Updated: Mar 28, 2020
Well folks, the day finally arrived when the rest of us got to meet Christopher Young, AND had our first class with him! We firstly however, started with a short session with Nigel, regarding the technique of pitching our talent to possible business partners, directors, and well, whoever else you can think of.
Nigel told us the importance of being confident, and to not let fear stop us from networking with people, and how to sell ourselves and our music. We discussed the importance of always being ready, knowing our audience before pitching an idea, as well as being storytellers. Of course, being a story teller is always important in my opinion, I mean hey, what would this blog be without story telling? It'd be waaay more boring to read, that's for sure!
We then moved on to a fun little exercise with Nigel, where we had to present ourselves in a '5 Second Pitch' to everyone else in the room (and particularly Nigel, when he decided to come up to you with a SURPRISE handshake...yeah that threw me off folks, not gonna lie, BUUT hey it was good practice for the real thing! Of course it involved clumsy little stumbles from some of us, which was pretty funny. You've got to have a good handshake too, and look em dead in the eye! DEAD IN THE EYE, DANG IT!
I left a tad early from Nigel's class to go meet Christopher at the reception of his hotel - this was definitely not nerve-wracking AT ALL and I was entirely calm the entire time. Hah. Haaaaah...Right - but anyways, him and I had a nice little chat before we got to class, and got a quick coffee. We then got back to business, and headed to class.
What was interesting was how much Christopher actually remembered each of our bio which we gave in before the program, which shows how much he actually cares about his students.
We started off by talking about temp tracks for movies, and how to be as good as the temp tracks (or ideally, better), without trying to imitate it. Christopher very quickly started teasing the idea of going to LA....Friggin' LA, man. It's kinda funny to think about, after you see it in all the movies where the waitresses are all actors trying to get famous, and everyone's trying to get their' big break' there - it doesn't even sink in that it's a real place, sometimes.
Christopher gave us a 5-year plan for when going to LA, and emphasized the importance of not expecting too much, too quickly. We then went on to watch some end and title tracks that he has composed, while exclaiming the relevance of singable melodies in film-scores. After further discussion and such, he gave us our FIRST assignment. Holy canoli. We were assigned a 32-bar chord progression using fifths, for which we had to compose a melody for in AABA form. - It might sound pretty simple, but I don't think we should underestimate it. I think as people, our first reaction is to over-complicate things, and make life harder than it should be, and keeping it simple can mean that your ego gets in the way, encouraging you to add unnecessary things, to anything really. I'm quite curious to see what everyone's come up with, though.
After Young's class, we had a very intriguing class with Richard Bellis, called 'creativity on a deadline' - something which is so essential nowadays, since life has become so fast and busy for everyone. He first explained how creativity is harbored, as well as how it is blocked out by our heads, and discussed also what it is not. He later gave us 'the method' which he came up with, which gives a percentage time-based plan of creating/composing on a deadline. This was then followed by a Q&A. Bellis is clearly a very intellectual person, and it was a joy to listen to his masterclass.
I really wish I could go on more about all of this, but I don't want to make this TOO long! Point is though, it was a very productive day, chock-full of information and fun stuuufff.
I must now go, to day 4 of the GEMS Christopher Young Film Scoring Program Spain! To infinity (aka class)!
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