Passion In Story Telling
Brett James is a film composer and sound designer based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Having been brought up within The Bay Area’s legendary music scene and widely considering himself to first and foremost be a student and product of cinema, Brett's craft has evolved into scoring to picture and other visual mediums - drawing inspiration and influence from his roots as a touring and studio rock guitarist, along with his childhood favorites in some of films greatest themes.
From the most delicate passages with the intent to invoke emotion without being heard, to an appropriate silence or a soaring, bombastic theme, your score (or a lack-thereof) is of paramount importance to informing the viewer of a deeper emotional connection to what they see.
Or rather, "movement design," is what injects impact, mood, aural function, and forward momentum to what would otherwise be just a series of moving pictures and talking heads. Dive deeper with a meticulously constructed and unique sonic architecture for your visual art.
From concept to the finished product, my mix process begins in quad, with considerations for immersive formats such as Dolby® Atmos®, Sony® Auro-3D®, and DTS:X®. Deliverables are handled with the utmost care, from proper naming conventions and formatting to loudness standards.
Above all else, communication is the single most important aspect of any team effort. Below, you'll find a number of other key practices in Brett's workflow as a composer.
First and foremost, is the discovery process in what a film needs. At its core, a film is a series of moving pictures, reinforced by dialogue, with the purpose of telling a story. Finding a practical means in informing that story through score is the foundation of that layer in a multi-faceted discipline.
From found sounds to new and inventive ways to use existing instrumentation and mix techniques, part of telling a narrative lies in ones ability to recognize a need for something fresh within the realm of auditory story telling. Film is an evolving art - such is the case for its musical voice.
Not completely unlike innovation, creativity is the fun infused in what we do. To find creative and inventive means of making something happen and speak to the audience in a way they may not have expected. Not everything is on the surface with regards to visuals - therein lies the purpose of score.
Tying directly into the "fun" component, is the ability to find what works and what doesn't, and is part of communication on its most fundamental level. Discovering new ways to achieve a degree of cohesiveness with the complexity of human emotion is key to bringing someone else’s story to life.
— Composer Brett James —
From Concept to Delivery
From that very first conversation with a director about the world of possibility and hopes in fulfilling a vision, to delivery of the final product, there is structured process in everything.
No matter the genre or medium, it all begins with an idea. From there, the project takes on the metaphorical shape of a tree, in that everything from there on out is a product of that initial seed. This is the foundation of a finished score in its simplest form.
While in its most basic form, the process of score can be simplistic in nature - however, when there is a story to be told from the perspective of a character or situation, extensive research is often used to find the roots of the musical narrative.
Where the real fun begins. From writing a reduced theme, so brooding drones - to the hiring of an army of musicians tasked with bring it all to life, this is the moment a larger than life narrative begins to take shape, and provide a voice when words are not enough.
Secure and thorough, right down to the minutiae of what makes a relationship built on trust, delivery consists of all of your assets, from concept to this definitive moment. Cue sheets, stem prints, multi-channel formats, and everything in between, ready to be experienced.
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