• Benjamin Thompson

HTEC Audio Production Students are Scoring for Film!

For Halloween this year, Audio II students were tasked with scoring a short piece of film. The video could be anything they wanted (though horror movie scenes and trailers were encouraged), and the requirements were that they had to, one, write a chord progression using an orchestral instrument, and two, record a sound effect to add into it. As usual, my students did amazing job both technically and creatively. Here is one of my favorites.


Mario Barrios scored a scene from a 2016 horror film called Lights Out. Notice how his chord progressions and melodies evoke a tense feeling. His choice of instruments is perfect - the pipe organ provides us with a classic creepy texture. He deftly builds the tension by adding in more instruments and layers and his percussion comes in at just the right time to ratchet up the energy. The score is woven into the video so well that you forget that it isn't the original music. His mixing is also impressive - notice his use of the stereo field through panning. My only complaints: I think the music should either drop out entirely or go to a softer, more major feel during the phone conversation - lull us into a false sense of complacency so that the ensuring scene feels even more jarring. Also, I think the music needs to end entirely at the climax - it almost seems as if we are waiting for something more to happen. Overall, an amazing piece of work. Bravo, Mario.



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