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"We start very simply by getting our students to understand what film looks like when there's nothing there but the raw dialogue tracks and the process we call 'spotting.' That's where you sit down with the director and producer, look at the scenes, and try to figure out where music is needed and what kind of emotions or drama the music can help to accentuate, support, or provide if the scene is missing some element."
"Some of that is intuition, but there is a craft to it and there are some building blocks we take the student through. We then relate those aesthetic translations into some kind of musical form and try to connect with their traditional harmony, their traditional counterpoint, and to contemporary harmonic progressions. We then teach them to connect the dots between aesthetics, drama, and musical notation. After that, it's really up to the student to put all of that together and come up with their own version, their own voice, to a given film scene."
"I try to give my students practical working knowledge—to not only understand the concepts but to see how it all comes together. I'll show examples of feature film projects that I've worked on; I'll bring films into the classroom and tear them apart and say, 'Now, here's where we start. Here's how we build the music cues for this particular scene. Here's how we go about editing them.' Just showing students the overall process flow."
"It's pretty fascinating to see how a class of 12 students is given all the same information, they'll study the same techniques, even write music for the same scene, yet they'll come back with 12 very different pieces of music. Some may work equally as well but in very different ways based on the individual voice of the student. And sometimes it doesn't work so well—but, then, that's why we're here."