I’m sure all of my friends in real life and on social media are more than over all things Fake Off by now (#sorrynotsorry) but I had to mention it at least once here on the blog. With the final episode having aired on Wednesday, and the season officially over, it seemed an appropriate time for a debrief from the musical perspective.
What is Fake Off?
For any readers not Facebook friends with me you can find various descriptions of the show and what a “fake” is on the show website, but in my opinion the only way to understand is to watch a performance (see below). Trying to envision the show using the term “fake” as a starting point will only lead to confusion.
Since I don’t always have the opportunity to force the person I’m conversing with to watch a video (I know, it’s unbelieveable that I don’t have any performances bookmarked on my phone) here is the description I’ve been using over and over for the past few months.
Fake Off is a performance competition show where 10 teams (e.g. dance crews, theater groups) are challenged to create 90 second performances on a theme. The performances are fully-mounted mini-productions, with professional sets, props, costumes and special effects (confetti!). There is some voiceover (looking at you Tribe Of Fools) but for the most part performances are entirely visual, set to music. Teams are judged on how impressively they tell the story of their theme using their particular skill(s).
I then typically describe CubeMetricks’ Sci Fi Movies performance to illustrate what I mean, as it features clear examples of a theme, specific references, the use of their unique talents, an efficiently described story, and moments of illusion that can be (fairly) easily defined as “fakes”.
I’m sure someone from the show will correct me on at least one of those points, but oh well.
What exactly did I do on Fake Off?
I am still in awe that I somehow worked for seven weeks straight with only three days off and went to bed almost every night after 1am (which is not normal for me). Why? How? I basically became a different person, which is apt since what I did on the show was unlike any other project I’ve worked on before or since, but yet weirdly suited to my experience in both theater and music.
The majority of the 38 performance tracks were a combination of several existing cues from production music libraries, crafted into a cohesive 90 second piece with a beginning, middle and (big!) ending.
Without going into too much detail, I was the person on set in Hiram, GA responsible for ensuring each team had a kick-ass audio track ready for every performance. This required me to be the hub between the teams’ creative visions for their performances, the producers’ creative needs for the show, the rad Endemol Shine music team who serviced the massive amounts of music requested almost daily by the teams, and the stellar music editor in Los Angeles who put all the pieces together and made each performance track sound as though it was custom created.
…And of course most tracks went through constant creative and technical changes leading up to the moment the cameras started rolling (sorry again to the 1st AD).
I’ve already waxed poetic on how much the experience inspired me, so I won’t get too dramatic here. It was awesome. The people I worked with were rockstars. The performers were brilliant. I hope to collaborate everyone again in some capacity, maybe even on Fake Off Season 3 (fingers crossed).
Ten Amazing Performance Tracks
- “Fist Pump Figaro” from Extreme Music, in Academy Of Villains Games Of Strategy
- “Winterspell Dubstep Remix” from Extreme Music, in On The Fly Seven Seas
- “Dead Star Sonata” from 5 Alarm Music, in JUNK Space Race
- “Abaco-Dabra” from 5 Alarm Music, in The Surrealists St. Nick
- “Trap Rock” from Affix Music, in Academy Of Villains San Francisco
- “Turn and Burn” from Killer Tracks, in The Surrealists History of the Wild West
- “Andromeda” from Audio Network, in ClownSnotBombs New Orleans
- “Country Fried Disco” from FirstCom Music, in Astra Dance Theatre Dallas
- “Blow Out” from APM Music, in ClownSnotBombs Silent Movies
- “Tiger Blood” from APM Music, in LUMA History of Electricity
Ten Amazing Performances
**Sadly I couldn’t find links to all of these online. Will keep my eye out though!
Academy Of Villains Games Of Strategy
On The Fly Seven Seas
ClownSnotBombs New Orleans
The Surrealists Wizard Movies
Tribe Of Fools Berlin Wall
The Deca Crew History of Hip Hop
JUNK Space Race
On The Fly Video Games
Astra Dance Theatre Fantasy Movies
All of the “Legends” performances. I know I’m cheating here, but I don’t care:
Tribe Of Fools King Arthur
The Surrealists St. Nick
JUNK Fountain Of Youth
The Deca Crew Firebird
In the immortal words of host and all around good guy, Corbin Bleu, “keep it fake, people.”