Jake Weiss

Made by Jacob Weiss

Created: December 5th, 2014



I will be using this trailer. I think I will match my beat of my song to the rate at which the scenes change in the trailer in order to connect the audio to the visual component. I want to start off and end with a wind sound to put the viewer in the scene. Since the speed at which the scenes change is constant throughout, there is less of a visual buildup than there are in most trailers, so I will have to do all the buildup within the audio (lead up to a climax, etc.). I want the basis of my song to be a generic piano sound, but I will create some synthesizers to make it my own. I don't intend to use any pre-made loops, as I can recognize most of them, and it really takes me out of songs if I hear them. To draw focus to the movie's title, I want to do something special when the words come up (I haven't decided what yet). I feel that it's really important for me to display the vibe of the movie through the music since there's no dialogue in this trailer.


Curatorial statement:

I wanted to create a trailer that seemed innocent at first, and then kept building and becoming more exciting and intense, and then suddenly dropping back down the level of intensity from the beginning. I also wanted to inspire people to see the movie! (The paragraph above shows what was going through my head before I created my piece).


At the beginning of this project, the only aspect I had figured out was which trailer to use. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the David Fincher version) trailer is great because there is no dialogue, so it would be mostly up to me to keep it interesting throughout. After watching it a couple of times with no sound, I talked to a couple friends and kept bouncing all my ideas off of them. After a while I decided that the best way to highlight the film and make the trailer memorable is to start it off quietly, keep building and building, and finally going back to that originally softness. After I had a general idea of what I was going to do, I made a rough cut. From there, I got more feedback about specific aspects (the beginning sounds weird, the sound that plays when the titles show up aren't good enough, etc), and used that to improve upon my work until it was at its final state. 

Since the visuals for the trailer itself go at a specific tempo, it was a challenge to sync up my music with the visuals. If they weren't synced perfectly, the trailer would be very off-putting and look amateurish. I also added a wind sound effect at the beginning and end of the trailer, so I made sure to fade those in and out so they weren't too abrupt (as well as making sure the entire audio faded in and out at the beginning and end). I listened to the piece with headphones to make sure it sounded optimal. The original mix sounded good on my computer's speakers, but when I listened to it through my headphones it gave me a headache - needless to say - I fixed that!

Throughout the piece, there is a steady drum beat and one piano note repeated over and over. To me it sounded eerie, which was the vibe I was going for. Next, I created an "analog" LFO-heavy synthesizer to grow the tension and intensity. After that, I added some strings. I think the strings and synthesizer together are a really interesting combination that makes for a cool sound. To keep the watcher/listener interested, I switched up the string and synthesizer melodies, whereas when I introduced the synthesizer it just played one long note. To build the piece even more, I created a second ("table") synthesizer and played two notes in quick succession. I feel like this added intensity, as the tempo was faster than any other instrument so far. I also added a second drum sound at the same time that I added my second synthesizer. When the titles showed up, I played a sound that I made using an "FM" synthesizer, to really highlight the words and grab the attention of the listener/watcher. At this point, the song is supposed to be very crazy and out of control, and then all of a sudden everything drops out except for the original drum sound and piano note, ending the trailer. The idea was to just keep building and building and building and building, to induce excitement, and then take everything away dramatically at the end. I am very influenced by Hans Zimmer - I listened to a bunch of soundtracks he wrote to give me inspiration.


While I am happy with my piece, I feel like I didn't reach the level of intensity that I had hoped for. The piece was synchronized to the visuals, and it did follow the general form that I had planned out, but if I could do it again I would add more instruments to make the piece sound very chaotic at the climax. I also feel like while the vibe was almost what I was going for, the instruments and melodies weren't good enough - I think this is partially mostly because of my inexperience in both Logic and composing music in general. I had a lot of fun creating this - I really got lost in it after working on it for a while. I think if I had listened to this before the semester started I would have liked it, and I would have definitely been less critical of it. Of course, if I saw this I would not be under the impression that it was an actual trailer for theaters, but for a fan-made edit, I would have been satisfied. This module has definitely made me analyze music way deeper than I had before. This is both a blessing and a curse...  the more I watch my final project the more I analyze and find problems with it!