Scoring an Abstract Contemporary Silent Film

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Frost, Crystal (2014)
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Subject: Music | Multimedia | Film studies | composition | "digital audio" | film | "film score" | music | "sound design"

I composed an original digital audio film score with full sound design for a contemporary silent film called Apple Tree. The film is highly conceptual and interpretive and required a very involved, intricate score to successfully tell the story. In the process of scoring this film, I learned new ways to convey an array of contrasting emotions through music and sound. After analyzing the film's emotional journey, I determined that six defining emotions were the foundation on which to build an effective musical narrative. These six moods required clearly differentiated underscore, just similar enough for the film to maintain overall cohesion. Contrary to general assumption, I learned that even story-telling scores such as this must first reflect a movie's shifting moods before reflecting the action. This ensures that the score won't disrupt the natural unraveling of events - an especially important principle in silent films where music is always at the forefront.
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