Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Working With An Audio Designer

I would like to introduce the wonderful audio designer who will be working with me on my project, Stefan Rutherford! I can't even begin to express how eternally grateful I am that he's agreed to help me out with the sound, as I've never attempted to compose my own music before and fear that my first attempt wouldn't be anywhere near good enough to use in a film I hope to sell myself to industry. Thankfully this arrangement will be beneficial to both our courses, so I'm really looking forward to hearing what he comes up with!

In order to give him a proper idea of exactly what I had in mind musically I sent Stefan both my animatic and storyboards, as well as a very long email detailing the exact feel and atmosphere I wanted to achieve. I also included two examples of music/sounds that had inspired and influenced my creative process up to this point. Below I've pasted a section from the email:

"I don't know if this is necessary, but I feel I should probably tell you a bit about the story of my film and the feel I'm going for, as simple as it is. It's basically about a young girl trying to catch lightning in a bottle. She's very curious (I tried to make her design and certain actions somewhat cat-like), adventurous and naive (not really considering the dangers of trying to achieve this feat, or the fact that it should technically be impossible). She gets the idea after finding an empty bottle labelled 'Lightning in a Bottle' on the ground, and upon seeing a thunderstorm approaching above decides to try catching some lightning herself. If some other kid can do it, why can't she? Maybe she wants to experiment with it, or maybe she hopes that the lightning will give her superpowers. Maybe it's just the excitement of trying to catch something so wild and dangerous and supposedly unobtainable and she thrives off the challenge. Whatever her exact reason, I really want the story to feel like it's being driven by her child-like sense of wonder and sheer determination, like nothing can stand in her way as long as she believes she can win. I'd like the music at the start to be quieter and reflect her innocent childishness as she discovers the bottle and makes her preparations to trap the lightning, then build in suspense and drama as the kite gets snatched away by the wind and the lightning gets closer and closer. She needs to retrieve the kite before the storm passes overhead and she misses her chance. There's also the danger of the lightning striking her or the pylon as she climbs it. Once all the drama is over and she's been flung to safety behind the rock, I'd like the music to quieten down again as she peeks over tentatively to see if she's succeeded.

The best example I can give is a piece of music called Enigma by Veigar Margeirsson. It's the music I listened to on repeat all the time I was concepting the idea and drawing up the storyboards, so I admit it's influenced me a lot... I was originally considering using it as the music for my film, but naturally I can't due to copyright. Plus it's a little too fast in places, I don't want my story to feel rushed... But hopefully it'll be a good source of inspiration.

If possible I'd also like to have some sound effects in there as well (such as thunder, lightning, and possibly wind) to emphasise the weather, especially in scenes where the shot isn't actually of the sky but just of the character's face. A good example I've found is this student animation called Clouds: I'd really like the sound effects to work with the timing of the music to give dramatic impact... But if things like strong wind can be effectively conveyed just using music, then I'm fine without there being an actual wind sound effect. Sorry, I don't really know much about these things so I'm mostly guessing... I'll leave it up to what you think works best."

As you can see it mostly reiterates what I've already repeated numerous times throughout the course of this blog, but I thought it would be useful to demonstrate my process of working with others in the industry on collaborative projects. Below you can find embedded videos of the two link given in the email.

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