Film Production – Composer’s Journal

Creative Commons image Day 40 Piano duet by David Mulder at Flickr
Creative Commons image Day 40 Piano duet by David Mulder at Flickr

The music composer role is responsible for creating or composing the music (vocal or instrumental) for the film. Although the student may receive assistance in the creation of the sound, it is the responsibility of the music composer to create, direct, collect and assemble the soundtrack for the film. The music composer’s primary role is during the post-production phase; however, they will play an important role in the pre- production and production phase as they help plan the film.

– Film Assessment Clarification Document 2015 (PDF)

Scott Murphy’s Four Easy Steps to Film Music

The images below are from the video How to Imitate a Whole Lot of Hollywood Film Music In Four Easy Steps by Scott Murphy

Ten Major – Minor Triad Combinations

Major Minor Chord Combinations for Movie Music

Major Triad Chord Structure

Major Chord 4-3

Minor Triad Chord Structure

Minor Chord 3-4

M5m Chord Triad Combination

M5m Chords

 

Film Music in Four Easy Steps Worksheet

Goal

  • Create a journal documenting each stage of film production

Product

  • Create blog posts (3 total) with embedded media evidence for each of three production stages.

Examples

  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production

Explanation

  • Students need to conduct extensive research for the IB Film projects and need experience moving through the workflow of producing films

Production Steps Evidence Requirements

Pre-production Blog Post

Include all of the the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  1. Brainstorm with the team regarding IDEAS, GENRE, CONCEPTS and GROUP INTENTIONS.
  2. Research the chosen GENRE and any INFLUENCES for the production of the film, IDENTIFYING CONVENTIONS and DEVELOPING STYLE for the film.
  3. Research INFLUENCES from films that have been seen – name the COMPOSER.
  4. Research any SOUND EQUIPMENT or SOFTWARE necessary for the specific production.
  5. Go over the SCRIPT and make NOTE of WHERE MUSIC WILL BE NEEDED.
  6. Collaborate with the director and the writer on the MOOD and TONE for each scene and where music will play.
  7. Decide on SOUNDTRACK ELEMENTS and how it will match the KEY, INSTRUMENTATION, ARRANGEMENT, TIMBRE, PACE, STYLE/GENRE, and/or MOOD of EACH SCENE (including justification of choices).
  8. Plan MUSIC associated with CHARACTERS and decide how this will DEVELOP DURING THE FILM.
  9. Write on SCRIPT /STORYBOARD with NOTES REGARDING MUSIC CHOICES, Identify WHERE, HOW, and WHY you BUILD and RELEASE TENSION MUSICALLY and how this SUPPORTS the DYNAMICS OF THE SCENE/FILM
  10. Pitch MUSIC IDEAS of EACH SCENE to sound designer and director, explain your MUSICAL STRUCTURAL CHOICES
  11. Collaborate with the editor to discuss PACE, MOOD and TIMING of EACH SEQUENCE to help in PLANNING SOUNDTRACK.
  12. Create SHEET MUSIC, SONG LYRICS and/or any other MUSICAL PLANNING COMPOSITION COMPONENTS for the soundtrack.
  13. Make NOTES and/or SCHEDULE for the BAND, SOUND COMPOSER or MUSICIANS regarding PACE, GENRE, MOOD, and so on.
  14. Create CHECKLIST of EQUIPMENT REQUIRED for RECORDING SOUNDTRACK.

Production Blog Post

Include all of the the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  1. Record the MUSICAL SCORE or SOUNDTRACK required for the film.
  2. Create the AUDIO MIX of INSTRUMENTS and VOCALS.
  3. Make NOTES on any PROBLEMS DURING RECORDING and HOW THEY WERE SOLVED.
  4. Collect, store and organize all SOUND MATERIAL to be accessible to the editor and director, as needed.
  5. Keep a DAILY LOG of WORK ACCOMPLISHED and QUESTIONS for other members of the team.
  6. Communicate with the cinematographer about QUALITY OF SOUND PICK-UP during the shoot, especially if the soundtrack and dialogue are going to overlap.

Post-production Blog Post

Include all of the the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  1. Keep a DAILY LOG of WORK ACCOMPLISHED during post-production and any QUESTIONS for other members of the team.
  2. Collaborate with the editor to determine the ASSEMBLY OF THE SOUNDTRACK.
  3. Provide an OPPORTUNITY for the team to view the film and OFFER FEEDBACK/SUGGESTIONS – make NOTE of these.
  4. Attend a test screening and make a NOTE of REACTIONS and/or SUGGESTIONS to the final cut.
  5. Consider how the film COULD HAVE BEEN IMPROVED (but avoid blaming equipment or other people involved).

Schedule

  • Week 1
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Pre-Production -Composer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Test Recordings
        • Equipment Checklist
        • Recording Workflow
        • Discussions with Director
        • Influences from Films
        • What I Learned and Problems I Solved
    • Research material for script
      • Examine sample ??? (PDF)
    • Explore and select the Cinematic Storytelling conventions you want to highlight in the film from the resources section below
    • Write a ???  – Pre-production
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post
  • Week 2
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Production -Composer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Sound Choices
        • Composition Consideration
        • Musical Score Influences
        • What I Learned and Problems I Solved
    • ??? in ??? – Production
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post
  • Week 3
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Pre-Production – Composer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Sound Design Effectiveness
        • Working with The Editor
        • How I Could Have Improved The Film
        • What I Learned
    • Edit sound for the film – Post-production
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post

Film Language Resources

  • Film language research from Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll

Other Resources

Tools

Feedback Form

  • Film Pre-production Composer Feedback Form (PDF)
  • Film Production Composer Feedback Form (PDF)
  • Film Post-production Composer Feedback Form (PDF)

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