horror

It's Almost Halftime

It's been a gruelling few days as I keep working on the movie score for the horror film day and night. I've almost finished half the score, which seems like a pretty huge achievement to me.

The thought took me back to the concept of an 'Interval', a concept that seems central to plots of most Bollywood movies. It's usually at the half-time that most Hindi movies introduce their plot twist or the beginning of a climax. Intervals are pretty important to us Indians. Gotta get the popcorn, go pee, Update our Facebook status, talk to our friends or just sit and wait for the next half to begin.

 
 
 

It is this idea that brought me to the concept of a track idea for the movie score that I called 'Are You Scared Yet?'. There was definitely a giant twist in the climax as far as I could envision through the script, and I figured what else could be a good time to introduce a little scare here, and a little movement there than the half-time.

Now, horror movies are supposed to be scary, period. So I descended upon the piano roll of my Fruity Loops and set out to create a really abstract synth line which moved at twice the tempo and it was at 7/8. What was interesting was the fact that the synth line seemed to work in such a way, that instead of being 7/8, it started sounding like a normal 4-beat measure, something that I used to my advantage.

Other than that, it's mostly scares, thrills, spills and chills in a horror movie. A demonic sounding choir here and a little crafty synth coupled with a really heavy industrial-sounding beat is all you need, sometimes.

The Crack.

Back in 2008, when I had just started fiddling with Fruity Loops, Some people I closely knew at the time were a few hip-hop producers and they were probably the first ones to give me advice and help me out while I was figuring it all out.

I used to listen to a lot of hip-hop when I was 10, and it seemed to be the easiest to start with, if I had to learn to produce and mix. I also collaborated with a few rappers in the next couple of years, I made beats and I feel that somehow, the experience influenced a part of my music.

 
 
 
 

Above : One of the several beats I made for hip-hop artists back in 2008

So imagine my surprise when, I realised that some of the people working on the short-movie were hip-hop fans as well. In the meanwhile, I came across a scene in a house, where you're not sure if there's somebody in there or not. I decided to bust out a beat.

While I laid out a skeleton of the track which consisted mostly, of just a beat in the beginning, I realised even though it was strong, it didn't seem to be making an impact. The 'crack' just wasn't there. Now, I'm an experimenter by nature, and I decided to layer the snare and put another two layers of snare sounds over it. One was boxy and the other one was the typical rock snare with a 'crack'.

Finally, when the percussion was in place. I thought a few electronic loops on top of that would do the trick, with the constant fade-ins and fade-outs. It did, but not completely and I proceeded with making some of them go through Guitar Rig just to add a little bit of grit and roughness.

Since, the scene wasn't entirely supposed to have just a mean attitude to it (which I think I managed to project decently enough), It was also supposed to be a little dark as things weren't as they seemed. I added strings and turned the second half into quite the scare.

Another track done. Proverbial Hi-five.

Horror! Hell Yeah!

Being a huge horror movie buff all my life, it was only natural I'd end up working on music for a horror movie sooner or later. Movies and music are probably the only two things I really actually care about, so I thought it would be a good idea to get myself some work.

I got in touch with an old school friend who is into filming and producing movies. Turns out he had a project he was working on. Can't really reveal too much here, but the movie had an interesting perspective, or a new and unique approach to the psychological thriller/horror genre.

We exchanged a few details that included the outline of the story, the mood and general ambience of the film and I decided I would get down to laying out a few outlines for some of the scenes in the movie.

Having never worked on music for a film before, it seems to be quite a challenge. I might get a rough script in a few days so really looking forward to that. In the meanwhile, I've started sketching out some rough ideas for some sounds on my notebook. Seems legit.