Jazz Studies

MUS 402: Film Scoring II

Prof. Christopher Kozak
ckozak@ua.edu
3 credit hours

Prerequisites

MUS 401 or permission of instructor

Course Description

A continuation of Film Scoring I with an emphasis on the extended film score. Focus will be placed on film score analysis and study. Continued study of the use of the click track (steady tempi, mixed tempi and meters, free timing, etc.). Special attention will be paid to the psychological impact of the music and the appropriateness of the cue. Once the projects are written they will be recorded in the Jazz Studio and produced for the student’s portfolio.

Course Goals & Objectives

The primary objective of the course is to develop the student’s skills to quickly ascertain and comprehend the needs of the specific music as dictated by the film and director, then creatively compose, arrange, and orchestrate the project under the guise of a strict deadline. The student will study the psycholigical impact of cues by completing detail analyses of existing film scores and presenting their finding during the class. The student will also develop skills to conduct a recording session successfully, learn to find and correct mistakes by aural recognition and/or score analysis in a time effective fashion, and learn the basics of sonically producing a project for final presentation to a client.

Required Materials

  • The Reel World: Scoring for Pictures, Jeff Rona. Miller Freeman Books, San Francisco: 2000.
  • On The Track, Rayburn Wright & Fred Karlin, Schirmer Books, 1989.

Assignments

Weekly readings and assignments will be given for the student to complete. There will be three projects due in the course. Project #1 is the in-depth anaylisis of 6 existing film scores (scores to be pre-approved by the Professor). Project #2 will be an extended film score – 4 to 5 minutes in length. The student will choose a film clip from the existing clips in the Jazz Program. Project #3 is another extended film score – 4 to 5 minutes in lenght. Students may choose a clip from an existing movie which does not originally include music. Details for all projects will be discussed at length in class.

Examinations

There will be a final examination for this course and will cover all material discussed in the course.

Policies & Procedures

Grading System

Assessment of the student’s work is based on the following criteria:

  • Comprehension and command of material covered in the course.
  • Completion of projects by the deadline. Late projects will result in lowering of the final grade.
  • Leadership qualities and abilities to the conduct the recording session.
  • Effectiveness of the musical cue.
  • Examination/quizzes.

The student’s final grade will be drawn from grades received for each component of the course:

Quizzes: 5%
Project #1: 30%
Project #2: 25%
Project #3: 25%
Final Exam: 15%

95%-100% = A
90%-94% = A-
86%-89% = B+
82%-85% = B
79%-81% = B-
75%-78% = C+
71%-74% = C
68%-70% = C-
64%-67% = D+
60%-63% = D
57%-59% = D-
0%-56% = F

Attendance Policy

Attendance of all classes and recording sessions is expected. Three absences from class will result in lowering the final grade by one letter. Any extenuating curcumstances must be immediately discussed with Thomas Wolfe. There will not be any make-up quizzes or examinations

Course Outline

Week 1/2: Review student projects from Film Scoring I.
Week 2/1: Technology: Click Tracks. On the Track, Wright/Karlin, pp. 103-126.
Week 2/2: Technology: Click Tracks continued. On the Track, Wright/Karlin, pp. 103-126.
Week 3/1: Film Scores Analysis. Listen to the Movies, Karlin.  Assignment: Project #1. Student presentations begin
Week 4/1. Quiz #1: Click Tracks and Synchonization
Week 3/2: Film Scores Analysis. Listen to the Movies, Karlin.
Week 4/1: Project #1 – Score #1 due. Analysis of movies.
Week 4/2: Project #1 – Score #1 due continued.
Week 5/1: The Extended Score. On the Track, Wright/Karlin, pp. 127-331. Review of film clips for student projects.
Week 5/2: Writing the Score.The Reel World, Rona, pp. 98-122. Score Impact. Listen to the Movies, Karlin.
Week 6/1: Project #1 – Score #2 due. Analysis of movies.
Week 6/2: Project #1 – Score #2 due continued.
Week 7/1: Individual meeting with the Professor to discuss the film cue.
Week 7/2: Completion of Project #2. Project #2 due – score and parts.
Week 8/1: Review student film scores.
Week 8/2: Project #1 – Score #3 due. Analysis of movies.
Week 9/1: Project #1 – Score #3 due continued.
Week 9/2: Review of film clips for Project #3
Week 10/1: Setting Up a Studio: Synchronization.
The Reel World, Rona, pp. 83-97. Submit Project #3 film clip for approval.
Week 10/2: Project #1 – Score #4 due. Analysis of movies.
Week 11/1: Project #1 – Score #4 due continued.
Week 11/2 Film Scores Analysis. Listen to the Movies, Karlin.
Week 12/1 Individual meeting with the Professor to discuss the film cue.
Week 12/2 Project #1 – Score #5 due. Analysis of movies.
Week 13/1 Project #1 – Score #5 due continued.
Week 13/2: Student mock presentations of Project #3 cues.
Week 14/1: Completion of Project #3 Project #3 due – score and parts.
Week 14/2: Review student film scores.
Week 15/1: Project #1 – Score #6 due. Analysis of movies.
Week 16/1: Project #1 – Score #6 due continued.
Week 16/2: Review of projects and materials for Final Examination