The Sound and Music Pt. 2

The music to accompany my opening as well as my first scene has been completed. It can be found below, as well as the process through which I went to produce it.

Production

The following are the stages of production:

  • My original intention was to re-write and re-record a piece of music Susannah’s (student who also takes media) sister had written and recorded a few years ago into something which would be more appropriate for my film. We were planning to do this when she came on a visit, as she does not live here.
  • It turns out she was unable to make the visit, so we had to re-write and produce the song over a series of e-mails and other correspondence, such as telephone calls. This was the easiest way to communicate and explains why blogging as far as sound and music are concerned is quite minimal – it is difficult to blog a phone conversation.
  • I was responsible for re-writing the lyrics, whilst I left the musical production to Susannah’s sister, Sasha. She has better means of production for recording music, as she works at a holiday park
  • I tried to supervise production as closely as possible, so that as much of the music as possible was my own work.

The Music

I imagine that during the opening titles, the music will be overlaid, however, when it comes to the actual scenes, the music will sound as though it is in the background, as though from a radio. I believe that this can be achieved with sound editing effects at my disposal.

Evaluation of the music

Strengths

  • The music is appropriate for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is suitable lyrically. The lyrics reflect the theme of the unknown at Christmas, not only in terms of presents but in terms of the unpredictability of the celebration as a whole. The characters do not expect that Christmas will be when they separate from their friends, and this anticipation and being unable to predict the future is reflected in the lyrics.
  • The actual music is also appropriate. When researching Christmas music I found that there was a heavy focus on traditional Christmas sounds, for example, the sound effect of sleighbells can be heard throughout Wham!’s Last Christmas, whilst brass instruments and a  slight string sound can be heard in the Christmas scene of When Harry Met Sally. Whilst I thought that these were successful for promoting the theme of Christmas, I didn’t think that they were massively suitable for my target audience. That’s why I have incorporated a more rock sound into my song, to make it more appropriate.
  • The upbeat sound of the music helps at as a red-herring as far as the tone of the film is concerned. This music will only be heard during the first scene, which in itself will be quite upbeat. This will lead the audience in a false sense of positivity, which will make the breaking up of the girls more shocking.

Weaknesses

  • The sound quality of the piece is not as clear as I would have liked. I think this may be down to perhaps a compatibility issue, as the music has passed through a fair few round sof software to get to the state it is now, or it may simply be the way it was recorded.
  • The overall sound of the piece makes it clear that this is not a professional piece of music.

Solutions

  • As soon as I decided that I wanted music in my production, I had envisioned that it would only really be present in the form of diegetic sound, for example, it would be playing on a radio in the cafe. I think this should hopefully cover all problems. This takes care of the sound issue, as obviously sound from a radio is not crystal clear.
  • The music in the scene will be relatively quiet, hopefully removing the issue that the music sounds quite amateur.

Next Steps

Seeing as I don’t particularly have the time or means for re-producing my work, putting the music up for audience opinion seems quite redundant. I will simply have to hope that my own discretion for what my audience likes will be accurate. As a tester, I may overlay the music over the titles, but obviously I cannot test how successful it is as an underscore until the first scene is filmed and edited.

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