After having worked with me earlier in the year on "Esther: Never Again", Doug Impiccini asked me if I would score his next film. It was July when I agreed, and "Firewater" was just transitioning from shooting to post-production.
I try to approach each film with a unique sonic-palate designed specifically for the story being told. With "Firewater", the music really needed a combination of serious, dark, and futuristic qualities. The plot deals with characters who are on the brink of dehydration, and the score I'm composing reflects this. With the subject matter of the film being as grim as it is, I felt that nothing would deliver the right emotions as effectively as an orchestra. I've also added a multitude of synthesizer patches in and amongst the orchestral music. This story takes place in the distant future, and I feel that the synthetic sounds in the music really bring that science-fiction aesthetic.
I've been writing through the film one scene at a time. As soon as Doug and Robby have the next chronological scene ready for me, I go to work on scoring it. I watch several seconds of footage and then write down my thoughts for how the music at that particular interval should be responding. Then I watch a little more and eventually, after repeating several times, I have a sketch of how the music should be responding over the course of a scene. Using these reactions as a foundation enables me to write music that feels organic and works to amplify those genuine moments of suspense, action, or tragedy. I've found this reactionary style is very effective when composing for scenes with little or no dialogue, which happens throughout the film.
Doug and Robby take a lot of care during post-production to make sure the special effects are convincing and authentic. There are holograms, floating robots, and futuristic weapons. It is my job to make sure that the musical backdrop is aware and reflective of these devices. As I mentioned, the music has electronic elements layered into the orchestral texture, whether it be whirling synthesizers, radio static, or ominous pads. These sounds find their way into every track in the film and really help to bring more depth to the futuristic setting of post-apocalypse Dallas.
Several sets, in particular the Skaggard Hideout, are in and around large, dilapidated buildings. I designed the music to bring out a sort of haunting quality in the environment. This place specifically is home to a gang of mentally unstable individuals, and I wanted the viewers to have the sense that one of them could pop out at them at any moment.
The theme for the main protagonist, Ian Knowell, is meant to be a reflection of his character. He is patient, thoughtful, and has good intentions. A hopeful melody on the piano (heard in the opening scene) helps convey his struggle to overcome the darkness that has surrounded him since the terror attacks. This theme recurs on several occasions and is contrasted against the otherwise rigid and bleak sound of the film's overall score.
I hope that, through hearing my music, those who watch the film will be able to better empathize with the isolation, desperation, and struggle to hold on that the characters in the film are faced with.
Zachary Young recently graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Music Composition from the University of North Texas. Since, he has been actively recording and composing music for a wide variety of commercial applications. To listen to some of his recent work, head over to this link: https://soundcloud.com/zacharyyoung
Hi everyone. We wanted to give you an update on our post production status. During the last week, my Mother passed away. As anyone would imagine, it is a difficult time to experience, and editing was not one of my top priorities. Robby and I are just now getting our focus back on FIREWATER, having our first editing session last night.
FIREWATER is a large student film project that will be coming in at appx 25+ minutes in length, with a multitude of special effects. Therefore, we anticipate that the project will be ready in mid July.
We will be posting updates periodically, including some teaser clips from time to time. Thanks again for your support, and we really hope you enjoy the finished product.
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