Film Scoring Courses
Stylistic Adaptation in Film Scoring
This course will address the prevalent and recurrent need in films to emulate a wide variety of stylistic scoring approaches appropriate to the period setting and/or specific ethnic locale of a screenplay. Approaches to research and adaptation of authentic musical styles will be discussed. (Such styles include, for example, 17th-century European, African, 1920s American, etc.). Careful attention to instrumentation, arranging, orchestration, and dramatic theme development will be stressed. Assignments representing realistic situations will be recorded synchronously to the specific needs of film scenes.
Scoring the Moment
In this course, students will examine and explore the challenges posed to a composer in addressing certain classic moments that occur as standard fare in dramatic and comedic films. Such moments include, but would not be limited to: The Kiss, The Revelation, The Chase, The Punch Line, The Victory, The Hero's Death, etc. The typical class session will be divided between a critical review of the previous week's writing assignment and a lecture on the next moment to be examined and scored. Lectures will be far-ranging, and examples will be drawn from the work of prominent film and TV composers. Students will learn how to confront the challenges posed by such parameters as limited budgets, period settings, anticipated sound effects, docudramatics, etc.
Dramatic Scoring 3
This course will provide opportunities for scoring scenes that use the same thematic material for one movie. Students will learn to create appropriate themes, develop variations, create a suite of proposed thematic material for a director, and score several scenes from the same film. Students will use MIDI sequences as well as live players to record their projects. All recorded projects will be conducted by the composers and screened for faculty evaluation. This course will also cover the basic knowledge of the music business as it relates to the film composer. Topics to be discussed will include initial meetings with directors, royalties, contracts, agents, the musicians union, and budgeting for a project.
Advanced Computer Applications for Film/Video Scoring
An examination of advanced film scoring functions available in various software applications. Mac applications include Digital Performer, Logic Pro, Kontakt, and Reason. Requires the use of multi-computer workstation setups: Mac for sequencing, PC for sample or software synthesis playback, Kontakt or GigaStudio for various sample libraries, as well as V-Stack as a host for VST instruments. Scoring projects include a cartoon, TV commercial, and video game footage.
Contemporary Techniques in Film Scoring
This course focuses on the new musical and technological techniques and aesthetics of contemporary film composing. The use of synthesizers and sound design, computers and advanced sequencing techniques, rock, pop, and other nontraditional music in the film scoring process, and the contemporary aesthetics of modern filmmakers and audiences will be investigated.
Advanced Scoring and Implementation for Video Games
This course continues to build on the foundations learned in FS-371. It features advanced approaches to scoring for video games, including implementation using middleware such as XACT, Wwise, and Fmod. It includes examples, guest speakers, and applied scoring to develop the knowledge and skills that games composers and implementers are using in today's industry. This course deepens the preparation of students for entry level work in music at a game development company or as a freelance game music professional, including experience with typical game music workflow using version control technologies.
Advanced Film Music Editing
An advanced music editing course dealing with standard film and television industry procedures. Intended for the student who demonstrates technical fluidity with editing equipment and who intends to pursue a career in this field. Emphasis is on the responsibilities of a music editor for the scored film, from temp tracks and spotting through dubbing. Instruction will include digital editing techniques on a multitrack digital audio workstation, as well as the necessary preparations for delivering music to the dubbing stage in various surround sound formats.
Film Scoring Practicum
A real-world immersion course in which students learn about aspects of film scoring that go beyond composition and production by scoring actual student films. These will include one collaboration with a music production and engineering student who is creating sound design, as well as at least one student film from a local college. Some of these student films will be provided through the professors; however, students will be able to find their own films if they wish. Lectures and discussions will consist of real-world examples of how the director-composer relationship works, as well as critiques of student projects and processes. Admission to the course is by application.
Senior Portfolio and Seminar in Film Scoring
This course focuses on production of the capstone film scoring projects and graduation portfolio, and provides for individual attention within a small group setting. Career planning, relevant business aspects, and the film and television industry's expectations of the composer/music editor also will be discussed both in the small group meetings with the listed faculty, and in weekly seminars with faculty and visiting artist guest speakers.
Film Scoring Internship
Monitored and evaluated professional work experience in an environment related to the film scoring major. Placement is limited to situations available from or approved by the Office of Experiential Learning and the Film Scoring Department chair or designee. To apply for an internship, students must see the internship coordinator in the Office of Experiential Learning prior to registering. Note: Equivalent credit for prior experience is not available due to the requirement of concurrent contract between the employer/supervisor and the college. International students in F-1 status must obtain authorization on their Form I-20 from the Counseling and Advising Center prior to beginning an internship.
Introduction to Film Scoring for Non-Majors
Investigation of the aesthetic relationship between film and music. Discussion of the many functions of film music with analysis of its most effective application to dramatic situations. Exploration of career opportunities in film and television music. This course is suitable for students not intending to major in film scoring.
Mixing the Film Score
This course is a study of multitrack mixdown in a digital audio workstation environment, specifically for the needs of modern film and television scoring in a project studio. Balance and context of a mix are explored, and special consideration is given to genre-appropriate sound. In addition to aesthetic and technical concerns, people skills and delivery to specifications (including stem mixes and session interchange between DAWs) are emphasized. Mix material will be drawn from the student's own film scoring projects from other courses, and/or film scoring sessions from other composers.