Film Scoring Tips

A recent technique I developed not too long ago, was to visit the Apple Trailer website, download a trailer I liked, strip the audio from the footage, and then rewrite the music for the footage to my liking. This technique is incredibly useful because you get to use professionally edited high quality footage to write your music too.

If you’re just starting out at this scoring stuff then you may not realize how important well edited footage contributes to the composition of your music. Highly experienced, highly trained editors, are very musical, and know how to move into and out of scenes in a very fluid way. I know editors that use click or beep tracks, to help keep the movement of the footage going.

Keep in mind that if you score enough footage that has been professionally edited, then you will realize how a good and not so good an editor compare. Just don’t insult anybody’s skills that may not be up to the par that you’re use to. There will be plenty of jobs that are not very well put together and the threshold of the burden will be placed upon your shoulders to help tie the scenes together. Your job becomes more difficult when you’re working with people who are less skilled than you. However it’s these projects, if you let them, that will help you to become very good at your job.

Here’s how you do it.

1) Go to the Apple Trailers Website http://www.apple.com/trailers

2) Import your video into your sequencing program of choice (Pro-tools, Nuendo, Cubase, DP, Logic, etc.. )

3) Most sequencing programs will extract the audio from the Quicktime video you import into it’s sequencing window. It will allow you to mute, edit or delete, the audio track, so you can write your music to the footage. Make sure when exporting the audio the audio file is the exact length of the footage. Meaning, when you line the exported stereo track up with the footage in your sequence there’s no mistake as to where the music should line up, if you were to import them into another program.

4) Once you’re done with writing your music, import the footage into a video editor. If you’re on a Mac chances are you’re using iMovie which means you won’t have to convert, if you’re on a PC it’s Window’s Movie Maker, which will not accept “.mov” files. You have to open Quicktime Pro to export it as an “.avi”

5) Next, line the music up to the footage and export it as an .mp4 for mac or .avi for windows. (The .mp4 file format looks the best and usually is the smallest in size, in my humble opinion.)

On a side note, if you or someone you know, is into sound design or sound effects, this technique works well for that art form as well.

 

 

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