First Dates First Draft

I’ve been working on the short film “First Dates” from AFI director Sam Wasserman now for the last couple of weeks. Suddenly I’m finding myself doing a funk score. Don’t know quite how that happened. Funk is not necessarily the first genre people associate me with, but I’m enjoying the opportunity of doing something different. First Dates is a witty comedy, and I personally think comedy is one of the hardest genres to do well. Sam and I both agree on this. But while spotting the film, we listened to a few different tracks and found out that a contemporary, hip, funk sound would work well with this film because of it’s light hearted, young and fun feel. We didn’t want anything too cheesy or too quirky. I’ve made it through the first pass of the score and will be meeting with Sam later this week to go over some changes. This time the process has been a bit different than my normal routine. I usually write a pass of the whole score before I make any changes. I still send tracks to the director along the way to make sure I’m in the right ball park. Then I keep his or her comments in mind when I continue writing. This time I’ve made several changes to the opening track before doing anything else. And the reason for that is that we wanted to solidify the sound and the instruments that we want to use. Especially since the first track of the film is an instrumental version of a song that comes in at the very end of the film. This is the first time I’m writing a song for a specific film. I’ve done a lot of song writing, but not as part of a score, which is a really fun opportunity.

Monday I met with the sound design team and that was an uplifting meeting. We discussed a couple of scenes where sound and music have to work together. It’s great to see that everyone’s on the same page when it comes to collaborating instead of competing for space. I personally feel that if the music is overshadowing important sound effects, the music is not doing its job right. In this film there is also a lot of source music as well as a lot of dialogue. Having it all fit together nicely as well as not making it too overwhelming for the audience is the ultimate goal.

Next step is to meet with Sam and try out some changes on the spot. I find that to be much more efficient than making changes on my own and sending them to the director. Also, making a decision about how many live musicians we can afford and then assembling the musicians should be right around the corner as well.

You can read more about the movie at
It has a fun cast, including Ryan Eggold from “90210” and Madeline Zima from “Heroes”.