You Can Polish A Turd...

I was going to post this blog on Saturday noon to update my absence on Friday when I finished ‘Run Johnny Run’ but that didn’t go to plan because I still didn’t manage to finish it until Sunday morning at 2am, so I might as well post a belated Friday blog entry along with the whole week. I’m not sure whether it’s because I have spent ninety plus hours on ‘Run Johnny, Run’, and that I have lost all perspective on it, or whether it’s just a horrible song, but no matter what, I just don’t like the sound of it. I’m definitely most proud of it because it’s my longest and most ‘intricate’ cue with little details popping in and out for the span of three minutes but I absolutely hate it at the same time because it simply just sounds really bad to me. It has definitely improved from my original draft concept but it seems that there’s nothing much more I can do to it to make any big change. It has taken me this long to figure out that I have actually been sprinkling gold sparkles on to a piece of turd this whole time in desperate attempts to cover it up. I should’ve started a new piece when I had the chance because it still smells like a turd regardless… The problem originated when I was uncertain whether or not I wanted a guitar or synth sounds as my main riff. I went with a synth sound trying to sound like a guitar, which was a mistake because now my song sounds too muddy to be a nice sleek electronic piece, but at the same time, it’s not heavy or distorted enough to sound like a guitar piece. It’s sitting somewhere in between and it’s very unsatisfying, but anyway, no one else has complained about it except for Francis who just wanted a little bit more rock elements to it.

So I have recorded real guitars that by nature sound muddier than the clean, unnatural, bit-distorted texture of the synth guitar I used before. I have mixed them the best I can but it is proving to be a challenge to bring the single notes out from behind all of the harmonically rich textures in the song. The power chords sit nicely behind everything though; giving the song some metal like heaviness. I also changed the ending for the third time in which I’m settling on this time around (or so I keep telling myself). I wasn’t happy with the cheesy string line; it was a bit too much for this scene and reminded me of one of those eighties good-cop, bad-guy movies. Finally, I did some more mixing and changed a few little details once again, which didn’t make any difference at all so I’m saying it’s done because the more I mix, the more it sounds… the same. So here’s the final mix for ‘Run Johnny Run’:

Ok, I’ve also managed to finish ‘Chase Car’. There was quite a dilemma with this one. As I’ve mentioned before, Francis and I conceived this whole film to be one big satire; a dark comedy that contains very little forced laughs. The novelty of a giant rampaging teddy bear should be the only reason why this film is laughable because the way it has been shot and edited is that it tries to seem try-hard serious. This is the reason why I have made my music so over the top for such a small production film; it seemed to work in our minds. Now whether or not the film was executed well enough to portray is unclear because so far whenever people see this cue, they are baffled as to why it sounds so big and epic when it’s just a cheap looking teddy bear running through a boring alleyway. It’s only when I explain the concept, they seem to understand. I think perhaps everyone I’ve shown has taken this movie a bit too seriously. This thirteen-minute film was made in a total of eight days (as opposed to three months) with no love whatsoever; it’s meant to be lame and ridiculously bad. I want the music to contrast that in a similar way that it has been shot: try-hard serious. My goal with this cue is to not make people think how amazing and intense this scene is, but to make them think this sounds ridiculous! So here is the final mix for Chase Car, which I have renamed to ‘Seriously Serious’:

That’s two more songs off my list. Now I just need to focus on the performance for now and work on ‘Shit Just Got Real’ a little more this week.

© 2014 Benjamin Huang - All Rights Reserved