Monday, May 22, 2023

New skin

Teenage Engineering makes an amusing version of this toy record lathe. It's the PO-80 Record Factory and come on, it's very cool. 

New skin for my Kemper from Happy Kemper Skins.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Criminal Enterprise

Oh man. I just asked Chat GPT to write an ad for a product called "Criminal Enterprise."

It nailed it.

Friday, May 12, 2023


 I was a guest on Colin Stryker's Just Screen It podcast

Self-portrait with cat. 

I talk about film distribution, film-making, meandery stuff. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Every use of the "Jaws theme" in Jaws

I love looking up at water. 

28 seconds -- under titles and shark POV

Such a beautiful cue as we watch her swim overhead

5:56 shark POV as camera comes up at her from underneath

10:58 shark POV attacking boy (Alex) on inflatable raft

26:19 fishermen on pier, a reveal of the shark being out there but not the shark POV

Interestingly, the attack in the pond does not use the theme. The POV in that attack never goes to that of the shark.

1:53 there is a staccato fast-tempo variation of the theme while Hooper is in the cage and is first attacked but this scene is clearly Hooper's POV, not the shark's.

Weirdly, there is no music under Quint's death, or even when the shark first goes for Brody (and there's a lion's roar).

1:58:50 the theme does indeed return briefly but with a different melody. 

2:00:00 the low strings play the motif during the last attack on Brody, but it is underneath high strings and woodwinds

Monday, May 01, 2023

Against Fascism

My life plan at this point is to look at less Nazi stuff, and pay less attention to fascist propaganda. With current events as they are, that will be a big ask, but the least I can do is avoid Nazi Germany for a little while. 
But because I'm making a movie about the actress in the notoriously anti-Semitic Jud Suess, I'm not out of the woods yet.

Today's big change in the movie is to remove the actual poster of Jud Suess which appears in the picture. It turns out, the poster is still under copyright... and will be forever? Mein Kampf is now under public domain but this poster is not and I don't understand Wikipedia's caveat about the underlying work. But it seems to be owned by the F W Murnau foundation and there may be some legal loopholes for copyrights in works which are Nazi propaganda. 

German Jud Suess poster 

"Fun" fact, the poster designer, Bruno Rehak, had quite a career designing German posters long after WWII.

German poster for "Bedazzled"

In any case, that original Jud Suess poster is under copyright. So I thought, why not make my own version to use in the movie?

Then I was like wait, I am making anti-Semitic art. Like, I'm actually creating a new poster for the most infamous anti-Semitic film of all time. 

But instead, we're not using the poster in the film at all. 

So yeah. The sooner I'm back to sci-fi noirs the better. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Recent Cheese

Konstantin Stanislavski

Blue Force Tracking

Stanislavski's "units of action". The unit is the kusok (Russian: кусок, IPA: [kʊˈsok].

Russian helicopter. The map, in particular, should be emulated in future movies we make.

Audiostroem's Live Professor is a VST plugin thingy which is for putting effects on a computer hooked up to a digital mixing board. 

VST Host does a thing similarly. I haven't tried either of these things.

E. E. Smith. Made up lightsabers? 

When I Am Laid in Earth. In Em. 

Second Viennese School.

Theodore Adorno.

Dr. Meredith Q. turned us on to The New Mexico Tea Company.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

My Things of Today

 A podcast of Earthkiller. I mean, I know I've posted this before. But I'm posting again.

Jon Brantingham on spotting. I think he's not going in a great direction because it's based more on what you see, than what's happening dramatically. 


Magic carpet ride includes owls.

Tamara de Lempicka

Aleksandra Ekster

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Pictures of Loud


Dialog act 1

Dialog act 2

Dialog act 3

Dialog act 4

Dialog act 5
Who among us has hand-mixed even remotely within tolerances for LKFS? Not me, because I was supposedly metering the dialog at the time. 

Dialog act 6
Looks to me like:

2 has to get quieter by 2dB
3 has to get louder by 6dB
5 has to get quieter by 2dB

Ugh. This is actually 3 dialog. Numbers above are updated.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Squid squid squid

Arturia MicroFreak Review and Tutorial


Why Does an Edit Feel Right?  

Building a USB-C microphone:  

Our movie Earthkiller in German:

Different reality

 The Stranger (1946)

The Naked City

The Ernst Toller Gesellschaft


Here is a Chat GPT screenplay from the prompt "Write a screenplay about a cop who has to change realities in order to solve a murder."



We see a bustling city street with cars honking, people rushing to get home and street vendors selling their wares. Suddenly, we hear gunshots and people start running in all directions. A man falls to the ground and a pool of blood begins to form around him.



DETECTIVE JACK, a grizzled cop in his early forties, is sitting at his desk with a pile of papers in front of him. His partner, DETECTIVE LISA, enters the room.

DETECTIVE LISA: Hey, Jack. You hear about the murder last night?

DETECTIVE JACK: Yeah, I heard. Another one of those gang-related shootings.

DETECTIVE LISA: No, this one’s different. The victim was a scientist who was working on some kind of parallel universe experiment.

DETECTIVE JACK: What? That’s crazy.

DETECTIVE LISA: Yeah, and get this. The lab was ransacked and all the equipment is missing.

DETECTIVE JACK: Sounds like someone’s trying to cover their tracks.

DETECTIVE LISA: That’s what I was thinking. We should start investigating this right away.

DETECTIVE JACK: Agreed. Let’s get to work.



Detectives Jack and Lisa are examining the crime scene. There are papers scattered all over the floor and broken test tubes and equipment everywhere. Suddenly, Jack sees a glimmer of light coming from a small machine in the corner.

DETECTIVE JACK: Hey, Lisa. Look at this.


DETECTIVE JACK: I don’t know, but it looks important.

Jack approaches the machine and starts tinkering with it. Suddenly, the machine emits a bright light and Jack disappears.



Jack finds himself in a different reality. The world is bleak and desolate, with no signs of life anywhere. Suddenly, he hears a noise and draws his gun. A figure emerges from the shadows and Jack realizes it’s the killer.

DETECTIVE JACK: Freeze! You’re under arrest.

KILLER: Ha! You’ll never catch me.

The killer runs away, and Jack chases after him. They run through a deserted city, over abandoned buildings, and through dark alleys until they come to a stop on the edge of a cliff.

DETECTIVE JACK: It’s over. You’re trapped.

KILLER: No, you’re trapped.

Suddenly, the killer pushes Jack off the cliff and he plummets into the water below.



Jack suddenly reappears in the laboratory, drenched and confused. Lisa rushes to his side.

DETECTIVE LISA: Jack! Are you okay?

DETECTIVE JACK: What just happened?

DETECTIVE LISA: You disappeared for a few seconds. What did you see?

DETECTIVE JACK: I saw a different reality. It was desolate and dark. The killer was there, but I couldn’t catch him.

DETECTIVE LISA: We need to find out more about this experiment. Maybe it’s the key to solving the case.



The detectives find the lead scientist on the experiment and interrogate her. She reveals that the experiment was designed to open a portal to a parallel universe, but things went wrong and the portal was unstable.

DETECTIVE JACK: We need to go back. We need to catch the killer and bring him to justice.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Owl notes


Dramatic pivot

Dramatic escalation

New scene/transition

Character stand in



Narrative change (story within a story)

Whose film is it?

A non-comprehensive list of places music might go in a film.

Scene transitions

Changes in liminality dramatically -- narrative change “play within a play”

Realizations -- When someone says the name of the film-- usually a realization

Realizations -- ours. Reveals. 



Actor beat or change -- DRAMATIC PIVOT -- Escalation of emotional reality

Foreshadow (our realization) Presage 

To pick up the pace of a scene

Underscore emotional reality

Illustration to reinforce emotional reality

Stand-in for character or object -- character stand-in

Pauses after beats

Silence can be a cue

Music emphasizes or underlines the emotional content of the narrative.
To increase pace

I was born in 1965 as the youngest of four children and grew up in the idyllic little Borough of Metuchen in New Jersey. I have vague memories of the Vietnam War on the news. 

In 1980, in the 10th grade, I became so disillusioned with school that I simply quit. Oddly, I found my father to be strangely sympathetic to me. 

I went, instead, to Solebury School in (or near) New Hope, PA. My parents spent a lot of money putting me in private school, but I was actually educated there. 

2020 I completed a masters degree in composing for the media.

2020 directed and produced the podcast Earthkiller.

2021 I created the video game Scampr

For students nearing to completing their PhD within the next year, please see below for the new PRAB dates which is the Awards Board:

PRAB Dates

Friday 30th September 2022

Friday 28th October 2022 - to meet the awarding deadline for Winter Graduation

Friday 9th December 2022

Friday 27th January 2023

Friday 31st March 2023

Friday 28th April 2023

Friday 2nd June 2023- to meet the awarding deadline for Summer Graduation

Friday 30th June 2023

One can land on either side of a decision or realization, or right on the nose of it. It tends to work as the character’s realization if the musical underlining is before or on the actors’ moment. It tends to work as the audience’s realization when the music lands afterward.

I'm finding that sometimes the picture wants a little reverb on some dialog. Like when we're very far from her and she's onstage -- the sound wants just a kiss of "theater" reverberation. 10/18/2022

  1. Library

  2. Ice Nymph

  3. Phoebe

  4. 1401

  5. Camera

  6. Camera

  7. Camera

  8. Audio interface

  9. Headphones

  10. Mod Duo X

  11. Kemper

  12. Keyboard

  13. Mouse

  14. Streamdeck

It is your time to work out what the music needs to be saying in the scene. When the music starts and finishes is also important: the entry or exit of a cue can add significance to that moment in the film.

The Professional Composer’s Guide p132

Paul Thomson

Spitfire Audio Books 2022

Great Britain

ISBN (eBook): 978-1-3999-1884-8