August 26, 2010

Genre of my film / Tips on Working with Musicians for Film

It's a gothic twist-ending love story.

Met with my songwriter today!!! It went amazing. Can't wait to hear what she comes up with.

Here are some tips from my brother Dan (a composer and DJ) on collaborating with musicians for film:

1.) Even though it is the musicians job to write what you ask for, you can't expect the musician to create anything outside the limits of their abilities. If you're working with a jazz musician, then she'll probably only be best at writing jazz.
2.) The musician may also be limited with instruments. If you want real instruments, like piano or guitar, then it can get expensive and difficult to record them all. If you're okay with synthesized instruments, then it will be easier to add a fuller (yet faker) ensemble of instruments.
3.) When talking to the musician, be careful when using words like "beat", "rhythm" "melody" etc. A lot of musical terms can have different meanings depending on the context, and it could make the musician confused. Try using non-musical words to describe what you want, like "cheerful" "nervous" "fast-paced" "panicked" etc.
4.) Always keep in touch to see how things are going. Musicians are flaky sometimes, so they might forget about the deadline if you don't stay in touch often through email or phone.
5) Most importantly, a film-musician is just like an actor. They take a lot of pride in their work, and can get sensitive when it comes to criticism and comprimise. So if you lay out your expectations as clearly as possibly from the very beginning, and don't change your expectations throughout the project it will go smoother. If you don't give the musician a clear precise outline of the music you want from the beginning, the musician will not be pleased when you say that you want them to do something different than what they started.

August 11, 2010

I get to start making an animated short film! (Post Previously titled "Music and Design")

It looks like I am going to have some time to make this story idea of mine into a film at last! My husband has been hired by an animation company in Australia so I'm going to finish up my contract at Elliott Animation and then we're going to both head out there to live for a year or so. We're waiting on our visa's right now. My current work contract goes until late November and I'll move in early December. When I move there I plan to focus on creating storyboards and a leica (animatic) as well as backgrounds for this short film. I can do freelance or find a part time job on the side if I like. Until then, when I'm not packing up every belonging I own, I will be prepping my film. I've gotten ahold of a Toronto jazz singer songwriter and I'm meeting up with her in a couple of weeks. Her name is Larra Skye and she's fabulous. And really professional. And very nice. I have some rough lyrics right now and I need a musician to collaborate with to craft that into music. I also contacted an artist about doing some character designs. When I thought about who in the world I would want to work with more than anyone on my film I thought of Deanna Marsigliese. I asked if she would work with me and was thrilled that she said yes! Deanna was in the year ahead of me at Sheridan and I've always admired her beautiful work.

Here's an image by Deanna:
Vespa by Deanna Marsigliese
While looking for some musical inspiration I searched for some images of jazz and here are my 3 favourites:
logo at All that Jazz and More's website, a jazz band for hire
a music inspired painting by: Nancy Peacock
Jazz Face by Ryanselow

Take a Deep Breath...

Here is a small taste of a big scene I've been working on! It's been so addictive to work on this. I hate doing a bunch of work and ...