Exploring moods

Week two was used to explore the themes for melancholic scenes, and the nightmares. But especially the latter us tricky without footage.

In week two I have been exploring moods. The first piece is for a melancholic mood that as a theme I can use for different characters and different parts of the movie. Have a listen to the excerpt below, and as with last week’s theme, it is a very rough, unpractised piece that has not been cleaned up or mixed well. Right now, we’re still sketching, creating outlines.

There are several places in the movie where this could be used, such as the long walk home, the cold night at the front door, and the life’s story of one of the male characters.

The other theme I have been exploring is one for the nightmares. First I had a deep bass sound, which got mangled a little, but even with that sonic variation it sounded, well, boring. Lifeless. Not very scary. It needed a pulse, either with negative space (kind of like sucking the sound away), or with the addition of a heartbeat. I can increase the frequency of either the pulse or the gap to simulate the increased heart rate as a result of a rise in adrenaline levels. Have a listen to the theme below, again in its basic, unmixed, unfinished form.

Play around with the EQ to create some sort of “Pwooaaap” sound (you know the one, right?) and add more grit at the end of that “Pwooaaap” and you can intensify the sound and feeling tremendously.

That said, I will be the first to admit that it doesn’t sound that scary, but I want to point out that the impact will be very different when played on a screen together with the picture.

Which brings me to another weak point of this method of learning: you really do not know what the final piece will look, sound, or feel like. You can imagine it, but since it will all be only in your head, you will adapt the image you have up there and there is a good chance you will miss the mark.

Side-stepping a little here: I believe this is a very good example that shows how the actors, the director, the editor, and the composer all put in their bit to create something that is bigger than the four individual bits together. Don’t you agree?

Anyway, I will continue. There will be more next week.