Resuscitating a dead cue

A long time ago I wrote three cues for my first demo. They were the first three (complete) things I had ever written, and they were for an actress who was looking into producing a fantasy feature. My writing skills were fair, my producing and Pro Tools skills were non-existent, and the samples I had at the time were not cutting edge. The film never happened, but I wound up with my first demo. 

When I was spotting Until Next Time with director Kimberly Prendez, she expressed interest in using one of those demo cues in the film for a specific scene. The cue was called “Mortal Coil,” and has been on every demo and incarnation of my site since, well, day one. Although I was flattered that she liked something I’d written, I had a feeling it wouldn’t fit the rest of the score that was percolating in my head, but I made a mental note of it.

I was right. The score I wrote for the film was quite different, and much better than the original incarnation of Mortal Coil. Yesterday I sat down to write the music for the film’s trailer, and I was trying out a few different things. I tried writing a faster paced cue, but it made the film appear to be too romantic comedy-ish, which it isn’t. Then I remembered Mortal Coil. I pulled up the session (which is reason number one why I never get rid of a session, no matter how old or obsolete it is). It was written well, but needed some “oomph.” The first thing I did was bump up the choir, I gave them more notes and used it to double the melody in some places. Then I took the strings, which at the time were written with one patch that covered all four sections (bass, cello, viola, violin), and separated it. I grabbed the samples from the library I use now, which is quite a bit better than the ones I had, and swapped them out. Then I changed a few questionable notes, rewrote the cello section, cut the song in half (so that it fit over the trailer), and watched them together. It fit perfectly. I remixed all the tracks, created an audio file, and sent it off to Kim’s editor, Angelo Bell. A few hours later I got this text from Mr Bell:

“OMG!!! Are you on some composer steriods?! That score is DA IMMACULATE BOMB bro!!!”

and this one from Ms. Prendez a few minutes later:

“Omg I frikken love it!”

Apparantly it went over well.

It was a perfect example that rewriting is a never ending cycle, and almost always produces a better version than the original. A cue that was going to come off my new demo (currently being put together) can now be added with a new name and a new spark. I’d ad a link to the cue here, but #1- I haven’t converted it to an mp3 yet, and #2- I’d rather divert the traffic to the film’s website, so you can see and hear the the trailer the way it’s meant to be seen and heard; a marriage of music and video. It should be up in a few days or so;check it out and let me know what you think.