Research : Film Scoring Process by StopWatch Studio

I attended an optional talk on Film Scoring Process, by the director/sound designer of StopWatch Studios, James White. It is a small music production company created 4 guys and is based in Bristol.

They have done projects like creating musical scores for films, TV drama and even games. This studio is known for having special discount on personal custom music scoring for students for half the normal price. Also, it held a competition this year for students or anyone interested in creating short films with prizes of designing original musical score for the winner free of charge!

James White explains of how music makes a scene, it enhances the emotions of the audience, boosting the effect of what they see visually and combining both together for maximum impact. It tells story in ways that sometimes video can’t achieve, allowing small details of the environment/characters to be felt by the audience to make them more real in a sense.

I get to know of a composer’s job in the industry. They are actually completely different from the Sound Team, which normally consist of Foley Artist or Sound Designer etc. Furthermore, composers report directly to either the producer or director, thus working with a team that has a bad relationship between producer and director can make your life hard as each may request to change the scores according to their own individual preference.

Connections is very important as traditionally, which still is now, director/producer hires composers that they know well or have collaborated before.

Composers make the scores for films in most process, instead of the other way round. When composers discuss with the director, they normally request for Picture Locks to know the beats of each scene, so that they will be able to picture the suitable scores for that particular scenes.

James advise us not to use musical language to explain to composers, but employ straight simple words that emphasise the emotions desired for them to work it out.

Overall, I have finally learnt that being a composer is actually a pretty tough job as the conditions can sometimes be very extreme, such as given short time period or low budget to create an acceptable work by director/producer, and though I am interested in doing sounds, I am not really into composer’s life, thank you. XD

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