Ian – Thank you very much


Ian –

Thank you very much for your revealing and thoughtful reply. It seems that you’re doing what I would like to be doing more often. From watching documentaries filmed in your country, it seems that New Zealand lends itself to stunning nature-focused videography.

I envy your time that you take to video-tape, edit then compose music to your documentaries. Recently my wife and I vacationed in Sedona, Arizona where there exists a very different type of beauty found in that area. I have over a couple of hundred photos and about 1 1/2 hours of (standard definition) video of our stay there. My plans are to do something similar to what you do and create a finished “documentary” of the area and our vacation there. A lack of time, unfortunately, has kept me from even starting to “put everything together”. Oh, I’m working on a video. It happens to be an educational in-service that I taped on managing acute strokes in the E.R. setting. (As I shared in my original post, I’m a full-time ICU/CCU nurse who also video-tapes educational in-services held at our modest and very small hospital.) This particular project is a challenge. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I wasn’t able to put (the usual) wireless lavalier microphone on the neurologist who presented the in-service. Instead, I had to rely on the my video-camera’s own microphone (which is mediocre at best) to record the sound. To add to the challenge of providing clean audio, the neurologist has a thick Polish accent. She was very knowledgable, of course. It’s sad, though, that even under normal circumstances, it is difficult to understand her. (Yikes!). So, I’m finding myself supplementing this particular project with lots of “extra” graphics to help get the point across. Although I am enjoying editing this video (despite the challenge of attempting to improve the poor audio), it’s keeping me from editing and setting to music this lovely video “documentary” of our vacation in Sedona. When I get to it, this video will be the first of its kind for me. It’s all set to put together. I just need to put it all together, which includes my favorite part. . . writing the original music. (Oh, and did I mention that I’m a full-time ICU/CCU nurse?!? LOL!)

It seems that we both own the Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO). I’m a big fan of his products. I own various versions of GPO as well as his JABB (Jazz and Big Band) instrumental library. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out the instrumental libraries from Kirk Hunter Studios. My favorite is his Concert String 2 library, scripted for Kontakt 4. It’s a really great-sounding string library. At present, there is a “Group Buy” on most of the libraries by Kirk Hunter Studios. This particular Group Buy was so successful that one can now enjoy a 75% discount off the cost of his libraries. I think that the Group Buy has been extended. This is a really good deal for great sounding orchestral libraries.

I’m sorry to read about your stroke. It seems, though, that you have recovered enough to be able to do some wonderful things like video-tape, edit, write music. I see a lot of negative effects from strokes. Please understand that it is significant to me that you seem to have successful “recovery”. In reading the story that you share, I would say that your recovery is at least inspirational. People can recover from strokes (depending on where the stroke took place and the severity of the stroke). Usually, though, the recovery is not without a lot of hard work, both physically and emotionally. I do like to read about positive outcomes from the hard work and effort of recovery.

Getting back to the subject of “film composition”, what is your take on the more commercial side of writing music to video?? It seems, at times, that the art of composition is being lost to the reality of meeting short deadlines and the convenience of computer-based “music”. Again as I shared in my original post, I learned “film composition” using movieolas (sp?). But learning to use these things was secondary to learning composition. I took a number of composition and arranging courses which were mandatory for the major. Recently, I looked into the curriculum that the college that I attended 30 years ago has to offer Film Composition majors NOW. It’s different. The number of actual composition courses required of its current Film Scoring students is much less. Instead, there are more computer-focused courses. This doesn’t seem right to me. Yes, quick deadlines need to be met and computers make WONDERFUL tools. But why sacrifice the art and skill of composition in the meanwhile? It seems that the “background music”, especially found in the more “recent” television shows and documentaries, is lacking in thought to what’s going on on the screen. It seems very predictable, un-original and exceedingly cliche-ish. It seems like nothing more than just cliche “background fill-noise” to my ears which happens to be “music”. Yes, I know that writing music to video (film) is NOT meant to be an end in of itself. And, maybe I’m just reacting to my jealousy that I’m not writing that cliche “background fill-noise”. LOL! But the art of music composition seems to be taking too much of a back seat to modern, commercial music to video (and film). It saddened me to find out that my college now offers Film Scoring majors LESS opportunities to take music composition courses. For good or for bad, the focus seems to be more on the BUSINESS rather than the art.

Well. . . that’s my whine for the night. (Trust me, if I ever found myself dependent on making a living as film composer, I would also use the same-old musical cliches if it was expected of me to use them! LOL!)

Anyone else have any other comments and/or stories and experiences to share with regards to writing music to video???

Take care. . . and happy video-making and music composing. πŸ™‚

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