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View Full Version : What instruments are require to form a Film Score



eortiz98
06-23-2015, 02:43 AM
Hello!

I'm Elizabeth Ortiz, reside in beautiful Southern California and i'm 35 years old. I been trying to become a Film Composer for a while now. I barely started a while back researching online about purchasing books and necessary equipment and etc. I'm also currently looking into returning to college to get a Associate Degree in General Studies/Music then transferring to the University to complete a double major in Music Composition and Liberal Studies. Also I currently own music notation of Finale 2014. And would love to get certified in the following area:

Pro Tools
Media Composer
Logic Pro

and maybe also purchase Sibelius music notation too. Any advice or suggestion would be highly appreciated it.

Mick Scarborough
06-23-2015, 06:36 AM
A film score depends on the genre of the film. That said the sound is one of the most important things in a film. A rich, full soundtrack is required. Take a look at some films. You will see two types generally. They will have a full orchestra or they will use pop music. Usually the pop music is for coming of age movies aimed at the teens. Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfasts Club, St. Elmo's Fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4zN2PfbQd4

The orchestral music is found in Star Wars, Star Trek, Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Bourne Identity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUd5RPVDjPY

I suggest you watch the listed films and see how the scores are used and how they move the film along. If you want to be a good film composer you will need to follow this format. I assume by your post you do not play any instruments and are a digital composer. If that is the case you will need the best software out there for a realistic sound. Sibelius is a good choice (and cheap at $599) and I do recommend you learn that one. Hollywood still uses actual orchestras to score a film, not computers.

eortiz98
06-25-2015, 12:14 AM
A film score depends on the genre of the film. That said the sound is one of the most important things in a film. A rich, full soundtrack is required. Take a look at some films. You will see two types generally. They will have a full orchestra or they will use pop music. Usually the pop music is for coming of age movies aimed at the teens. Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfasts Club, St. Elmo's Fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4zN2PfbQd4

The orchestral music is found in Star Wars, Star Trek, Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Bourne Identity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUd5RPVDjPY

I suggest you watch the listed films and see how the scores are used and how they move the film along. If you want to be a good film composer you will need to follow this format. I assume by your post you do not play any instruments and are a digital composer. If that is the case you will need the best software out there for a realistic sound. Sibelius is a good choice (and cheap at $599) and I do recommend you learn that one. Hollywood still uses actual orchestras to score a film, not computers.



I'm more of aiming to do mostly movies. And secondly, u wrong I'm a Music Major with years of being a musician starting off with piano and gradually moving to woodwinds to brass and ending up as a mallet percussionist. I currently use Finale 2014 and would love to purchase the following software:

Pro Tools
Sibelius
Logic Pro

I been composing for local High School Marching Band and Indoor Drumline since Summer 2004.

Mick Scarborough
06-25-2015, 06:21 AM
.

Mick Scarborough
06-25-2015, 06:36 AM
[I]I'm more of aiming to do mostly movies.

Yeah I am not sure what you means by this. I spoke about films which are movies. So what do you mean?

And secondly, u wrong I'm a Music Major with years of being a musician starting off with piano and gradually moving to woodwinds to brass and ending up as a mallet percussionist. I currently use Finale 2014 and would love to purchase the following software:
Pro Tools
Sibelius
Logic Pro

Ok so you sound a bit offended and you have no reason to be. Go purchase your software and do what you want to do.


I been composing for local High School Marching Band and Indoor Drumline since Summer 2004.

Cool so you have a basis for composing. Now you need to learn how to do it for movies, which require much more.

Mitchell Gibbs
06-25-2015, 01:14 PM
Hello Elizabeth,

I've been composing for media (mainly film) for the past five years, so hopefully I can help you out.

As Mick mentioned, your top film scores get recorded by live orchestras, but starting out, I doubt you'll have that luxury... Do you own any virtual instruments or even have a digital audio workstation such as Logic Pro, Cubase or Pro Tools? You need to decide on a DAW you like, as it's all about workflow.
With regards to getting Sibelius; just stick with Finale if you're comfortable using it, it's just notation software, the convincing sounds come from good virtual instruments.
You might want to invest in some decent microphones if you're a skilled musician, and record yourself on your scores. Can't beat the real thing!

Other than that, it's all about consistency. Keep writing new music, studying scores by composers you admire and see how they used the orchestra. Attend networking events and watch lots of films!

Best,

Mitchell.