Film Scoring for Beginners

An In-depth course that covers the basics of the art, craft, philosophy, business, relationships, process, practice, and problem-solving of film scoring. 
1 - Welcome and About This Course
10 mins
Film Scoring Definitions and Fundamentals
In this section we discuss what film scoring is, what it means to be a film composer, and the working relationships of the film composer.
2 - The Role of Music in Film
6 mins
3 - The Vocabulary of Film Music
8 mins
4 - The Film Composer
9 mins
5 - Tips for Diversifying your Musical Output
2 mins
6 - Working With The Director
10 mins
7 - Tips for Working with Inexperienced Directors
3 mins
8 - The Other Team Members
6 mins
Career and Business Matters
In this section we will be discussing the career goals that you have as a composer, as well as some of the business realities of film scoring.
9 - Career Goals and Dreams
7 mins
10 - Developing Your Career Goals
9 mins
11 - Essential Tools for the Beginning Film Composer
3 mins
12 - When You Get The Call: Rates, Interest, and Availability
11 mins
13 - Thoughts about Contracts and Agreements
Score Pre-Production
In this section we will cover the creative process behind developing the core elements and sound of the score, as well as walk through principles of musical placement and how to conduct a successful spotting session. We will also cover basics of workload management and file management. 
14 - Developing the Score: Breaking Down the Film
9 mins
15 - Developing The Score: Finding "The Sound"
7 mins
16 - Developing the Score: Crafting Themes and Association
15 mins
17 - The Power of Musical Placement in Film
9 mins
18 - The Spotting Session
11 mins
FCA Cue Sheet Template.xlsx
11.6 KB
732 KB
19 - Scheduling the Workload
5 mins
20 - File Management: Receiving, Importing, & Sync
12 mins
Principles of Placement in Action: The Screenwriters
To give an example of how principles and placement works in action, I break down this scene from a 2016 film I scored called "The Screenwriters."
21 - Breaking Down a Scene from "The Screenwriters"
27 mins
Scoring To Picture
In this section we break into the principles, theory, and practical nuts-and-bolts of scoring to picture. 
22 - Home and Away: Principles of Musical Tension and Resolution
6 mins
23 - Getting Inspiration, Originality, and Ideas
9 mins
24 - Micky Mousing, Hit Points, and Shift Points
8 mins
25 - Structure and Arc in the Cue
9 mins
26 - Finding the Rhythm and Tempo of the Scene
4 mins
27 - Emotional Point of View
6 mins
28 - Key Choices, Modes, and Modulation
12 mins
29 - Fitting Music Around Dialogue and FX
7 mins
30 - Using World/Ethnic Instruments
3 mins
31 - Scoring Cue Entrances and Exits
6 mins
32 - How to Create Effective Underscore
29 mins
33 - How to Score an Action or Chase Scene
44 mins
34 - How to Score a Funny Scene
39 mins
35 - How to Score a Romantic or Tender Scene
50 mins
36 - Scoring the Big, Iconic Music Moments
5 mins
37 - Common Film Scoring Problems and Solutions
6 mins
Benjamin Botkin Scores a Scene from "Charade"
In this section I demonstrate the process and mechanics of scoring a scene as I re-score (in realtime) a dramatic scene from the classic 1960 film, Charade. 
38 - Re-scoring Charade Part 1: Planning
21 mins
39 - Re-scoring Charade Part 2: Composing
57 mins
40 - Re-scoring Charade Part 3: Timing and Finishing
(1h 39m 52s)
Screenwriters Scoring Assignment Video and
40.6 MB
Charade Re-scored (Finished Scene)
3 mins
Charade Rescored MIDI and
31.6 MB
Finishing Up
41 - Finishing Up: File Delivery and Final Steps
6 mins
42 - Thank You (And What's Next)!
2 mins
Course Completion Feedback Survey
Complete Course Audio
Contained in this .zip file is the complete audio from the course in MP3 format. Perfect for listening to in the car, or while you exercise, or whatever. Ok, maybe that's a little weird, but it's here if you want it. 
Film Scoring for Beginners COURSE
656 MB
Additional Resources
Resource List for Further Learning
Video Resources for Film Scoring Practice
Great Scores and Scenes to Study
Screenwriters Brainstorming Scene
35.6 MB