Home > Sound Design and Score: An Indie Film Round Table

Sound Design and Score: An Indie Film Round Table

Twin Cities feature film - sound
On the set of the upcoming film Twin Cities (photo by Dallas Smith)

How does a composer write music that doesn’t draw attention to itself? How can a director convey scoring ideas if they’re not a musician? Why is temp music important for an editor?  When should sound design reflect the real world, and when should it be from a character’s psychological perspective? Will the dialogue editor choose the lavalier or boom mic recording, or both?

These are just a few of the conversation-sparking questions we discuss in today’s Composer Quest podcast episode (the season six finale!), featuring the team behind the upcoming film Twin Cities. You’ll get to hear perspectives on film sound from a director/writer (David Ash), producer/editor (Jason P. Schumacher), sound designer (Mike Hallenbeck), and composer (me). We dissect the entire post-production sound process, from a spotting session with all four of us, to our experimental on-the-spot scoring session, which was very productive and slightly nerve-racking for me as the composer.

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Right click to download Ep. 153, or open in iTunes.

Here’s the trailer for Twin Cities:

Favorite Film Scores

Here are our favorite film scores we mentioned in this episode:

Mike Hallenbeck

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone
  • Donnie Darko – Michael Andrews
  • Risky Business – Tangerine Dream
  • The Road – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
  • Love and Mercy – Atticus Ross
  • Hannibal (TV series) – Brian Reitzell
  • Moon – Clint Mansell
  • Kwaidan – Toru Takemitsu
  • Saw – Charlie Clouser

Charlie McCarron

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Jon Brion
  • Punch Drunk Love – Jon Brion

Dave Ash

  • There Will Be Blood – Jonny Greenwood
  • George Washington – Andrew Gillis
  • All the Real Girls – Michael Linnen and David Wingo
  • Taxi Driver – Bernard Hermann
  • Drive – Cliff Martinez
  • Lost Highway – Angelo Badalamenti
  • Mulholland Drive – Angelo Badalamenti

Jason P. Schumacher

  • Punch Drunk Love – Jon Brion
  • Fargo – Carter Burwell
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin
  • Foxcatcher – Rob Simonsen
  • Secret of Kells – Bruno Coulais and Kíla

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