Looking for someone to score my experimental short film

I made a 44 minute experimental short film. It has only two lines and no ambient sound.

I want to use the score to help tell the story. When a character walks or does something, we can't hear it, so it's up to the score to provide an audio cue so it facilitates the viewing for the audience. Basically watch some Buster Keaton and you will get my idea.

I would also like if the score used mostly concrete music and gave the feeling of both repetitiveness and time passing. (Example: Rumble Fish)

The short film itself is about a contract killer. I wanted to grab a cliched concept and turn it into something else. I want to show the audience that life can be just as boring and depressing to anyone and even a hit man can be trapped in routine.

The main character is an old samurai living in modern times, a washed up killer who speaks to no one, not even his wife and just walks around the same streets he's been walking for all his life. He's just trying to busy himself while waiting for someone to tell him what to do.

It's a metaphor for all the people who do nothing with their free-time except waiting to go to work next day and simply do what their bosses tell them to.

The structure is confusing, the movie starts where it ends and the audience, just like the main character has little clue of how much time is passing in the film or even where one day ends and the other begins. The film also tries to build up expectations several times but nothing ever happens.

If you're interested in being creative, here's a low quality version of the film, currently filled with temp music.

https://youtu.be/4BTe6zQTrdI
 
Last edited:
Sorry for the off-topic, Jeffrey, just thought to ask this: If your main idea is to allude to ordinary people`s routine, would`nt it be more subtle way to use bland, everyday music, to strike a counterpoint to your visuals? Using well thought modern underscore with special sounds etc. would probably introduce "uniqueness", and "interest" instead of weariness.

-
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
I made a 44 minute experimental short film. It has only two lines and no ambient sound.

Interesting choice. Why did you make that decision?

When a character walks or does something, we can't hear it, so it's up to the score to provide an audio cue so it facilitates the viewing for the audience. Basically watch some Buster Keaton and you will get my idea.

Just for your information… The "Silent" film era was hardly silent. In the major movie houses of the early 1900s there would, of course, be an orchestra; but what few remember that those major movie houses also had "Foley" artists - although they were not called that at the time - who performed sound effects all the way through the film. So those silent films were only silent as far as the actual film itself; score AND sound were added as the film ran.

This article may be of interest:

http://web.archive.org/web/20031203095914/http://www.windworld.com/emi/articles/soundeffects.htm

Don't discount the effective use of Foley and sound effects, even if you are going for a sparse soundscape. An off-beat (pardon the pun) example is in "Jimi: All Is by My Side" which has a scene of Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar. We don't hear music, we hear his fingers hitting the neck, the pick on the strings and other guitar sounds that are not specifically musically related.



I would also like if the score used mostly concrete music and gave the feeling of both repetitiveness and time passing. (Example: Rumble Fish)

These are all things you need to discuss with your composer.


The short film itself is about a contract killer. I wanted to grab a cliched concept and turn it into something else. I want to show the audience that life can be just as boring and depressing to anyone and even a hit man can be trapped in routine. It's a metaphor for all the people who do nothing with their free-time except waiting to go to work next day and simply do what their bosses tell them to.

Instead of music only perhaps JUST footsteps or whatever is appropriate for the particular core of the specific visual at the moment. Selecting the proper sounds and mixing them well can greatly enhance the emptiness you want to express.

Repetitive sounds can also be effective in conveying the sameness of your characters dreary day-to-day existence.
 
Thank you all for your input. This short film, as every other i've made, was done by myself alone and so it lacks the benefits of proper brainstorming.

First off - The character lives in a sort of constant deja vu, he his tired of living but he proceeds onward because that's all he's ever done. He doesn't think about suicide but he is tired of life so he just disconnects from practically everything around him: people, words, sounds and even the bright colors of the worlds.

He follows the code of the samurai, trying to live in the present, sometimes however, sound creeps up on him as if a memory of the past or a thought of the future suddenly invaded his mind. His mind tries to be somewhere else but his body is still trapped in this world and i want the sound to represent that.

The film is a repetitive black n' white nightmarish odyssey and i would describe it's timeline as a circle.

The title of the film 'Saudades do futuro' roughly translates to 'missing' the future.
'Saudade' doesn't have an english translation but it means being very homesick or missing someone dear who is gone (away or dead).

I have no interest in foley sound apart from a few footsteps and heavy breathing during the long takes where he is following his victims.

I'll leave the low quality version here for you guys. Some of the temp music was just me trying stuff.
Also, i don't really respect character movement sometimes and most of the movie is of my character walking back and forth. This was obviously deliberately done this way.

The credits are also temp.

https://youtu.be/4BTe6zQTrdI
 
Last edited:

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
The concept with sounds in a project like this is to give the audience something familiar with which to connect, but to "twist" the sounds in a way to make your audience uncomfortable, or to use familiar sounds in a disconnected way. A familiar example would be in the Pixar movie "Monsters, Inc." As the monster world is powered by the screams of children Gary Rydstrom (sound designer, supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer) and his team incorporated those screams into anything that required power - automobiles, for instance. It has been common practice since before Hitchcock to add the roars of large hunting cats underneath the main sound of trains as they "roar" into a tunnel to increase the excitement of the scene.

So instead of silence I would use an approach that would agree with your aesthetic. I watched only the first few minutes, but using sounds in a unique way can definitely enhance the feeling that you want to achieve. For example, the bus station is very open, but with that huge overhang there is an opportunity for very hollow, empty sounds (reflecting your characters mental state), and exaggerating the busses to make them menacing, completely bland, or whatever agrees with the purposes of your scene.

In one of the features on which I worked the character was depressed, tired and disconnected, so his boots echoed endlessly as he walked through Grand Central Station to meet his next client (he's a prostitute), and the ambient sound (very subtly mixed behind the avant-garde score) was made up of contorted sounds relating to Grand Central Station, his previous clients and other sounds that reflected the characters situation/mental state.

At about 4 minutes your character is walking through a long, tall alley, so I would perhaps use hollow footsteps - very exaggerated with grit, etc. - and maybe a "distorted" ambient sound. As an example, I did a creepy psychological short a number of years ago where the ambient sound of one scene was actually made up of crying babies. In an outdoors scene from the same short I reversed the sounds of the crickets and birds, recorded them with reverb and the reversed the sounds again; this way just the reverbs were all backwards. The audience never noticed the reversed reverb, but did notice that something was wrong.

Conversely, you can greatly overemphasize the sounds of whatever is specifically noticed by your character since they finally break through your characters "walls" and grab his attention.

Some things to think about.
 
Last edited:
The concept with sounds in a project like this is to give the audience something familiar with which to connect, but to "twist" the sounds in a way to make your audience uncomfortable, or to use familiar sounds in a disconnected way. A familiar example would be in the Pixar movie "Monsters, Inc." As the monster world is powered by the screams of children Gary Rydstrom (sound designer, supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer) and his team incorporated those screams into anything that required power - automobiles, for instance. It has been common practice since before Hitchcock to add the roars of large hunting cats underneath the main sound of trains as they "roar" into a tunnel to increase the excitement of the scene.

So instead of silence I would use an approach that would agree with your aesthetic. I watched only the first few minutes, but using sounds in a unique way can definitely enhance the feeling that you want to achieve. For example, the bus station is very open, but with that huge overhang there is an opportunity for very hollow, empty sounds (reflecting your characters mental state), and exaggerating the busses to make them menacing, completely bland, or whatever agrees with the purposes of your scene.

In one of the features on which I worked the character was depressed, tired and disconnected, so his boots echoed endlessly as he walked through Grand Central Station to meet his next client (he's a prostitute), and the ambient sound (very subtly mixed behind the avant-garde score) was made up of contorted sounds relating to Grand Central Station, his previous clients and other sounds that reflected the characters situation/mental state.

At about 4 minutes your character is walking through a long, tall alley, so I would perhaps use hollow footsteps - very exaggerated with grit, etc. - and maybe a "distorted" ambient sound. As an example, I did a creepy psychological short a number of years ago where the ambient sound of one scene was actually made up of crying babies. In an outdoors scene from the same short I reversed the sounds of the crickets and birds, recorded them with reverb and the reversed the sounds again; this way just the reverbs were all backwards. The audience never noticed the reversed reverb, but did notice that something was wrong.

Conversely, you can greatly overemphasize the sounds of whatever is specifically noticed by your character since they finally break through your characters "walls" and grab his attention.

Some things to think about.

This is interesting. I had the same idea about the footsteps.
 
Last edited:
Thank you very much and i'm going to look through the links you've provided but i think i would really benefit of having someone experienced scoring the film.

Being unexperienced myself i know very little of what or i can do with the sounds while editing them.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
There are many composers right here on IndieTalk.
 
Top