Shaping a Film by Matching Songs and Scenes

Soundtracks can help shape the rhythm and mood surrounding the story in a film. How many times do you catch yourself remembering a film through its music? Take, for instance, Star Wars. Would the saga envisioned by George Lucas have the same grandeur without its John Williams orchestral theme?

Or Steven Spielberg’s daunting Jaws with that music anticipating that the huge and deadly shark was coming.

Music can be a vital part of captivating storytelling. And that is what we are trying to figure out. The entire class went on a scavenger hunt in order to find the perfect tune to match the opening of our film. As we went through the pages of transcribed interviews, and searched for footage, we had our headphones on, as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

From Shooting to Storytelling – A Coral Film’s Second Act

pacecoralluskayblanksheet0331

We are starting to brainstorm about how our documentary is going to unfold. Tonight we start with a long blank sheet of unrolled paper marked, “Opening, Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Closing….” By the end of class we will have taped snipped excerpts from transcripts of interviews into the empty areas, creating a rough guide. There’s still analog work in this digital age!

The clock is ticking. The film debuts at the Jacob Burns Film Center on May 12th. We are very excited to share every bit of this journey with you, but we have to do it in about 20 minutes of screen time, and in a way that both captures attention and captivates viewers in a media environment flooded with TMI – too much information.

It seems like ages since we returned from the beautiful, sunny island of Curaçao with gigabytes of video, including 13 interviews and background imagery– a.k.a., b-roll – of beaches, construction work, coral and more. After logging – categorizing what we have and organizing it all to make editing swifter – we have to start stitching everything together.  Continue reading