musical ideas and just general concepts destruct thinking about music and in a way that could fit into film professional approaches these are things that helpful for us to keep your workflow organized to keep finding new work and perhaps treat your work as a small business uh creative best practices these air just siri's of of habits and exercises that we'd like to they're going to keep our chops kind of sharp on and keep us improving upon our work world's going over some of the technical aspects of recording a score, we'll discuss our project studio um we'll go over some of the tools the instruments, the plug ins, the effects we is it will go through the entire process of recording a score from beginning all the way till delivery of final score and then as robert mentioned we'll be doing it live again we don't know much about the film but we're excited that'll be a big section in the middle of the day is broke mention we're going to start from scratch from the very beginning um working with the director remotely through revisions uh up to delivering the final score and I think we wrap up the day with a with a short film premiere who's this for I think robert made a great point that this is not just for you know emerging composers or musicians it's great some of you guys were here it is for musicians songwriters looking for a way maybe to transition into film composing a za career change may be just a supplement it's definitely for filmmakers I think that's great that there's directors here I hope there's directors producers working watching at home just to get inside look at the process maybe develop a bigger better vocabulary with your composers um its fulfillment disease fans of film we grew up really enjoying behind the scenes special features so whether that's special effects or stunts um an inside look at a creative process of filmmaking it's for fans of that a little background about us quickly um I think it's very similar probably a lot of modern composers get started we grew up in the late seventies early eighties so he grew up with john williams star wars indiana jones jaws jaws of course and eighty and as young kids we were we were interested in music. We're interested in creative processes. We were aware of the power of music and film those scores big orchestral, sweeping arrangements that prominent in the mix um they're a parent and obvious and they work really well um we were we were immediately aware that there are big character of the film itself. We got a little older we started exploring music on our own started putting different bands together, learning how to play mostly self taught a little bit of formal instruction and as we got into maybe junior high school where like moody teenagers with I stumbled across a show called twin peaks which just like the original true detective this david lynch story set in a fictitious oregon town and david lynch's frequent composer collaborators angelo but ultimately I think I'm saying his name right and we immediately became aware that it's not just orchestral arrangements and orchestral instrumentation um I needed to put a compelling score together. The score for twin peaks is synth driven, haunting vocals jazzy at times very minimal at times played a huge role in setting that eerie, creepy mood. We immediately became aware that that's something that we could do we would like to explore more continued playing in bands mostly apart from each other older brother older brother finally let me join his band later in high school by the time we got in college, we scored her first. Few short films were around a community of students. The best way to start scoring films. Most of them were zombie films, horror films, there's, a way to get started, letting gets by two thousand seven, we scored her first feature film, um, so that's a little bit about us, and I think it's again, similar to a lot of people that are doing the same thing. Any of the composer's, here's, anyone show of hands like played in a band growing up, playing in the band. Yeah, it's sort of it's sort of segue right into this, probably in a natural, but also at times, uncomfortable way. I imagine it's a tough transition to make, um, and you've recorded yourself probably at home in some fashion. Yeah, a lot of people don't probably have in show of hands who just enjoys movies like watching movies and getting lost in a story like that's, all of us. So, yeah, we like to think this is for everyone here.

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!