And now, for something completely different – I recently rejoined the Ghosts With Shit Jobs team recently to help them put together a concept trailer for a new series called Haphead.  I ended up not only scoring it, but doing fight choreography and acting as well.  This is how it went:

“Hey, I heard you do martial arts. Would you be interested in doing some fight choreography?”

This phrase began my involvement as a fight choreographer in Haphead. Director Tate Young and I met during post-production on the feature Ghosts With Shit Jobs, and now we were having some pints and discussing a new web-series that he was involved in, written by Ghosts writer Jim Munroe. Now, I’m a composer by trade (and that is why Tate originally called me), but here was an opportunity to also develop and choreograph a fight sequence. As a longtime fan of martial arts and fighting in the movies with a 3rd degree in Shotokan Karate, I couldn’t pass it up…

To read the full article and see the full fight video and trailer, visit http://haphead.com/2014/03/from-punching-in-to-rabbit-punching/

Baddy

In this segment, we’ll look at how music can aid in the challenges of material that moves between serious drama to comedy, how music and rhythm can help propel scenes forward while providing tension, and connect scenes together while helping with transitions.

Project: Clutch Season 2 Finale || Filmmaker: Jonathan Robbins || Duration: 4:43

In this segment, we’ll look at some very contrasting ways to approach the music in a scene, and how dramatically it can alter the audiences perception of the characters and what’s going on.

Project: Alice Industrial Wasteland || Filmmaker: Jack Wiktor || Duration: 5:34

In these case study videos, I provide a look into my process, with a focus on music as a problem solving device, and critical component in helping tell a story.  Each one features a different project and filmmaker, and relays some of the typical conversations, challenges, solutions that are part of each project.

In this segment, we’ll look at musical themes as a tool to establish perspective, how music can play to the emotional story in horror films, and help create feelings of empathy for characters.

Project: To Hell, With Love || Filmmaker: Gavin Michael Booth || Duration: 4:59

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Photo: Scott Murdoch

 

I was recently asked for advice on how to be successful as a media composer.  Now, while I am a working full-time composer/producer,  I’m still pretty new to the game so I’m not answering from the vantage point of a grizzled veteran.  However, the question did force me to congeal what I’ve learned so far into a neat ten points.  I sourced my creative friends online to help me fill it out, and I’m pretty happy with this final list, which I think could be applied to any career in the creative field.  What would you add?

  1. Do it because you love it. If you love it more than anyone else*, that will be the fuel that keeps you going.
  2. Accept that you have to be in it for the long haul.
  3. Learn the business and apply your knowledge. Write down your goals and visualize your success clearly.  Plan your work and work your plan
  4. Learn to recognize oblique and veiled but valuable opportunities.
  5. Know yourself – limitations and strengths.  Work on finding and nurturing your voice, in all areas (writing, relationships – develop your true expression of yourself).
  6. Create something unique – don’t follow the trends. Compete on that ground + your value as a true professional.
  7. Get out there and meet and network as much as possible. Consider that networking is about you giving before you receive. Build goodwill, and you will be amply rewarded.
  8. Be humble, temper your ego, and never stop learning and working to improve your craft.
  9. Consider the value of collaborations vs. going it alone.
  10. Have fun, work hard, and just keep doing it!

(* When I posted this listed, a friend asked “don’t you mean ‘anything‘?”.  This idea is from a book by Sam Sheridan called “A Fighter’s Mind”. In it, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player Marcelo Garcia is profiled. He’s one of these people that is almost like a Jedi in his mastery and domination in the sport… he just flattens divisions, and then goes on to take out almost everyone in the Opens… When pressed on the reasons for his success, he believes that it’s not because he works FAR harder than anyone (which is possible) or that he knows more (which he may) or has natural gifts or talent (he’s not the biggest or fastest player), but simply that he knows in his heart that he loves BJJ more than anyone else. I like that idea… that his love is for his work is so vast that it’s the thing driving everything else – the endless learning and training, working through the pain and obstacles towards success.)

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