And Now: Changes

I met with director Sam Wasserman today to go over the first draft of the score for his short film “First Dates”. It was a really productive day. It’s always so much faster and more efficient to sit together and try out some changes on the spot. Sam’s great too in his very specific and positive way of giving feedback. A lot of our time was spent figuring out the right sound and timings. We’re definitely staying in the contemporary funk realm (think Lyle Workman’s score to “Superbad”) and I’m hoping to get a session together with a live guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyboard player (rhodes and rock organ) and possibly some brass if the budget allows it. The more organic we can make this score, the better. I’m hoping to be able to pull some favors to get the band in the room together at the same time. That would be the best way to create the warm and live feel that comes with the face to face interaction between the musicians. I want improv and slight imperfections. That’s what gives it life and character. A cool thing is that one of the lead actors in the movie is gonna sing and do keyboards. I love it when members from the cast and crew can be part of the score.

A decision we made today was to ditch the lyrical vocals that I had done for the end song. It’s a short film and the lyrics was telling a story. Telling another story when the audience has just had 12 minutes to digest the story of the film is simply overkill. An instrumental piece with some non lyrical vocal colors here and there will work much better. Besides, there is a lot of conversation going on in the film. Adding more words right away just didn’t feel right. Sometimes you just have to do things to find out what doesn’t work.

As far as timing goes – today was spent sliding tracks back and forth, extending a little here, cutting off a little there. I think comedy more so than any other genre makes timing extremely important. There are some hilarious scenes in this film and the right musical timing is crucial. A couple of frames can make a huge difference.

The plan now is to clean up the changes that we work on today (it tends to get a bit messy when time code changes and tempo adjustments are involved) and send them to Sam. Then we’ll get together again Tuesday to see how things stand after today’s changes.