The next assignment I was given was to compose some music for a silent film. I have actually done a similar project like this in my second year. This involved making music for a more comedy type of scene, but the film I was working on this time, was none other than…The Lost World.
I really enjoyed working on this project as most of my course assignments revolve around working with audio, but this time I got another chance to make music to go with some video. The Lost World is silent film that was released in 1925 by First National Pictures and is an adaptation of Authur Conan Doyle’s novel.
My teacher directed me that the scene I would be working on is the fight scene between the two dinosaurs, brontosaurus and the tyrannosaurus rex. When he showed me the scene I was so excited as it was really cool to see the dinosaurs move like they did. He gave me a few pointers like:
- Begin with awe inspiring music (wonderful)
- as trex arrives (danger)
- reduce tension as trex leaves and bronte breathes.
He also told me to sync the moves as they fight which I knew was gonna be a fun challenge to do.
I imported the movie into Logic and rewired Reason to create the sounds I wanted. The dinosaurs were so eerie and robotic and because silent films have such a unique quality to them, it was very easy to come up with the texture of the sounds that I had in mind.
What I enjoyed most was composing certain sound effects that I would associate with the dinosaurs as they met and fought, for example the roar and growl, as well as various other sounds such as wind and water. I was definitely going for a grainy distorted sort of the sound with expressive modulations here and there.
What proved to be more challenging was balancing the sound effects with music that suited the scene. I found it quite easy to designate specific themes for the dinosaurs as they appeared on screen, but it was the fight scene that I found most difficult. I ended up going with a fast paced arpeggiator rhythm as they fight.
All in all, a highly interesting and fun project to do. What I loved most about it was that I got a chance to appreciate how films used to be made. You can view the original film online on Youtube.
All the best, Jamie