Today was awesome because any day spent at Studio X with great engineers and monster musicians is simply A-Mazing.
You may have heard of the film Camilla Dickinson, directed by Cornelia Moore and filmed here in Washington State. It is a very exciting project and is currently in post-production. It stars some big names, including the breath-taking Cary Elwes (Wesley from Princess Bride: ARGH!) and beautiful Margaret Colin (Independence Day). BC Smith is the composer for this period piece and he did an amazing job with orchestrator Edgardo Simone. The music was stunning, especially the theme which I guess could be described as the love or romance theme. It is stunning, let me tell you. Took my breath away……
I showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed (on four hours of sleep!) at 8 a.m., ready for a 9 a.m. downbeat. The engineers were the only ones there with me initially, and we had a great time chatting about the real-life requirements of their multi-faceted job. A big project for them lately has been the latest Soundgarden album. Apparently, it is going to be really, really great. Keep your ears peeled for that one! Once my mentor, Tim Huling (Copyist for many BC projects), arrived with parts, I placed them out on the music stands. We had strings, horns, flutes and clarinets and harp for this score. My role was score proof reader (and anything else that needed doing during the session).
Everyone showed up and we got started right on time. And that is when the awesomeness really started: hearing these monster musicians sight reading BC’s music is great. They do an amazing job and get cues recorded in just a few takes – a couple of cues in just ONE take. Incredible. Everyone is excited and happy with the progress. It is a good place to be.
I love sitting and studying the score as I hear it played by musicians a few feet from me – not a mp3 through headphones, not a midi mockup; real live musicians. The music breathes. As I am sitting in the booth, the film rolls so I can see how the music fits the picture. You can’t hear the dialogue but it doesn’t matter, because if the music is written well (which it certainly was today) then you know what is happening. You can feel it.
Studio X is where I belong! I love being there on Team BC but I sat there dreaming about the day when I am there to record the music on my feature, the musicians playing music that came from my mind. I know I will get there one day and I really hope it isn’t too far away!
I will be there in a few weeks to experience two cues which I composed being recorded by a volunteer orchestra for the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program’s short “Freedom”. That will be a taste (hopefully) of things to come……