On June 6 attendees of the 2016 LA Film Festival were treated to a sneak peak of the six short films from this year’s Project Involve Fellows at the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City. A panel discussion made up of the Directing Fellows and their ASCAP composers followed the screening, in which the composers and directors discussed their collaborative process and the art of pairing music to moving image.
Presented by Film Independent, Project Involve is an annual, intensive, nine-month program that offers a select class of up-and-coming filmmakers (across a variety of disciplines) from underrepresented communities the opportunity to hone their skills, develop creative partnerships and produce short films. For more information on how to apply for next year, click here.
This year, Project Involve evaluated 350 candidates and selected just 30 young, diverse filmmakers to take part in the program. Last month we talked to some of this year’s Fellows about their experiences creating this year’s shorts, but Monday was the first opportunity for general audiences to sample the final version of the 2016 shorts up on the big screen.
But! Since the focus of the evening was the collaboration between the Fellows and their ASCAP composers: how do directors and musicians work together, anyway? Here are 10 pieces of wisdom and advice, courtesy of the evening’s panel:
- Ask yourself the question: Do you want music in your film to make a statement, or whisper to your audience?
- Think conceptually. Music can express more than mood and emotions. Talk about story and theme with your composer.
- Score can give an audience a deeper understanding of character. Themes and motifs can work as shorthand for the audience.
- Temp music can be super-helpful as a starting point, even if the music doesn’t feel right. Use it as a jumping off point.
- Talk to your composer not just about where in the film you want music, but also where you want silence.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have the technical or theoretical vocabulary to use with your composer.
- It’s okay if you don’t have any idea what music you want in your film. Your composer is there to help you figure it out.
- Let your composer watch your film without any setup or preamble. Let their ideas and impressions develop organically.
- Delve deeper into your characters. Talk about your characters objectives, motivations and weaknesses.
- Not everything a composer brings to the table will work. Don’t be afraid to say so if what’s being presented doesn’t work for you.
The 2016 Project Involve shorts screen in full tonight, June 8 at a special invite-only premiere event at the LA Film Festival. Stay tuned to this blog for more information, and learn more about Project Involve on Film Independent’s website. Check it out!
Project Involve is made possible though the following sponsors: Time Warner Foundation, Kiehl’s since 1851, EFILM, Company 3, HBO, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The National Endowment for the Arts Artworks, Sony Pictures Entertainment, AbelCine, Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles, and The Walt Disney Studios.
This year’s 2016 LA Film Festival is currently happening at the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City as additional venues citywide through June 9. Buy your tickets to all of our great screenings and special events today. Click here for more information.