A Fistful of Lightning

October 16, 2013

Almost exactly one year ago, I was hard at work on an original score for a very exciting short film. This project - one of my first outside of the short and sweet film race events I had grown used to - proved to be much more challenging, despite the additional time at my disposal for completing the score. Thanks to Page Stephenson and Richard Beardsley, I wrapped up my portion of A Fistful of Lightning and learned many new techniques along the way.

Watch the new trailer for A Fistful of Lightning below:

A bounty hunter drives deep into the desert to apprehend and execute a fugitive in hiding with the aid of an electrifying instrument of death. Screening on Thursday, October 24th at 8 pm.

Official Selection of the Thriller! Chiller! International Genre Film Festival screening October 24-26, 2013 at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. www.thrillerchiller.com

This film is still making the rounds at various festivals and I look forward to the day I can share the entire thing with you all right here. As I mentioned, composing the score was no easy task for me but it proved to be an excellent learning experience. I had grown accustomed to a very rapid production process of multiple melodic or moody themes for film race projects, but this score - despite being a short 8-minute film - required wall-to-wall music and sound design synced very closely to the beats of the characters and cuts on screen.

I hope to share what I learned in more specific details in a future post, as it will require a much deeper examination than I'm prepared to write following the richly satisfying dinner I just inhaled. In short: Lots of synth tones twisted and layered with distortion and reverb, tons of precise volume automation, majorly-pitch-shifted and time-stretched sound effects, a jangly acoustic guitar, and even a healthy dose of restraint in a key scene that required all ears on the dialog.

Any questions or comments on the workflow I followed, or stories / suggestions from your own experiences working on such projects? I'm all ears as I'd love to do more work of this nature and improve my efficiency going forward.

Next up: A post detailing many of the mixing mistakes and fixes I came across while finalizing the mix for my debut Pinscape album, set for release in the coming months. Working with Scott Worley on this project was enlightening, and we're thrilled to have the final mixdowns now sent off to Taylor Deupree for mastering.