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Sunday, June 06, 2010

I've been working for the past few days with a very fine composer named Darren Fung, who scored my 2007 short, 12 WAYS TO SAY I'M SORRY, and has now been kind enough to score my new short, YOU ARE SO UNDEAD.

It's sort of terrifying to work on the score. A great score can raise your movie to a whole 'nother level. The wrong score can ruin it -- even if it's lovely music, if the emotions of the score and the emotions onscreen don't complement each other, the film is kaput.

It's a truism that films are made multiple times. The writer makes the film in his head. The director puts it on screen. The editor remakes it. The composer makes it all over again. "I can make people cry," Stephen Spielberg says, "but John Williams can make them weep."

I find that with so many creative collaborations, having enough time for a back and forth is crucial. I didn't like Darren's first cue, and asked him to write something else. Weirdly, the second cue made me like the first cue better, maybe because it managed to get me away from my fixation on the temp music. Then Darren changed the orchestral strings arrangement to a smokey Miles Davis trumpet thing, and the whole thing felt right.

It isn't what I asked for. I think it's better -- it does the same thing as what I wanted, but in a fresher and cooler way. I'm sure I couldn't have asked for the cue I got right off the bat; we had to struggle back and forth to arrive at it. I had to struggle for the right words, and to figure out what I didn't like about the earlier cues; Darren had to struggle to figure out what the hell I was looking for.

Well, thanks, Darren, for the terrific score, and for bearing with me...

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