Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Standards for delivery for learnings

By default, I would give them 24bit 48kHz stereo WAV files, but make sure to ask first.

In your cue sheet, label the column that has the location of 2-Pop's as "2-Pop" or "2-Pop Location"

So if your music actually starts at 10.00.01.12, you would put a two pop at 09.59.58.00, exactly two seconds before the start of the first frame of the picture.

You then put the timecode as part of the file name and then there can be no confusion

1M1Ver1-09.59.58.00.wav

Many composers just give the editor the start time of the audio file without putting a two pop on the front whhen they're delivering cues like this. I often put the timecode as part of the file name to stop it getting lost or separated.

DEADBEAT-1M6V1-01.02.03.12.AIFF

Great...

Now we have music that is

1. At the correct sample rate
2. At the correct bit depth
3. In the correct audio format
4. With the correct sync mark or two pop on the front

 §

I would always send a text file with the upload or enclosed with the package. It should include:

Your name, address and contact details.

The name of the production, the production company and the producer it is intended for.

The technical details of the files i.e. 16bit 48khz AIFFs.

And the date or version number to avoid confusion.

If your music is received by a busy post-production house, they might have dozens of things on the go at any one time so your stuff could easily get lost.

So you covering sheet should look something like this:

Composer: Jim Farmer
Big Bad Music Company
14 Acacia Gardens
London W12 9RJ
Tel: 020 8740 1234

Project: 'Florida the Sunshine State'
Production Company: Elgin Productions
Contact: Peter Swain

24bit 48khz AIFF files

Music - Final Mixes 15th March 2015

1 Opening Title 10:00:00:00

2 Crime in Paradise 10:04:00:00

3 Capital City Money 10:06:00:00

4 Closing Titles 10:08:00:00

More important than life itself

In future every time you submit an assignment I expect you to do something like this. If you don't, your work will be returned unmarked. I know its boring and mundane, but if you don't get into the habit of doing it professionally you will eventually run into big trouble.

§
Check frame rate
Be sure picture is running at the same speed as the frame rate
 


 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Writing to a Brief

Nick Bye has a one and a half minute film for Titanium Oil that needs music.

It's a new, high tech oil which has a lot of clever, high tech molecular chemistry gone into the creation of it.

The premise of the product was to create an oil that can cope with the aggressive, high pressured nature of a modern engine.

The film represents the strength of the oil, but to make it sexy, attractive and interesting. It shows a dancer, wet head to toe in silver paint. She represents the engine. She walks into a large cavernous space with lots of lights and atmosphere. We aren't sure if she is a human or a machine, until she lifts her head and the camera zooms in on her eyes and we realise she is machine. We see cogs and mechanics behind her eyes. She launches into an energetic, spikey, powerful dance. It needs a strong rhythm which sounds like a cross between an engine, clashing metal, noise, heat and pressure.

We cut to inside her eye amongst the cogs, where the titanium molecules of oil are now lubricating the mechanics. We zoom out through CG graphics back out of the eye and we see that the dancer is now gold. She is now dancing in a very fluid, sexy way.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Enstudentia

We require you to write a piece of music that starts as suspense for the first 30 seconds before turning into an action cue for a further 30 seconds. The action section should build to a climax by the end.

For all programmes we welcome mature students who may not have formal qualifications. Responsibility for the assessment and accreditation of non-certified prior learning, including experiential learning, lies with the Programme Director and Course Manager.

Students must include a short covering letter that includes;
  • Applicant’s name and email address
  • Applicant’s technical resources; DAW and main sound libraries so ThinkSpace Education can take this into account.
  • Any other information the applicant feels may be relevant.
This covering letter should be as a text file or Microsoft Word document.
Applicants should follow the instructions online to upload their portfolio and covering letter.

APEL

If applicants are applying through a non-standard route and wish other professional experience to be taken into consideration, they must contact the Course Manager who will outline what additional material may be required. An interview, on the telephone or via Skype may be required in addition to the portfolio.

What we will require will be:
  • First degree graduation certificate
  • Scan of your passport photo page (or equivalent photographic ID with your address)
  • Two recent official documents or invoices confirming your current address
  • Certificates, including IELTS, confirming any other qualifications you are relying on to support your application
  • Two references, at least one of which should be an academic reference where appropriate
 ------------
Audio Files: When submitting audio files, please convert them to MP3 at 128 or 250Kbs. Unless specifically required to do so, do not send in WAVs AIFFs or other uncompressed audio formats.


Text: You can send in your reflective journals, assignment commentary or any other written work as a PDF, word or Text file.


Video: Where video files are required, output your movie as QuickTime movie or .MP4 file at the same frame rate as the source material. We do not accept windows media files. You should aim for around 10-15 mbs a minute. A tutorial on how to format and compress your video files is available on the website.



 ---
 

Indicative Reading

Required

Cooke M (2008) A history of film music (1st edition). New York: Cambridge University Press
Hill J and Gibson P (1998) The Oxford guide to film studies (1st edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Karlin, F. and Wright, R. (1990). On the track. 1st ed. New York: Schirmer Books.
Rona, J. (2000). The reel world. 1st ed. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books.
Recommended
Adler, S. (2002). The study of orchestration. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton.
Jones C and Jolliffe G (2000) The guerilla film makers handbook (1st edition). New York: Continuum
Monaco J (2009) How to read a film (1st edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Jacob, G. (1940). Orchestral technique. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, G. Cumberlege.
Mancini, H. (1977). Sounds and scores. 1st ed. Greenwich: Northridge Music Inc.
Piston, W. and Piston, W. (1955). Orchestration. 1st ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Read, G. (1979). Music notation. 1st ed. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.
Rimsky-Korsakov, N., Shteinberg, M. and Agate, E. (1912). Principles of orchestration. 1st ed. Berlin: Edition Russe de Musique.

Required Viewing (for both Film Music in Practice Modules)
American Beauty. (1999). [film] USA: DreamWorks SKG: Sam Mendes.
Batman. (1989). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Tim Burton.
Casablanca. (1942). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Michael Curtiz.
From Russia With Love. (1963). [film] GB: Eon Productions: Terence Young.
Gladiator. (2000). [film] USA: DreamWorks SKG: Ridley Scott.
Gravity. (2013). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Alfonso Cuarón.
King Kong. (1933). [film] USA: RKO Radio Pictures: Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack.
King Kong. (2005). [film] USA: Universal Pictures: Peter Jackson.
Lawrence of Arabia. (1962). [film] GB: Horizon Pictures: David Lean.
North by Northwest. (1959). [film] USA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM): Alfred Hitchcock.
Psycho. (1960). [film] USA: Shamley Productions: Alfred Hitchcock.
Skyfall. (2012). [film] GB: Eon Productions: Sam Mendes.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. (1980). [film] USA: Lucasfilm: Irvin Kershner.
The Adventures of Robin Hood. (1938). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Michael Curtiz.
The City Lights. (1931). [film] USA: Charles Chaplin Productions: Charles Chaplin.
The Dark Knight. (2008). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Christopher Nolan.
The Godfather. (1972). [film] USA: Paramount Pictures: Francis Ford Coppola.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. (1966). [film] IT: Produzioni Europee Associati: Sergio Leone.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. (2001). [film] USA: New Line Cinema: Peter Jackson.
The Mission. (1986). [film] US: Warner Bros: Roland Joffé.
The Pink Panther. (1963). [film] USA: Mirisch G-E Productions: Blake Edwards.
The Social Network. (2010). [film] USA: Columbia Pictures: David Fincher.
There Will Be Blood. (2007). [DVD] USA: Paramount Vantage: Paul Thomas Anderson.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Tempest in Post

The Washington Post reviewed the production of The Tempest I composed for.


An irony is that the above teaser for the show uses music which I wrote that didn't end up in the show. Anyway, I got "Andrew Bellware’s atmospheric music complements the now-funny, now-sinister pageantry." I'm both sinister AND funny.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sound designing on a blog



This is what they've been using for the masque.

(OMG. Blogger just sucks. I put in all these embedded YouTube videos and when I publish, it just trashes the code. It's really infuriating.)

Alan Vista has some pretty excellent VSTi plugins including marimba and xylophone and cymbals.

Klanghelm makes a free version of their variable-mu limiter. It's a bit crankier to me than the Waves emulation of the Fairchild 670, but it's pretty nice.

Montclair State has a string quartet competition due on June 3, 2018. The prize is $2500. Anna Thorvaldsdottir is on the jury.

Batacuda:

Deportee:

St. James Infirmary

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

More and Thenwise

I am especially amused by Mail-A-Letter. Because, you know, you can mail a letter. On the Internet.

Brooklyn Shoe Space offers classes in making shoes and sneakers. I'm kinda academically interesting in the notion of DIY footwear.
Oneday had a Kickstarter for their sneaker kits.
University of Fashion is a paid site with lessons on drawing for fashion. I think the 9-head height is silly though.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Girl With the Dragon Gifts On A Train.

So we have a movie where the lead is a black girl. This is a big freakin' deal. Sure, we've got a hard-ass British Army sergeant. But the army isn't made up of soldiers who are just insanely evil, like 28 Days Later. They're maybe not quite as realistic as Dog Soldiers but their incompetence is only minor.
Other than that we comfortably have a lot of women in speaking parts. And we have the lead played by a black girl.

The Girl With All The Gifts is a simply terrible name for a movie.
Would you think it is 
1. a delightful Christmas story 
2. a post-apocalyptic zombie movie 
3. a creepy Scandinavian murder mystery?

Exactly. And something more like this should have been the key art.
 We haveta haveta haveta start casting black women and Asian men as leads. And Native American and African and South Asian and... steer away from the brown-haired white boys the way we do.
Hey, sure, maybe not all at once. Let's cut 'em down to 50%. Try that for a while. Eventually we'll be at a nice 20% brown-haired white boys. That seems reasonable.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Ringu

I did this tutorial. Note that Shapeways adds a step specific to rings that isn't needed as one can change the size of the material in Fusion 360's sheet metal environment.
I'm getting this ring (ID 14.5mm) made at Shapeways. For such a simple design you might be surprised to learn it took me days to do.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Level your bed

Some Cura settings for the Monoprice IIIP.
Vector wing drawings.
Studio HDR lighting setups for Blender. Very cool actually.
This sea serpent printable model looks pretty cool.
Prop shop Themendous in Union City.
Bed leveling the Monoprice IIIP. Something I, er, have not actually done.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Stuff done in 2017

Published the novel Earthkiller.

Recorded and released "The Last Voyage of the No Ship" from Pleasure for the Empire.
Recorded and released the album "La Gata de la Luna" from Night Gods of the Sleeping Earth.
Sold Carbon Copy in Japan
Had a job very briefly at the JCFabLab.
Learned how to sew with a machine.
Released Dragon Girl on Amazon Prime.

Built a baritone guitar.
Built a Telecaster-type guitar.
Built a wide-necked thinline (Five) hollow-body guitar.
Made mezuzas.
Made dragon boxes.
Lost 20lbs

You know what's frustrating? Amazon affiliate links not appearing in Blogger. I guess that feature is just dead.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Ghost in Your Hell

Also? The live-action Ghost in the Shell -- did you see it?
No.
 
It came out last year. There was much bashing because The Major was played by Scarlett Johanson rather than a Japanese actor.
Oh right.I guess I didn't realize that came & went.
 
So yeah. The problems include the fact that as much as fans of the comic love to think it's really deep and philosophical, the original is actually just crap.I mean, their scripts are terrible.The dialog hurts your nose. The themes smack you in the back of the head, and where there should be plot there is, instead, pretty images.
And like how much vastly better The Ring's script is to Ringu, they did solve a lot of problems in the live-action movie.
And there are some aspects of the LA GitS which are sort of beautifully faithful to the original. Like the fact the chief only speaks in Japanese. Which is just beautiful really. He is so awesome. [Ed. That's Beat Takeshi.]
Ok.
 
So did you ever understand what they meant by "ghost in the shell"?
Nope.
Right. Well that gets cleared up right away.
See, the Major is completely robotic. But she has the mind of a person. That mind, hidden deep below, is her "ghost" and the body is her "shell." And that is the difference between her and a robot.
Also, you have a degree in "I can talk about complicated flipping philosophical concepts" and you never learned that from watching the movie. Whose fault do you think that is? Yours or theirs?
Well.You are the only evidence that I actually watched the movie. It went in one eyeball and out the other. I was not apparently very taken by its philosophy.
 
Then there are two things about Scarlett's performance which really stood out. First of all, I looked at her and thought "huh, they made her kinda fat for a big picture like this." Which isn't true but she is, quite literally, "thick". She has the body of an athlete but not the tone of one.
Okay.
And considering that her "nude" scenes are all in a robot bodysuit CG, I thought that was an interesting choice. [Ed note: they are not, apparently. The thermoptic suit was created, which also explains why she is overall a tad thicker.]
But then... I saw her walk. And her physicality in the movie is one of someone deeply uncomfortable in their own skin. She is clunky. Shoulders forward. She walks like she's badly animated.
It's an amazing set of choices.
And if I'm not mistaken, she actually alters her walk cycle at the end of the movie. She isn't totally human but she is somewhat more comfy. 
I mean, Hollywood does a lot of dumb things, but there are things it does well. And telling stories in ways that are clear to the audience is one of those things. I think.
One of the complaints on the Interwebs was that at one point the Major finds her actual mother. And being a Westerner served tea by a Japanese mother [Ed note: Kaori Momoi].
The thing about it is that having her be of a completely different race in that context is utterly freaking brill brill
What's the problem?
Because Scarlett is playing a Japanese character.
But she isn't. She didn't know she was Japanese.
Right. Which dramatically is interesting. But for ex-pat Asians, or people of Asian descent in the West, is problematic.
Ah. What, if anything, did the Japanese think about this?
Actual Japanese people who live in Japan don't tend to care because anytime they want to see representations of themselves in a variety of contexts in news or film or television--
They just turn on the TV.
Scarlett, showing off her bad-animation walk cycle. Genius really.
Right.
But dramatically, this Ghost in the Shell did an amazing thing. One thing, other than Scarlett's amazing walk cycle, that was amazing.
Amazing?
Her mother has this dress which has the non-symmetrical offset collar thingy.
What?
This.
Major Mom.
Okay. 
Her mother wears a dress which has the non-symmetrical offset collar. You know what I mean? And in the next sequence Scarlett's body armor has the same cut. 
 
Mommy made my body armor.

⧳ I stipulate that is a stunning work of brilliance. But there's still the racial politics.
I blame every other movie and television show for refusing to cast ethnically non-occidentals in damn near everything. Defaulting to the brown-haired white boy just makes everything suck. Because the whole identity issue where you have a white girl who finds out she has a Japanese mom is fascinating. I mean that's brilliant too.
Yeah but what if you had flipped it?
You mean had a Japanese Major with white woman as her mom?
⧳ Ooh. That sounds like it would get similar white-washing complaints. 
Yes, and only because we suck so much at casting anyone who isn't a brown-haired white guy. 
⧳ They do get all the best roles. 
Especially if they have British accents.
⧳ Especially.
Because the thing with the Ghost series is that Section 9 is just made up of wildly different people from all over the world. I don't think that's ever explained. But it is very cool.
There's a black British woman who gets very little screen time but she has an awesome lower-class accent. [She's Turkish and Polish and her name is Danusia Samal. Drew is an idiot and her character's name is Ladriya.]
Man, there were some pretty shots in the movie. There's also some of the things which made the original GiTS not so great. The primacy of image over story, for instance. But much of that did get cleaned up. There were quite a few shots where I was like "Did I do the animation on that?" because it was definitely the B-team (I'm looking at you spider-bot.)