New semester! My courses this term are Business of Music, a lab for our major project due at the end of the year, Film/TV/Games, Advanced Songwriting, and Mastering.
So this project was for Film/TV/Games. We had to choose from a selection of 30-60 second TV spots. Most of them were from the 80s, so I am pretty sure lots of my classmates will have chosen to score the Absolut commercial as well. Usually I like doing things differently than everyone else (it helps me avoid comparing everyone’s work), but this time I just couldn’t handle the other ones… they’re just too cheesy to be inspiring. Here, go ahead and listen/watch before you read about the writing process:
Okay, so by now you’ve hopefully seen the video, which is good because I’m about to give away some *SPOILERS*. Not that anyone is super attached to any twists in a 60 second commercial. Anyway. The trick to this one is that it depicts an apparent riot. The temptation is to make some kind of riot-y music, which would probably be upbeat, intense and dark. But as the spot plays out, you notice a couple of things:
1. It’s not a violent riot – it’s a giant pillow fight.
2. Not only the build-up shots in the beginning are in slow-motion: the WHOLE SPOT is in slow-motion.
So the choice of music needs to be something that suits that. Major key instead of minor, a slower yet still driving beat to match the slow-motion feel, and a childish melody to keep things from getting too dark.
The central idea that I thought the filmmakers were trying to bring across was “let’s not fight, we’re all on the same side, let’s just have a great time”. I compared it with their actual soundtrack after I was finished writing, and the music they went with is a goofy sounding French song. So I guess they went 100% playful, whereas I was more aiming to make it the most beautiful pillow fight ever, representing the larger theme of class-harmony and world peace. Oops. Except not oops, because I like my results.