"Untitled Gorilla Commercial" Soundtrack and Wrap up

I just posted the soundtrack to the short film "The Untitled Gorilla Project" to my soundcloud.  Most recently, UGC premiered at Dances with Films 2012 and screened at the Grauman's Chinese Theater.

As I mentioned in the my last post about UGC, I wore a lot of hats.  I specifically want to just talk a little about the music for this short, as I am very excited about it. 

The Untitled Gorilla Commercial Soundtrack

This film was edited by the talented Doug Hovey.  The film took a long time to edit and polish (15 official" drafts, not to mention sessions with the director), and of course, temp music was put in to help all of us have a feel for it.  The majority of tracks Doug used were from Malcolm in the Middle.  They had an upbeat contemporary sound that the producers and director found very appealing.  No one was in love with the tracks, but felt they exemplified the type of score we wanted to use.  It was a score I really wanted to make.

Along with the temp, I also wanted the score to sound cool - the short film takes place on the set of a commercial.  I have been fortunate enough to act a number of them and know how fast these sets move.  While commercials are just "advertising", it is easy to lose sight that commercials are essentially mini movies or mini episodes of tv.  Is it any wonder that major Hollywood director's and writers go to commercials during their off time?  Spike Lee, David Mamet and Michael Bay come to mind as directors who have done commercial work.

Play it Cool, Boy

So, how did I give the score a cool sound (at least in my mind)?  Not only did I want the music to sound like something a live band would play, but use instruments I think a cool band would use.

"Meet the AD" Session from Logic 9

These two tracks are built around a Rhodes keyboard (Logics Classic Suitcase mk1).  Nice melody's that a good player would have great ease in playing.  It's a mellow tone that a lot can be done with.  A little distortion or vibrato and the thing is a menace.

Some of the temp tracks almost had a Reggae feel - this was something that the creative team all felt was a little too much, but I still wanted to keep that syncopated feeling that you have in the rhythm section of a reggae band, so I used a clav and a little bit of a distorted guitar with some wah wah.  I syncopated the clav's part with the guitar and it really brightened up the sound.  It let the drums sit back in the pocket and let the rhythm instruments move it along.

"That's a Wrap" Session from Logic 9

Putting it All Together

When I have the opportunity to score a whole piece, I strive to give it unity without killing my workflow.  A lot of Logic users I know may create a template or import track settings from master sessions.  I prefer to do the whole piece (RAM permitting) in one session.

Entire Session from The Untitled Gorilla Commercial
The cues are labeled with the Soundtrack names

As you can see, it makes for a pretty large session, but if you're computer can handle it, why not?  I can use the same settings from other cues, other loops, other instruments, other busses!  Remember when I said I wanted the score to sound like a band could play it?  This is why.  I wanted the music to almost be like a bands live set and you can see that I reuse a lot of the same instruments again and again to tie the score together.

That's it for me.  Check out my soundcloud at http://soundcloud.com/cormacbluestone/sets, where new music from my studio is going up all the time.