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).
Over the past few weeks I’ve been bugging people to vote for two panels that I proposed for the 2013 South by Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Festival (and hopefully come December I’ll get to tell you all that they were accepted). One of these panels is on a topic that I’ve been interested in for quite some time, The Future of The Soundtrack, and I am nerdily excited to get the chance to moderate a discussion between experts.
In my time working around and on soundtracks and various marketing initiatives for film and television, there are also certain observations I have made that I hope to debate, to get an official opinion. Until I (fingers crossed) find myself in a position to consult those supervisors and executives that I admire so much, here are my thoughts on the topic.
By Amanda DK
With the annual South By Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival now just days away, industry professionals from blogger to supervisor are all hustling to catalog, notate and RSVP to entire inboxes full of artist schedules and event invitations. Of course, the day they land in Austin on March 14 (or earlier), the meticulous work will all be in vain, swept away by word of mouth and tagging along with friends to that secret show no one else knows about. Thus is the glorious standard operating procedure at SXSW.
For most people I know, the above rarely includes conference panels. It’s easy to enjoy the festival without spending the $500 – $750 on a badge, and avoiding the Austin Convention Center entirely. Still though, SXSW was founded on a conference and that is still at it’s core.
By Amanda DK
Behind many independent music supervisors, especially in the television world, there is a studio executive working with several other independent music supervisors trying to keep multiple shows on course and colleagues on all levels happy.More often than not, these are the less glamorous positions; their names may not be in the credits, but studio music execs are still reading every script, watching every cut, solving clearance struggles and giving creative notes. Not only that, the creatives on a project (director, producers) can sometimes perceive them as the “bad guy,” pushing corporate studio agendas at the expense of their vision. The best ones can serve both to an equal degree at the same time – Russell Ziecker is one of these.
By Andrew Thomas
I’d like to take a moment to discuss an area of composed music that is frequently overlooked: comedy. Consistent with the attitude of the rest of the industry, comedic music is seen as the cheap, uninteresting little brother of the bold, exciting dramatic score. Want proof? In the 12 years since the Academy stopped giving Oscars for both comedic and dramatic scores and consolidated them both into one category, only one comedic score has actually won (Michael Giacchino’s, for Up.) And only 7 of the 60 nominees in that span were comedies, and 5 of those were animated.
But I don’t even want to discuss music in comedic features. I’d like to draw your attention to a few programs that are doing interesting things with music on the small screen. Comedies on cable are employing music in ways that network comedies and studio features wouldn’t even consider, using it not just to create mood and reveal emotion, but also to set up expectations and then defy them, or even comment on the on-screen action.