Thank you for your “Frozen” submission!
I would have liked to have read a little more in your commentary about why you chose to go in the “Nordic noir” direction… it’s important to fully understand the creative process! When the brief asks for up to 1000 words of commentary, it means we want to know more about how you came up with thematic material, why you chose certain sounds or libraries, technical aspects of your mockup, and critical assessment of your own work. This should almost never be a one or two simple sentence answer to one of the questions - Please elaborate further. Include things like why you chose to score or not score certain moments - what you chose to have as important sync points and transitions and why, etc.
It’s interesting you mentioned the TV show House in your research - I’ve worked as a part of that composer team on multiple TV shows over my past 5 years in LA.
There is a lot of discrepancy and a fine line in terms of talking sync point timings - for me, the musical change that happens at the scene cut at 02:06:07:16 happens just a hair too late. Although hitting right on the nose is not necessary since we’re not doing a Mickey-moused animation here, I think moving this change even 1 second earlier or a matter of frames could help this sit better and be more impactful in its marriage to the film. I’d love to hear the delay metal sound effect style sound design to begin to fade earlier, around possibly 02:06:21:03 - to follow the focus of the camera on the silhouette in the background and to really feel like this music is shifting as she is shifting both her attention and gaze. Love the low pad that comes in as the boat comes across, it creates a good sense of mystery here.
Nice change in the feel of the music as the strings come in and bring us both a sense of more emotion and confusion with her smirk.
I completely agree with your idea to make the music smaller and a little more settled as we come to this indoor cut at 02:06:59:10, but its transition here feels rushed. Try letting the musical ideas from the previous scene (full moon) wane down and little more before we hit this cut (yes, pun intended…)
Nice transition around 02:09:29:16, this works very well with the camera work.
I personally found the piano to be mixed a little too low in the mix - I’m curious as to why you have it down so far - is it to let the sustained strings take precedence? I think the piano adds a nice movement and should be brought out more - except for under the narration at 02:09:17:17. The speaking voice is somewhat mid range - either duck the volume of the piano here, or jump it up an octave and reduce the velocities so that the piano does not compete with the audio.
I like the minimalistic approach of the music, although I’m not sure it’s giving the viewer enough emotionally to truly assist in the story telling. See if you can add more of an evocative touch to the score - absolutely not to just TELL us what is going on or about to happen, but to almost subconsciously shift us to a better understanding - subtle things like a melody motif, a simple chord change that gives us a change in tonality or modality, small nuances or thematic intertwining, etc.
Allison Piccioni's Summary:
I could have definitely used better insight and more detail in your commentary, as it is not only a great way to critically assess yourself and the how’s why’s and what’s of your creative process but also for tutors to gain insight into technical aspects of your assignment. I think this is a great sound bed to begin with, although I feel that the music is missing some evocative moments and needs to be fleshed out - also see some of my notes on sync point choices.