When I realized I was going to need to put together a current demo reel of my work as a filmmaker and video producer with Flying Fedora Film LLC, I was excited at the prospect of not only exhibiting my video production skill and experience, but also at the opportunity to write an original score that reflected my emotions for this new adventure of being a small business owner.
Music is one of the elements of a video or film that I most quickly connect with, but too often when watching videos or short films online, I find myself distracted by recognizing a piece of stock music or (worse) copyrighted music that likely was not licensed properly.
An original piece of music for your video by a composer that understands the emotional context of your story is powerful, not just because of the quality of the instruments or the recording, but for the simple fact that you can feel the completely unique emotional connection crafted specifically for this experience. Every score I do is different. I have similar styles and genres that I pull from, but I always start with the melody. I’m not a musician, but I hear melodies in my head form quickly once a moving image starts rolling.
For this demo reel, what I most connected to was a theme of adventure and hope. I wanted a little bit of a “Hollywood” flair to it, like something you might hear playing at the Oscars – not because I think I’m all that, but because there’s a very specific feeling I get from environments that celebrate the craft of moving pictures. I wanted to tell a story of development, of growth, and of potential for the future. (An unexpected benefit of deciding to write an original score for a simple demo reel? I think I’ve found the main melody for Flying Fedora Film’s future “opening title” credits before the movies start. I can’t wait to play with that motif further!)
Of course, once we shift away from corporate work and move towards the narrative film examples, the mood transforms. It’s less about what “The Fedora” can do, and more about the characters on the screen. A very simple, film-noir styled beat and tone emerged quickly (informed by the black and white footage), which carried through until the action-thriller feature film example played for the rest of the piece. I greatly enjoy morphing from one feeling to the next, and that’s something that I think you can only do well when you have a composer writing an original score for your video. Otherwise, it just sounds like you’re fading between two audio tracks.
Music scoring is one of my favorite things to do, and I’m always anxiously awaiting my next opportunity…