and Related Disciplines
What I've learned I know I strive for
The audio portion of a film is often regarded as half of the presentation, and sometimes even more. When you consider the dialogue, foley, sound design and musical score, it would seem impossible for a good film to exist without any one of them. The process of mixing all of these elements together seamlessly into a transparent universe where a story can be conveyed, normally requires specialized skills from a team of professionals. What if your budget doesn’t allow for that?
The role of film composer is my first choice, and that’s what I look for. However, because of the size of most of the projects that I’ve worked on, there always seems to be a need to wear other hats, and fortunately, I have the background and disposition that enables me to pull it off.
With that in mind, as much as I like to show off my cinematic music, this page also features the other audio disciplines that make up my skillset. I always do whatever I can to make for a successful project to everyone’s benefit.
Foley The World Contest - 2nd Place Winner for 2022
Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m a sucker for contests that require skill and have cool prizes. The Foley the World contest proved to be a worthy challenge and I walked away with a bunch of Sound FX libraries to add to my existing arsenal.
The assignment was to create the soundtrack for the provided video of about 2 minutes. Most, if not all of the clips are from the pre-sound days of cinema. The video contains a header and a trailer, which I chose to use a modern sound design approach, and the rest is from an assortment of mostly library sound FX clips. Some of the scenes contain 15 to 20 pieces of audio clips that are edited and have added effects. The talking voices were done by me, pitched up for the “ice wagon kid”. It was definitely a lot of fun.
DC's Stargirl (The CW)
The Stargirl video is actually music I did for Spitfire Audio’s annual scoring competition. I have included it here because it’s recent (2021) and looks better than most of the reels from actual projects that I’ve worked on. It’s not always possible to get a polished finished product to use for my composer reel. Even though I didn’t win, I still think I did a pretty decent job, and it stands up well to the one that did win.
The video clip below was provided along with the dialogue and sound FX as part of the Spitfire competition. With over 4000 entries, winning the prize, which would have been cool, was not my sole objective. It was a great opportunity to score a network series Superhero action sequence. My version may be a bit heavy-handed and “over-the-top”, compared to Pinar Toprak’s original score, but I wanted to have some fun with it.
My personal highlight from the Stargirl reel is the short theme that breaks out when she lifts her scepter to save the school bus full of kids. Nothing was planned, it was totally spontaneous, and that’s what I love about scoring. It inspires music that probably wouldn’t have been written apart from the film. I further developed that theme and used it for the 20-second credit roll at the end of the video. I may be partial, but I think it sounds as good as the theme they use for the show every week.
Film clips and Commercials with RZ Music
Paradise (selected scenes) Lamplight Entertainment
Directed by Jonathan Flora
These are just working clips from the film, before the final mix, but it demonstrates the score pretty well for my purposes.
Jonathan is a brilliant director and provided a playground of opportunities for mixing music and sound design.
When finished, the film won 1st prize at an LA Film Festival.
Cutting Corners (selected scenes) An Excellent Journey Production
Directed by James Choiniere
An unmixed ruff cut for music demonstration purposes. This was an emotional film which always inspires good music. Both of these scenes demonstrate transitions that I think work well. The first scene is notable how it starts with party/lounge music and becomes darker as the scene develops.
Dracula 2000 from Wes Craven
This was a trailer that I wrote the music for. I would have liked to have done some things differently but was under pretty tight direction. It paid well though. No complaints.
RZ Commercial Reel
This is a series of mockup commercials made for commercial pitches. We created all of the audio using my music and voiceovers by Bonita and myself. The video is from existing commercials.