Film Project - Why I Now Watch Too Much House MD

Throughout last week I was wondering where and when my next project was going to come from, and it didn't take long before I saw my opportunity and jumped at it. In my longing for more work, I perused the local SAE Classifieds or just the SAE Interdisciplinary page on Facebook for those playing at home. It was here I picked up my first film project. A masterpiece of cinema, in the making I might add. The call out was looking for someone who could compose music for a 4 min hospital scene, where there is a father and son arguing about life in a hospital. In the scene the son is in a bed dying and the father has come back from war to see him off, in a matter of speaking. I thought this was a great fit for me, because I really enjoy writing music that fits an emotion, and there was no shortage here. 

I met with the director and producer on Monday to discuss what they had in mind, for the project and they seemed very indecisive about what would be needed in this scene. I generally jump at the opportunity to have a creative license, so I was more than happy to go away and work on it without any musical direction. I went away and watched the scene a few times, and started coming up with concepts and motifs based on old episodes of House MD (If you aren't a fan of that show, it is Hugh Lawrie's best work next to Black Adder). I used a simple method chord construction using minor 3rd chords, which I then arppegiated to create an emotional introduction to the film. I then added an 8th note Motif over the top of that to create an ambient texture, which continues over the length of the track creating that suspended heartfelt colour to the dialogue.

As is normally the case Liam Lyttle and I were hanging and working on our individual projects. He was working his way through FMOD, trying to get it working and was having some software issues, so he was quick to ditch that and come see what I was doing. As I was recording my guitar I was looking over every now and then, expecting a yay or nay, a little like an 80's dress up montage. Just think 'It's Hip to be Square' but with more Telecasters. It was a yay when I pulled out one of my old riffs I wrote as a 14-year-old when first learning how to play a System of a Down song. I just used the 1st and 4th chords from the original progression and arppegiated them. After that I laid down my hook or motif if you will, and Liam was becoming more and more interested in the project. Liam had a booking in the Midi Studio later that day, so he invited me into work on the track in there. We sat down and listened to the track and watched the film and apart from the bad acting and poor recorded dialogue, we really got into the score as something we wanted an audience to feel. He laid down a chord progression of Cello's and after that I shook his hand and said "Welcome to the team" he was wrapped with that and I could tell he really wanted to do it. 

Since starting at SAE I havent met a harder working person then Liam, he really has a good brain when it comes to production and is great in a team. If I could I'd always have him on my team, but I know working with others is important and I really hope there are some more good eggs out there. I've learnt a lot from Liam and I'm really glad he's on my team again.