Scoring to Film, Part 1

It was about a month ago that I was first approached about writing an acoustic guitar score for an indie documentary film. I was very excited about the possibilities but also, a bit nervous as I had never attempted to do that before. I got the opportunity thanks to my friend Lydia Ashton, an incredible composer that I met via the TAXI online forum site (see, ANOTHER reason to consider TAXI). She and I had been working on another project together (which I'll blog about in the future once it's all finalized) when she asked me about assisting her with a documentary that she was working on.

Before I could start on it, I had a phone call with the producer of the film. We went over some of the things he was hoping to hear music-wise in the section that I would be working on, as well as some general background info. It was a great conversation and I was excited to get started right away.

Later that night he sent me a video with the time code display box of the section of the film that I would be scoring, along with some examples of songs/sounds that he was looking to hear for various sections. I also had a copy of the entire film with the temp tracks in place so that I could hear a general idea of what the producer had in mind.

Before I actually spoke to him, I did some research to try and get a gauge on the types of questions I should be asking. I wanted to be prepared. So based on that research, one of my first questions to him was "How married are you to the temp tracks that you used?"

I had read a few stories where some producers had gotten so used to the temp tracks that anything else that was used, just didn't work for them, and they would end up licensing the temp tracks in the end. So I wanted to know what kind of battle I was in for. And while he did like the feel of the temp tracks, he was certain that he wasn't married to any of them.

So armed with the freedom that knowledge provided, I began the process of writing the score.

More to come in Part 2!

Until next time...
- Big Blue

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