Join Brian Lee White for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a game plan, part of Producing Music for Advertisements.
Well sometimes you just have to dig in and start throwing around notes and sounds to see what's going to work. I like to take a brief moment to collect my thoughts and make a plan based on the creative brief, the cut of the video I received, and any other reference material. Now, in the case of our example commercial for H Plus, I know that I definitely want to maintain that halftime dubstep tempo and feel to match up with where the editor is taking the jump cuts and stutters. But instead of going completely agro with the instrumentation, like we hear in the reference track, I think working towards something more elegant and thematic is going to serve the product and the voiceover much better. Remember, an H Plus athlete is sophisticated and clever. And while the product and (INAUDIBLE) the commercial is modern and tech-forward, the drink is all-natural.
So I think I will try to blend some of the electronic and glitch elements that we see in the temp with some more traditional thematic instruments to round it out. So let's break down the plan into some simple actionable bullet points. For the drums, again I want to maintain the dubstep drum vibe, but I'm thinking more arena anthemic punchy drums in that classic halftime pattern rather than the super electronic sounding drums. And we kind of want them to be punchy and energetic, but not as spastic as the temp. Now for our electronics and tech sounds, what we want to do is bring in some glitchy rhythmic elements to hit the picture, how the temp is doing, and keep the viewer interested, keep the momentum of the cut going. And so, in that case, we are going to Lean on the reference cut a bit, but probably not as spastic as to not cut into the voice over or obscure the voice over so much.
We have to remember that the voice over is the most important part of the commercial, because actually selling the product, describing the product, so We want to be careful not to do anything that obscures that. I said earlier, I really want to do some kind of melodic theme, that's going to linger in the viewer's head, and really help identify the brand. The drums I kind of want to lean more anthemic so I want to do that with the theme also. You'll notice from the temp music that it's kind of just melodically nonexistent, it's just kind of wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.
It's not really switching in between different notes. So I want to see if I can add a melodic element that's going to gets tuck in someone's head after they watch the commercial. I want to tie all of my stuff together with some sound design just to kind of take it over the top. So some electronic sound design elements like crashes, swooshes, risers, bombs, and things like that to really exaggerate the emotional moments or cues in the picture. So at the beginning when those lights flash, I really want to make that seem big and huge.
And at the end when the logo shows up I really want to take that over the top with some extra sound design. Remember, every project is going to require a different approach depending on the style of music the requirements from the client and your own artistic process. But taking a few minutes to make a rough outline of where you think you want to take it can really help keep you focused and on task. Unlike making, let's say original artistic music where artistic freedoms and unlimited time is the norm commercial composers often work on extremely tight deadlines.
Sometimes only having a few hours to put together a solid idea. So building in some organization and efficency to your creative process is a must.
Note: While the composition of the music for this course takes place in Pro Tools, a majority of the content will be about the creative process and translates to almost any DAW.
- Reviewing the creative brief
- Working with temp music
- Choosing an appropriate tempo
- Marking keyframes
- Creating a theme
- Breaking down client feedback
- Implementing revisions
- Printing the music for delivery
- Understanding basic music licensing and publishing principles