Agent Peggy Carter
Made by Amanda Marano
Created: December 4th, 2014
I have chosen to create the music to accompany the teaser trailer of the show Agent Peggy Carter.
The video starts with a phone ringing, so I would want to use a phone noise found from online or from a logic loop, or maybe a soft flute or other soft, high noise that gradually gets louder and introduces a beat which also gradually increases in volume and tempo as the suspense picks up in the beginning throughout the phone call. A brief stop in music will be synced with Peggy slashing out her note, and will segue into the next scene in the car.
The scene starting in the car will probably start with a soft melody that loops. I would like to use a melody that is reminiscent of this time period (1940's-1950's) and will be modeled on songs of that era. When we first see the men, the suspense increases. I will probably introduce a drumbeat here and change the melody to be slightly disharmonious to signify suspense or danger.
When Peggy starts talking to the men, that will be the start of the build for the climax, which happens at the end of the video. The climax hits it's peak when she punches the first man, and continues until the very end, when the second man is kicked through the window. Because this is a trailer the abrupt ending to the music is fitting, because it doesn't have closure and entices viewers to watch the full show.
I also want to synchronize some sort of added sound when we focus on the man at the desk yawning, but I have yet to decide what that would be.
My objectives for this piece were to create an atmosphere using just sound effects and other music in order to create tension at the beginning, and to have it build up until a final climax where Agent Carter starts beating up the bad guys. My goal is to incorporate the concepts learned in class with inspiration from music of the time period that this takes place in order to create an atmosphere of tension and buildup.
The video can be found here:
I first used Logic to mark my video by changes in mood or other events that I wanted to synchronize, like Agent Peggy crossing out her note, and punching the bad guy, to mark the start of the climax.
I used logic loops in order to find sound effects that would fit. I used the telephone ringing at the beginning, the car driving past, and the body crashing through sound as my main sound effects. All of these were logic loops that I cut to use the relevant portions and faded in order to integrate them in the main sound. During the buildup section after the car drives past, I used part of an answering machine tape loop to capture the grainy sound. This was intended to mimic a record player playing music as Peggy walked towards the warehouse. My buildup music is intended to mimic Benny Goodman and other big band songs from the 1940's-1950's, when this story takes place. In order to do this I included a drum layer that includes a lot of loud, low drum sounds, and sharp brass instruments. When Peggy punches the first guy, there is a loud, high-pitched trumpet chord, which mimics sound effects of traditional superhero films. Adding this loud chord progressed the music into its climax. The piece abruptly ends with the sound effect of the main smashing through the window. Without closure, the viewer is intrigued and will want to watch the full show. I also used the pencil tool to create a volume change when the camera changes view from outside, where Peggy is, to inside, where the unobservant guard is. I made the sound lower to represent being inside and not being able to hear the sound as well. The sound abruptly increases volume when the camera angle is outside again.
In the beginning of the video I used a low bass in order to create tension, the notes increasingly get closer together until the end, where they are synchronized with Peggy's eyes moving and her crossing out her note. The low sounds create an introduction that matches the video, low and dark, with tension because of the emergency phone call. The notes getting slightly closer together is supposed to create intrigue and interest, as the tension is increasing.
I integrated feedback my acknowledging that having a break in sound when the note is crossed out would create a gap that would be hard to reconcile, and so I added sound to that section, though it is synchronized, but keeps with the progression of the previous section of music. Because I had such a positive reaction to wanted to use period music, I decided to listen to more in order to get more inspiration for my own piece. I decided that "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Benny Goodman had the drumbeat and brass that I wanted to mimic, as well as the buildup from drums to drums and brass with an increasingly complex brass line.
I think that my final piece is well synchronized with the video, and doesn't overdo them to the point of humor. However, the music is pretty simplistic and could do with some more depth. I think that the buildup in the middle section is done well, because adding instruments and melody complexity is a great way to build up a piece. However, I think that the buildup in the beginning is a little bit simple and could have been changed to add more tension, maybe adding more notes that are shorter and closer together instead of drawn out ones.
Right now I respond to the piece by thinking that it is a great start, but could be improved when my musical talent improves (with any knowledge at all of notes and how to play piano, this piece would be a lot better). However, it is the best I could do right now at my current level of musical ability and knowledge of composition concepts.
At the beginning of this semester, I would have been very impressed with my current final piece. I would be impressed with my ability to create consistent loops and synchronization to the video. I also would have been very impressed with my ability to cut and fade the sound effects from given logic loops.
I think the difference between these two answers shows that I have learned a lot of practical and theoretical skill during the last five weeks and the whole semester, but there is always room to improve my skills and to know more about what I am doing.
I like the final result, although, I'm not sure, but the sound effects were very natural and easy to forget that they weren't there in the first place. The use of the note when crossing out in the sheet of paper was appreciated. I think that your use of percussion in this was extremely good. The sounds were just right for the scene although a little more melody and maybe a better conclusion would not be amiss. The base in the beginning threw me off a bit when it transitioned to the action with the drums and the base didn't return. I think there was the potential for a really good bassline in this. Also, the video seems to cut off in the middle of a sound, was this intentional?