Music and Movement

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
AN

Re: Music and Movement

Post by AN » Mon Nov 04, 2002 7:07 pm

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
[I have a simple way of avoiding the "top or bottom" posting issue ... I
just
delete all, or most of, the preceding message before adding my twopennyworth.
That avoids all those >>> signs.]
But surely those >>> signs direct us around the corners, and if they were
missing we would all drive off the road! :-)
Would we need a musically qualified judge - or because our aim is making
better movies, do we still depend on those who can judge movies?
I wonder who takes the decisions when an Oscar for the film music is awarded
to the pros? I would bet it is not a specially qualified musician, but those
who decide on all the other many specialised awards.

So Dave, one day you may not only be struggling with the judgemental decisions
about the films visuals and story etc but also if the writer of the music
did a good job in expressing the films ideas. Somehow, in spite of music
software, I think that day to be far, far off, as long as 'wallpaper music'
is still easily available, courtesy of IAC copyright clearance assistance!

Albert....copyrighted!

Dave Watterson

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Nov 04, 2002 10:21 pm

Somehow, in spite of music software, I think that day to be far,
far off, as long as 'wallpaper music' is still easily available,
courtesy of IAC copyright clearance assistance!
D'oh! The IAC copyright clearance scheme covers all sorts of music not just
the bland background stuff.

The general point is still true - there is much too much of the muzak around.
Some of that must be because many movie makers do not feel comfortable with
or confident about music. It is another skill to learn in this complex hobby.

As a practical example of how little I know ... how do you "file" music for
possible use in movies? Is it all a matter of memory or do you keep file
cards of "boppy", "dreamy" etc? Is there an approved approach?

BTW - congrats to Albert and Michael for gaining Bronzes in the Norwegian
Festival ... there seems to be some controversy there because the Ukraine
children's group KROK took the top prize.

Whee!

McD

Ned Cordery

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Ned Cordery » Tue Nov 05, 2002 2:12 am

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
Would we need a musically qualified judge - or because our aim is making
better movies, do we still depend on those who can judge movies?

I wonder who takes the decisions when an Oscar for the film music is awarded
to the pros? I would bet it is not a specially qualified musician, but
those
who decide on all the other many specialised awards.


Albert....copyrighted!
The five nominees for the Oscars are selected by the members of the Academy
in each specialised category , ie the cinematographers select the cinematographers,
actors the actors etc so I assume the musician members of the academy select
the music. The entire membership then selects the winner from the nominees
in each category. So, yes the musicians are involved in selecting the five.
It is interesting that there is canvassing going on for nominations, I get
the American Cinematographer journal and there are full page ads promoting
people for nomination. Rather like taking a full page ad in F&V saying "Vote
for Me"!

Ned Cordery

AN

Re: Music and Movement

Post by AN » Tue Nov 05, 2002 10:20 am

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
the bland background stuff.

As a practical example of how little I know ... how do you "file" music
for
possible use in movies? Is it all a matter of memory or do you keep file
cards of "boppy", "dreamy" etc
Oh, Dave you are teetering right on the edge of the 'wallpapering brigade'there.
It is this so called selection of mood music into cosy little cubby holes
which gets my goat so. Slapping on music just to suit the so called mood
is NOT film music. I realise it's difficult, but amatuers should try to
put the music they have to better use, by for example using many more short
pieces and chords/single notes even, to support the film (and even dominate
it at times), rather than that continue wall to wall music, with the odd
audio dissolve here and there as the picture changes. It's so easy to create
for oneself short pieces/chords etc etc, purposely made for the scenes.
The discordant chord, the rising crescendo, the single
note, even a lone double bass etc etc. But not bloody wallpaper!

But maybe unless one has a love of good(!) music in it's own right, few look
at music as a real filmic tool???

Albert...still hammering away.

Dave Watterson

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Nov 06, 2002 9:25 am

Oh, Dave you are teetering right on the edge of the 'wallpapering brigade'there.
You know how to be cruel !!!! :-))

What I meant was ... I enjoy lots of music but have no mental or physical
filing system that helps me remember what each piece is like. My CDs, LPs
and tapes are usually filed in sections (pop, classical, spoken word, New
Age) and then by composer but that does not help.

If I feel a movie scene needs a lift ... it often means playing snippets
of almost everything I own before choosing something to use. There MUST
be a quicker way.

AND Uncle Albert reminded me that sometimes the music is far more important
than other aspects of a film at times. If you saw "Three Colours: Blue"
by Kieslowski you will remember that it is about a composer's widow haunted
by memories of him and by the score he had been writing. The music becomes
a character in the film and at times the picture blacks out to focus attention
totally on the powerful musical theme.

I confess, however, to a fondness for musical jokes: Hoffnung, the operatic
Cat's Duet, - Albert's use of "Oranges and Lemons" in "Clip Joint" or John
Astin's use of "Keep on Running" in his movie about the London marathon.

McDave (Tuneful) W

Ned Cordery

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Ned Cordery » Wed Nov 06, 2002 2:44 pm

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
What I meant was ... I enjoy lots of music but have no mental or physical
filing system that helps me remember what each piece is like. My CDs, LPs
and tapes are usually filed in sections (pop, classical, spoken word, New
Age) and then by composer but that does not help.

If I feel a movie scene needs a lift ... it often means playing snippets
of almost everything I own before choosing something to use. There MUST
be a quicker way.
If there is I haven't found it. Music is one of those enjoyable, time consuming
parts of film making. I try and do it at or just before the edit begins while
I have a mental picture of what I want to do. Often the music will influence
the way the images are cut. You can always tell when the music was "stuck"
on afterwards.

Ned Cordery
>

Ken Wilson

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Ken Wilson » Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:15 am

You have to have a wide range of skills in many areas to make
movies. That`s probably why it`s so fascinating. Music along
with editing is in the post production phase when a film can
be made or broken. A bit of a cliche but nevertheless, very true.
So many times, we have seen the "wallpaper" style of music used
blandly over everything and then to add insult, it doesn`t even
start and end at any particular point in the film. At least a
new scene should have a new piece of music. I spend a long time
trawling through my own collection and CDs at the library to
find exactly what I want and in the end it pays off as the correct piece
adds just the right atmosphere to your film.
On a number of occasions, I have been asked if I compose my
own music for the film. That must mean it DOES look like it
was written to go with the movie and it fits well.
As a postscript, I do have a fairly clear idea of what I`m
looking for in the music search and know when I`ve found it.
A rough mental catalogue is also useful, so no index cards. Ken

AN

Re: Music and Movement

Post by AN » Thu Nov 07, 2002 8:00 am

"Ken Wilson" <@filmlabnorth.free-online.co.uk> wrote:
Music along with editing is in the post production
phase when a film can
be made or broken.
But Ken, do you think that if more thought were given to the music in the
PRE production stage, many shots/scenes could then be taken to match phrases/chords/crescendos
in the music, thereby achieving a better integrated final whole. It is this
constant selection of music AFTER the film is made that is so restricting
in the creative use of the music.

It would be a very useful exersize to choose a piece of music FIRST and then
write a script and shoot a film to match the music!

Albert...humming a tooon.

Ned Cordery

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Ned Cordery » Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:50 pm

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
But Ken, do you think that if more thought were given to the music in the
PRE production stage, many shots/scenes could then be taken to match phrases/chords/crescendos
in the music, thereby achieving a better integrated final whole. It is
this
constant selection of music AFTER the film is made that is so restricting
in the creative use of the music.

It would be a very useful exersize to choose a piece of music FIRST and
then
write a script and shoot a film to match the music!

Albert...humming a tooon.
For some time I shot for Stuart Rumens and he is the master of music to picture.
For a Tudor costume drama one sequence was shot to be cut to the Storm movement
from the Grand Canyon Suite. Tudor drama and Grofe I hear you say!!It worked
so well I just have to hear the opening bars and I am not at the Grand Canyon
but see a happy Tudor family walking by the river at Hadley, Suffolk with
a build up through wind lashed trees and the sound of a trial to the aftermath
of the priest being burnt at the stake, which is not shown, just a huge
burnt patch on the hillside with his son kneeling beside it. The pictures
were incredibly simple, the effect overwhelming. He also cut an industrial
on metal processing, that I produced, to the New World Symphony and I have
in my studio a piece he is working on now about the village where he lives
cut to Mahler 3. When I look at his work I realise that the visuals are very
well chosen but simple and without the music are not very special or even
coherent. I know that he occasionally talks to the Colchester cine club and
was involved with the amateur scene some years ago. A good man for a talk
on music and image with some great illustrations.

Ned Cordery

Ned Cordery

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Ned Cordery » Thu Nov 07, 2002 3:02 pm

"Ned Cordery" <goslands@infowest.com> wrote:
I have
in my studio a piece he is working on now about the village where he lives
cut to Mahler 3. When I look at his work I realise that the visuals are
very
well chosen but simple and without the music are not very special or even
coherent.
Having just written the above and moved on to my morning web reading I reread
an article on www.kenstone.net "Location sound: the basics and beyond" where
I found the following quote:

"Sound conveys emotion - picture conveys information"

I would strongly recommend this article as the best introduction to sound
I have ever read anywhere.

Ned Cordery
Back to my coffee and reading.

AN

Re: Music and Movement

Post by AN » Thu Nov 07, 2002 6:03 pm

"Ned Cordery" <goslands@infowest.com> wrote:
Having just written the above and moved on to my morning web reading I
reread
an article on www.kenstone.net "Location sound: the basics and beyond" where
I found the following quote:

"Sound conveys emotion - picture conveys information"

I would strongly recommend this article as the best introduction to sound
For a wonderfull article on using music for film see

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/features/functions.asp
(if this is not clickable just copy it and paste into your
URL address window)

Also there are interviews with John Williams and John Barry who
are no slouches when it comes to film music, together with many other gems
goto the main index page of filmscoremonthly.

Albert.....still humming away!

Ken Wilson

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Ken Wilson » Thu Nov 07, 2002 11:04 pm

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
"Ken Wilson" <@filmlabnorth.free-online.co.uk> wrote:

Music along with editing is in the post production
phase when a film can
be made or broken.

But Ken, do you think that if more thought were given to the music in the
PRE production stage, many shots/scenes could then be taken to match phrases/chords/crescendos
in the music, thereby achieving a better integrated final whole>in the creative
use of the music.

It would be a very useful exersize to choose a piece of music FIRST and
then
write a script and shoot a film to match the music!
Dear Albert; Yes I have done that as well. I have made a few
"pop videos" and shot visuals to match music. Now with the aid of the computer,
I have been re-editing to cut-to-the-beat,
something which was not possible with a tape to tape system.
Several years ago, I also did the PHASE 4 version of the old
Hovis ad, made on B&W Super 8, which proved quite popular and
won a couple of awards. Editing sound on the computer can work
wonders adding the odd "sting" for a thriller or a very short
extract from long tracks which can fit the scene perfectly.
The only restriction is FINDING the right music to begin with.
Ken

Brian Hazelden

Re: Music and Movement

Post by Brian Hazelden » Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:01 am

"Ken Wilson" <@filmlabnorth.free-online.co.uk> wrote:
I have been re-editing to cut-to-the-beat,
something which was not possible with a tape to tape system.
Oh? It was possible, just took a little time, that's all. I made a few videos
cut to music with just a camcorder and a VCR, if memory serves. The trick
was to "black" the tape with the music track and a shot of a torch being
revealed by a black video sleeve in time to the music. It doesn't have to
be these two items, it's just that they were to hand. Now you can insert
edit up to a music cut point.

I didn't say it was easy, did I? But then building soundtracks by recording
from one VCR to another, and then another, wasn't easy either. But there
was an overwhelming sense of achievement when it worked even half well. That's
missing a bit today.

Brian Hazelden

AN

Re: Music and Movement

Post by AN » Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:42 am

"Ken Wilson" <@filmlabnorth.free-online.co.uk> wrote:
Several years ago, I also did the PHASE 4 version of the old
Hovis ad, made on B&W Super 8, which proved quite popular and
won a couple of awards. Editing sound on the computer can work
wonders adding the odd "sting" for a thriller or a very short
extract from long tracks which can fit the scene perfectly.
It seems that all of us on this group have no need to discuss film music
as we are all "with it" in that regard. :-)

Just an afterthought....For those using actors, (and as camcorders etc can
playback to exact same timing that they recorded to), there is no reason
why a pre choosen piece of music cannot be played back to the actors whilst
acting to it.

Using a seperate playback camcorder whilst they are performing to it.....say
slashing violin chords as the villain stabs the girl in the shower (now where
have I seen that before? :-) ), as amatuers normally could not get a composer
to write such slashing chords post production to fit the action.
The only restriction is FINDING the right music to begin with.
Yes, in the above instance, after searching, one may only find some good
'strangulation music' and so have shoot a throttling shower scene instead!
(probably turn out better that Hitchcock's Psycho anyway!)

That's where the bigger pros have the advantage isn't it, because they can
shoot film as they see fit and then get 'ol dogs body composer' to write
the music exactly as required.

Albert.

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