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Diary 12: Creative project management

May 17, 2017

This is where it all started, the script: This was a new approach for me to compose based on text and the six stories. It was exciting to adopt this new way of thinking about music; where I first imagine and interpret the story in my mind instead of just looking at the video.  Music makers like Ennio Morricone, Trent Reznor and Jòhan Jòhansson, just to name a few, has had this kind of approach when composing to film. Danny Elfman for example likes to visit the film sets, but mentions, that if the film is lacking a clear vision, it can be challenging to adopt this way of working. Some composers refuse to start composing before seeing the picture, arguing that it creates a lot of unnecessary work. This is because the imagined film, based on reading the script, usually is very different to the end result in reality. There is evidence, that this sort way of composing is not in fashion in teaching composition for film. After discussing this approach with the director of composition at the National Film and Television School, I was told, that teaching about this way of working is 'not necessary'. It it is indeed a very different workflow if you are used to read the picture, however, I do think differently to this statement. It gives a lot more space for the composer to affect the film and bring something different to it. That said, there can be said to be valid reasons for choosing not to take this approach, if the project follows the industry standards and professionalism, as well as involves a budget. I found that reading a feature length script is indeed like reading a book, it is a lot to take in and you need to be able to spot the most important pages and parts of the film and imagine everything based on just text and discussions with the director.



I like to see the whole project I'm working on in front of me. I have done this all my life, even as a kid, I used to ditch the paper and draw on walls and furniture. You run out of space and end up with several pieces of something instead of one coherent piece of art. Because I can't write on walls that I'm renting, I attempted to manage the creative aspects of the project with post-it notes:



That was the whole film on my wall, and made it much easier comprehend. However, the post-its kept falling off, so I went back to my usual way of drawing things on wall:


 I'm not being sponsored by the whiteboard-sticker company, but this was only 8 pounds form Amazon. I have stuck to this way of managing the project, as it is really easy to draw new connections and ideas between the film elements and the musical ideas as they change. I kept on track with the producer and the director on a regular basis, and when I heard of any changes in the film I could easily apply them on this mind map.





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