Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Whisperer In Darkness

So I spent about a month and a half running around the U.S. (from ND to Los Angeles to Vermont and back again) as part of the production crew for the upcoming 'The Whisperer in Darkness'.  If you haven't checked out the blog over at HPLHS, I recommend you do so! ( http://www.cthulhulives.org/Whisperer/twid-blog.html
All of the crew wore numerous hats during the greater part of the principal photography session.  My function was primarily as set-sound recordist.  The duties included recording dialogue of the actors, whether through using hidden microphones in their clothing (lavaliers) or my Boom operator ( Robyn Heller - Los Angeles unit, Barry Lynch - Vermont unit) would capture audio with the microphone while I monitored and mixed it to the camera.  Robyn and I also spent a good deal of time at Universal and Warner Brothers, sorting through furniture, props and other set-dressing materials.  It was great fun.  I also exercised my paramedic skills on several occasions for minor incidents on set.

I'm back home in the studio now and all of the above mentioned experiences have inspired me greatly.  I am currently working on music sketches for the score to the film.  When I receive segments of the film, I'll start composing to picture.  As of now, I have a lot of still shots from the set that I am using to get a feel for the instrumentation I will use.  Invoking a mysterious aural accompaniment to the film will be a great challenge and I look forward to it.

Because this HPLHS production has sound and dialogue, a film composer has to find a balance between dialogue, sound effects, ambiance and music.  I can tell you from being on the set, the actors' performances were astounding and coupling music with them will be extremely rewarding.

As I am writing now, there are several principal photography scenes that need to be shot.  I anticipate going back out to assist with those soon.  Follow along at the blog linked above for more frequent updates than I publish here.  When I start to score the film and begin to work with orchestra, I will be posting more frequent updates and, possibly some video links.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 BSC Rising Star Alumni Award

I recently had the honor of being selected for the 2009 Bismarck State College Rising Star Alumni Award. The award ceremony was held May 14, 2009 with a dinner and program. Much to my delight, Arlene Gray (my piano teacher of many years) did an introductory speech for me. I was also asked to do a short acceptance speech. It was an incredible night, sharing that moment with my mentors, friends, colleagues and family. I shall cherish the memory. I've included the video below along with the program in pdf format. Thank you BSC Alumni Association - and to all of my mentors, friends, colleagues and family.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fischgaard Film Festival

I've recently been collaborating with Aberdeen, South Dakota-based production company Labyrinth Films.  Labyrinth Films is run by Shaun O'Connell (director) and Matt Klundt (DP).  I've worked on (2) 48-hour film festival creations along with a third short and am currently working on a film short as well.  Recently, we participated in 'Fischgaard 2009' a 48-hour film festival-style filmmaking festival in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  
In a 48-hour film festival, you basically have 48 hours to write, shoot, score and edit a film.  The entries are then screened at the festival and various awards are distributed.  In past years each team would randomly select their genre from a hat, a line of dialogue was issued and was to be used somewhere in the film as well as a character and prop.  This year, they mixed things up a bit.  Genres were thrown out and, instead, a line of dialogue from a famous film was drawn.  That line of dialogue was to help determine the thematic material of the film.  It could be literal, figurative, symbolic, whatever interpretive take you wanted to execute.  Ours was from SUPERMAN, 'fighting for truth justice and the American way.'  The result was a tongue-n-cheek look at an individual doing his part as a citizen and living the AMERICAN WAY to the best of his ability.  The result was as is linked below - and we won best film!  Of course, I scored the film within the 48 hour block as well.  Labyrinth Films was a hive of activity during those 48 hours - it's certainly a wonderful exercise - I'd recommend participating to any filmmaker or anyone part of a filmmaking team (composers, this is a true test of the "I needed it yesterday!" scenario).