new blog / old news
For a while now I’ve been having more news than really can fit in my website’s little news window, so thought it’d be a good idea to start a blog!
To kick things off I’m copying/pasting in all my previous news updates from the site. Here we go:
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of being on the “SOUNDTRACK/SOUNDSTAGE: Applying Atmosphere to Image” panel at the Chicago International Music & Movies Festival. Other panelists included Columbia College’s Julian Grant, Michael Caplan, and Roderick Plummer. It’s always fun bouncing ideas off experienced filmmakers who really know their stuff.
I’m excited to announce my interview with “123 Film!” is posted online. I talk about my work for CollegeHumor, lightning-fast turnarounds, and how I got started in film music. It was a real honor as their usual guest list is full of Oscar/Emmy nominees and winners, people from Dreamworks, and other heavy hitters in the industry.
Also, I’ve posted seven new testimonials on this site- from filmmakers, talk show hosts, and perhaps most importantly, scientists.
I’ve posted nine new recent projects on this site, including a Batman video, demented Jetsons theme song, a Beetlejuice parody, and an Activision video game promo.
You’ll find these in the Portfolio section of my site, or by clicking the links above!
Farewell Darkness, a multiple-award-winning film I scored in 2007 was released on Nov 3rd! It’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Target, or directly through the R-Squared Films site (get 30% off by using the code DARK30 at checkout!)
I recently did sound design and music for the short Pixar Intro Parody which has really exploded online! It’s been featured on many sites, including Motionographer, The Huffington Post and even Pixar’s Twitter account! The sound effects were really fun- the P, X, A, R footsteps are erasers tapping on my desk, and the prisoners are latex gloves (of course, haha).
Papertiger is an animation by talented filmmaker/animator Gus Gavino I recently sound designed and scored. It was nice to change things up and work on something very abstract, cool and unique. Some of the items I used to create sound FX include a shoeful a change, a windup chicken, and playing cards.
The Old Man and the Seymour is a 30 min film I had the pleasure of scoring earlier this year. It turned out great on all fronts and I’m proud to have been involved! Watch the whole film online at www.theoldmanandtheseymour.com
I made the NY Times on Friday! Click here to read their article about Web Site Story, the West Side Story parody I recently completed for CollegeHumor. It was also featured on Entertainment Weekly’s “Clip du jour”, Today’s Big Thing, Tech Crunch, and countless other sites.
This was definitely one of the most challenging projects I’ve taken on recently, but I had a blast!
I’ve now done music for over 30 (and counting) CollegeHumor videos. Lately these have included parodies of full songs by Journey & Vitamin C (pictured above), Barenaked Ladies, and more.
The popular blog BoingBoing just featured my epic 5-song West Side Story parody and my sitcom theme about sitcom themes was posted on Mental Floss.
You can find several of these in the Portfolio/Comedy section of my site or just click the links above!
I’ve composed theme music for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry’s ongoing series of podcasts! I had a great time helping kickstart the project last year by producing/engineering the first few, and this was a fun way to revisit it. To hear my music sandwiched around interesting conversations on everything from glass blowing to Harry Potter, click here.
Last month I gave a presentation to the Chicago Film Producers Alliance (a diverse group of about 80 producers), entitled “Seamless Collaboration with a Film Composer”. Though there are no “rules” when working with a composer, I gave many suggestions that have worked well in my experience. To read my thoughts on communication, deadlines, rates and more, click here to download a PDF version!
A music video by my science-themed band premiered at the first annual Chicago International Music and Movies Festival- thanks all for coming out to the screening! To see some of our unusual science and/or batman themed videos, click here: Nuclear Biologist Rocket Surgeons - Music Videos.
Today I had the pleasure of moderating a film music panel at the Lake County Film Festival. Other panelists included filmmakers John Covert, Laura Zinger and Lisa Pescia as well as fellow composer Andreas Kapsalis.
The panel discussed topics such as the collaborative process, the filmmaker/composer relationship, licensing and more. I had a great time and learned a lot myself from all the different perspectives the other panelists brought to the table.
Big news… I’ve been creating music for a new show on MTV! It is The CollegeHumor Show, and premieres this Sunday, Feb 8th, at 9:30 PM/8:30c. I believe the first season will run for six weeks.I’m simultaneously working on a few new films- more details to come…
Last month I finished scoring a film shot in a Paris subway called Pipe Dream (Pictured: vocalist Alice Wedoff). This was a fun challenge as it required French lyrics– and I don’t speak French! Solution: I sang a temporary track of the melody (in gibberish), the director wrote lyrics to match it, then Alice came in and nailed the real thing. Voila! (Ok, one word of French…)
Also, the always-fascinating Middle Mind Project featured my work on their blog! Check out middlemindproject.com if you enjoy wonderful multimedia projects.
To top it all off, I’ve scored another 4 videos for CollegeHumor. I am very happy to be working on such a wide variety of great projects.
I’m currently working on my 11th video for CollegeHumor. Click Portfolio, Comedy to take a look at some of my newly posted favorites and let me know what you think! (Pictured: “Fatal Decision”, “Ghost Roommate Ep 1”)
A Treatise on the Nature of Friendship (a film I scored in 2006) recently aired on the PBS program Reel 13 in NYC after winning an online vote by a landslide- congrats to director and good friend David Fishel!
This month I’ve also enjoyed working on voiceover projects for LEAP Real Estate Systems and AllScripts (a company doing cool work with electronic health records!)
Wow, what a busy month! I’ve been scoring short films like a madman (one per week) for the very talented production team at collegehumor.com. I’ve posted one entitled “M.A.S.H.” (pictured) in the Portfolio/Video section of this site- enjoy and stay tuned for more!
Over the past few months I’ve been engineering and producing audio podcasts for Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry! They are a lot of fun and I really enjoy sitting in on the interviews. Check out the most recent one on the right side of this page: Smart Home: Green + Wired.
I’ve also updated my client list with some recent projects from this year. (see the “about” section of my site)
I’ve made some exciting upgrades to my studio, including Vienna Syphonic Library orchestral samples! VSL is widely renowned for its pure and lifelike classical sounds. They’re great on their own or even better backing up live players for projects with a little more room in the budget. Either way, this means more options for your film!
On a different note, I recently lent some trumpet, accordion and whistling to my friend Rob Kleiner’s score for the film Watch Out- the few clips I’ve seen look and sound great! Keep an eye out for this one.
I had a great time in LA at the Hollywood Black Film Festival last week where Outspoken was a finalist! I met a lot of very talented filmmakers and enjoyed many interesting panels and screenings.
In other news I’ve released the genre-jumping album of my science-themed band for free download at rocketsurgeonmusic.com- spread the word! This project has a been a real joy and it feels great to finish it up.
I just got back from the Del Ray Beach Film Festival where Farewell Darkness won Best Feature! All of us are ecstatic to have started off our festival run with a bang. Pictured: me, David Bianchi (Actor/Producer), Matt Jones (Producer), Keith Compton (Lead Actor), Luis Segui (Actor).
While at the festival, I also had the pleasure of serving on a music licensing panel alongside industry veterans such as the Director of Music Licensing from Sony! Special thanks to Dr. Michael Posner for setting up such a great event.
The Farewell Darkness premiere sold out! Thank you everyone for coming out and making this a night to remember. The Gene Siskel Film Center liked the film so much that we’ve been giving additional screening dates: June 25th and June 26th.
I’ve given my site a thorough overhaul! New audio and video samples posted! Actually, there’s new content in every section… I’ve also added some back-dated news entries to let you know what I’ve been up to.
BIG news! Farewell Darkness will be having its world premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago! May 2nd, 8 PM (ticketmaster)- come support a great independent film! (Buy early- this will surely sell out).
Also, Outspoken: Los Angeles has been accepted into the Hollywood Black Film Festival- the largest and most prestigious black film fest in the country! Also, both films have been accepted as Official Selections to the Del Ray Beach Film Festival in Florida!
Just finished a marathon of Outspoken string sessions packed into a few short days. They were mostly recorded in a church in my neighorhood (read: GREAT acoustics!). Pictured: Will Roseliep (cello), Danielle Economy (violin)
I’m scoring a great documentary called Outspoken: Los Angeles. It focuses on Americans in LA fighting the occupation of Iraq and also includes in-depth interviews with several families who have lost sons in the war. I’m proud to be working on such a relevant and important project.
I scored a series of 4 regional spots for the IL Bureau of Tourism! I had a great time working on this project- look for these on the air in February.
Completed a sound design project for a local haunted house. My friends and neighbors had a great time providing some quality screams, yells, moans, etc.
I finished the score for feature film Farewell Darkness, by award-winning director Daniel J. Pico!
I participated in the 48 hour film project this weekend. Our horror film The Legend of Jenny Crawford tied for Audience Favorite at the screening! Since we only had 48 hours, I actually started writing music before the script was even finished. I finally started getting footage about 7 hours from deadline, and tweaked the music to match the action onscreen.