Friday, 25 November 2011

You Hum It, I'll Play It..!

We're in the midst of pre-production for 'The Bone House' so I've penned some notes on our progress so far, in particular the development of the soundscape.

As this animated short will be presented as a macabre musical featurette, composition of the musical score has been one of the first production priorities. For me, the soundscape offers as much opportunity for plot and character development as the visuals, and a key directorial aim from the outset was for the music to lead the narrative and provide the essential structure for the production. So, unlike a more conventional approach to filmmaking, where music is 'incidental' and maybe isn't considered until post-production - AND even though there is no lip-synching planned - we've started with the music as, in this instance, it will form the spine of our short film.

From left to right: Linze blows the cornet, composition in CueBase,
Linze tinkles the ivories with digital recorder, Pat and Linze design the instrumentation.

Our process so far has been thus: The director prepared a range of briefing materials, including completed lyrics and the bare bones of a musical form. The music team then produced an initial draft of the composition, developing on form and outlining the main sections of the instrumentation. The director responded to this initial draft with rough storyboards and partial animatic, which in turn enabled the music team to weave the composition more tightly around this skeletal storyline. This process of collaborative refinement continued until a final draft of the entire production (i.e. a completed score and animatic in rough format) emerged from the murky depths of our collective consciousness. The birth of this musical narrative has therefore been a highly collaborative endeavour, with artists in two different disciplines (music and vision) passing ideas back and forth until an entire audiovisual production has been formed.

It has been a very positive educational experience and I couldn't be happier with the results if you dipped Johnny Depp into a bucket of sprinkles and dropped us both into a vat of warm chocolate sauce. I'm joking of course – it would have to be Tim Burton in that sprinkles bucket to match the genuine excitement I now feel for this forthcoming stop-motion short..! ;D xxx

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