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Blog: Film Scoring

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On Thursday The Strings In My Quartet and I attended a Film Scoring Workshop at Morley College because are DEAD CULTURAL.

It was called a "workshop" so we thought it was going to be a jolly evening where we'd sit around in small groups being told how film scoring works and then having a bash at doing our own. However, when we arrived we saw that the seating was arranged in THEATRE style as if for a LECTURE and that is pretty much what we got. I wasn't complaining - I was KNACKERED from WORK (working full-time is AWFUL!) and the prospect of sitting quietly "listening with my eyes closed" was a LOT more appealing than actually having to DO stuff!

I expected the talks to be about how you DO film scoring, like how you decide the TONE of the music or the TEMPO, but it turned out to be more like a CAREERS LECTURE with a chap from the band Unkle spending a lot of time talking about how to deal with professional politics. It was a bit odd - I mean, it was fair enough advice but could have applied to ANYTHING. Similarly the other talks were more about general job stuff like getting work and dealing with payment, with one chap in particular apparently TERRIFIED by the prospect of speaking in front of an audience.

It was slightly rum... until the second half when the evening BLOSSOMED. In order to give some idea of how it works they set up a recording session with The Morley College Chamber Orchestra and then did two small bits of SCORE. Suddenly the speakers who had been so NERVOUS before were full of CONFIDENCE and ACTION, striding around bossing musicians and each other about, GETTING ON with it and generally being experts. They recorded two short pieces of music to a clip played on a big screen and it was full of INSIGHTS, like the fact that they DO use a click track BUT the tempo of the click changes from bar to bar to match the action. For this to work the CONDUCTOR listens to the click and conducts the musicians, who just follow him, which seemed to make it all feel more natural.

My favourite bit was the way they hopped about at high speed "patching" sections together, doing re-takes and whizzing around doing tiny little bits. It was SORT OF like how we record stuff at Snug, when we have a couple of goes at getting something right then nip in and out to correct small errors. Except, you know, with an orchestra.

It was lovely to watch people Doing Their Job Properly like that, obviously happy with what they were doing and probably RELIEVED not to have to be giving a TALK anymore. It was good, though if they do it again I'd recommend JUST doing that last bit!

posted 30/11/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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