My finished music video:

My front digipak panel:

My front digipak panel:
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My inside digipak panels:

My inside digipak panels:
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My back digipak panel (with album spine:)

My back digipak panel (with album spine:)
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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

R+P Post 9: Our opening sequence's soundtrack

We have two chosen music tracks. The first is an instrumental remake of 'Devil in a New Dress' by Matt Dillon, sourced from here, a YouTube video:

Click to play 'Devil in a New Dress- Instrumental Remake.'

As you can see, the creator says he provides a download for his remake in the description of the video, as he is allowing anyone to use it copyright free.
The description of the video containing the music track, including where the artist says he provides a download. Click to enlarge.
We are planning to play it over the final, film-name title at the end of the sequence, but also over the opening titles of our film. It will start as non-diegetic sound, but then reveal itself as diegetic sound coming from the phone and headphones of the character Raj. This is used to start the narrative, as the detective confronts him over the music and Raj reveals his character by making joking remarks back. We chose a remix of a song by popular artist Kanye West as it provides a realistic representation of what a young character could be listening to, to help show that the film is aimed at people of that age group, i.e. our target audience. However, it is also quite 'smooth,' so it fits well with the crime-mystery atmosphere, and doesn't alienate the parts of our target audience attracted to the genre. 

One other film that aims at our target age range, and in fact also tries to provide a realistic representation of their lives like we are (although in a different context) is 'American Honey.' That film's soundtrack was an inspiration as it includes many songs popular amongst the age group, including 'We Found Love' by Rihanna, and we thought including something popular in the same way would be a good idea.
The YouTube description of an official clip from the film 'American Honey.' As you can see, it is focused on the song in an attempt to appeal to young people who are one of the main consumers of pop music. We also wanted to appeal to this age group, which is why we chose a popular song, yet we still ensured it was compatible with the genre of the film. Click to enlarge.
Our second track is called 'Funky Suspense,' created by Bensounds:

Click to play 'Funky Suspense.'

It is provided free for anyone to use as long as they credit the artist, as we have done here. This is an extract from the Bensounds site dealing with use of the song:
We opted for the free Creative Commons License over the Pro License, as the free version more than covers our needs. The box on the left of this page covers it. Click to enlarge.
It is, as the title describes, quite suspenseful, which is perfect for the mystery of the narrative, as well as the intrigue of the questioning taking place on screen. We are therefore intending to play this over the main body of the questioning, and then cut it off just before the bombshell drops at the end of the sequence, to create even more suspense through the sudden silence, and to increase the impact once the other track comes back in soon after. 

It is also quite a jazzy instrumental, which is quite conventional of the mystery genre- it is intended as a reference to older mystery films such as the opening of 1958's 'Touch of Evil,' which feature tracks like this prominently. We didn't want to get too tied to this older era though, as we are focusing on young characters in contemporary times. Luckily we found that more modern crime dramas such as the BBC's 'Sherlock' are also using upbeat instrumentals for atmosphere, which is great for us as we know these kinds of media are popular with our target audience in both genre and age range.
An extract from a WhatsApp interview I carried out with someone from our target age group, where they offhandedly mention how 'Sherlock' is a popular show with young people nowadays- this was of great help to us in terms of influence, especially when it came to choosing this track. Click to enlarge.
Sound effects were also something we had to consider. We decided to keep sound effects few and far between to keep focus on the dialogue, and instead cover the silence with the chosen music. However, a few key sound effects are going to be used throughout- these include the sound of a folder sliding across the table, as well as doors opening and closing off camera to announce the entrances and exits of characters. Hopefully the scarcity and placement of these effects ensure they have maximum impact on the audience, who will instantly recognise what is happening in the scene as the sounds will stand out.

Here is the link to the preliminary door opening and closing sound effect.
Here is the link to the preliminary folder slide sound effect.
Please note these sound effects are not necessarily final, and are thus subject to change. We may also add or remove sound effects as the project goes on, and are likely to simply record them ourselves.
Here is the Creative Commons License for both sound effects that essentially says we can use the sound effects freely and even without credit, although I have provided links to the sources. Please note that you can access this page from the right side of the sound effects pages linked above. Click to enlarge.
One film we looked at for this was 'Man of Steel,' which contains an interrogation scene despite being a superhero action film, done in near silence besides dialogue and sound effects, cleverly used to create a tense atmosphere, something we quite liked and decided to adapt for our film.

The interrogation scene from 'Man of Steel.' While we have music over the interrogation and this scene does not, you may note the dramatic music as they bring Superman to the room, helping the build-up to the actual interview. Sound effects are used very well and stand out against the silence, interrupting at key times such as the speaker breaking the flow between Superman and Lois, as well as the handcuffs breaking emphasising how Superman isn't actually contained. Sound effects like these play into the tense atmosphere being created. Click to play.

Music and sound effects are quite impactful on the rest of the film. Sound is omnipresent, with music in the background and effects in the foreground, so they are essential when crafting an atmosphere. I think we chose our influences well, as the tracks we ended up with work very well with all the style decisions we have made so far.

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