The Break-Up Tour at Tropfest

I recently worked on a short film for filmmaker Alex Poe called The Break-up Tour for Tropfest.  It is a festival where you're given an item that must be incorporated into the film.  All the films in the competition are made specifically for it.

Noah Bean, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Ian Unterman & Jennifer Carpenter in The Break-up Tour Tropfest second place winner, 2012 The Break-Up Tour won second place for Best Film and won best Actor Ian Unterman!

We had a very short time to work on the music (pretty much a half day).  I had sent Alex a cut originally of what I was thinking of which he liked very much.  When we got in, we had a day to submit a new master.  I hit the studio and bounced out a track for our sound mixer to drop in.

The Marmalade Waltz

What I like about working with Alex (who's plays and films I've been in over the past decade) is he has a consistent style - A modern day Woody Allen-esque world, but more relationship driven rather than character.  They're the kind of films that I like to work on and to watch.  Within that style, the music generally goes from tone setting ambience, to Django Reinhardt upbeat swing.  This was going to be a Django piece which happens to be right up my alley.

His temp track was Body and Soul by Django Reinhardt - a classic we've all heard (even if we were completely unaware of it).  These types of tracks are always up my alley and are a lot of fun to do.  They let me write music rather than score to picture and I get to get into my guitar and play, rather than chunking out grand pieces to picture.

You can see at first glance, this is an extremely simple tune.  It is two guitars, and virtual standup bass and drums.  Normally, I'd do the drums for something like this live (being that it's only brushes stirring the soup on a snare), but due to time constraints, midi was the way to go.

Once the tune was together, it was just working with Alex (via email) figuring out how the music should come in and out.  We wrestled with the end quite a bit.  First, we started with a big outro to the tune, then a shorter outro, then a fade out (which we agreed neither of us wanted), and finally, a version where we go back to the introduction of the song as if it were the head and finish with it. Here is an the song version of it:

Tropfest was a terrific evening - the Best of Australian Tropfest films were amazing and the US films were a wide variety ranging from documentary's, dramas, cartoons, and straight narratives.  Hugh Jackman hosted and the panel of judges were Rose Byrne, Jennifer Westfeldt, Judah Friedlander, producer Ted Hope and Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Scott Foundation.  Bryant Park was packed to the brim!