I have had a busy month scoring several short films. In July I scored High Score for Dark & Moody Productions. It was a fun project were I got to combine some traditional film score style cues with cues in the style of several generations of video game music. Currently I’m working on two short films. The first A Fine Cycle, from MaRoZel Productions, is a film narrative film about anxiety and depression. The second Kimmich, from AWM Productions, is a Sci-fi film about a pilot who crash lands on an alien world.
I’ve also done a some additional work (along with a lot of play testing!) on Ship It as we get the game ready to show at PAX. The game has come along way in a short time. Long planned additions to the are being implemented; Soon the game will be off early access and be fully released!
On Sept. 3rd a trailer for Ode To Joy will be playing alongside other documentaries at an event presented by Todd Baize Productions called PDX Short Docs. The screenings begin at 6pm at the Mission Theatre.
Today it was announced that Ship It was accepted into this years PAX 10! Wondering what the PAX 10 is? Here is a description from the PAX website:
Each year our group of 50 industry experts select the ten best indie games in regard to gameplay and overall fun-factor.
Ship It is the first VR game accepted. I'll be at PAX this year along with Think On Labs showing Ship It on the expo floor.
Great news! Both of the short films I scored for the Portland 48hr Film Project made it to the Best of the 48 screening! This means both Morkchop and I Am Not To Blame will be up for an award. The Best Of screening will be July 17, 7pm, at the Hollywood Theatre.
Over the weekend I took part in the Portland 48 Hour Film Project composing for two teams. Both teams successfully completed their films on time!
The first team MFYG Productions had the choice of genre between time travel or sports film. We opted for time travel and made a film called Morkchop. Morkchop is a fun comedy about a man from the future who ends up on a farm, but why? The film screens 9:30pm Wednesday, June 21st, at the Hollywood Theatre!
My other team, MaRoZel, had a choice between musical or western. We went with musical! As I was composing for two teams scoring and writing songs for a musical was the last thing I expected but I got it done. I was able to break out my song writing chops that I have not used for a while and wrote three songs on top of the score. The film takes place in a post apocalypse future where a group of people are taking shelter from the unrelenting sun. I Am Not To Blame will be screening 7pm Thursday, June 22nd, also at the Hollywood Theatre.
Here are posters for the two films:
The orignal score I wrote for Vicious comes out today! Download it on Bandcamp:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bryan Minus Releases Soundtrack to Vicious
Portland, Oregon - June 2, 2017 - Locked away in his basement studio, Bryan Minus recorded the award-winning soundtrack to the suspense/thriller Vicious over the course of six weeks in the summer of 2015. Vicious tells the story of a law student who becomes the object of the obsessive affection of a stalker, who refuses to leave her alone until she agrees to quit working as a stripper. During his first feature-film project, the composer enjoyed the challenge of blending the score with the soundtrack of the movie; many of the film cues he wrote not only added dramatic effect but sounded as if they were used by the DJs in the film’s many club scenes. To capture the obsessive vibe of Vicious, Minus used a limited palette of guitar, drums, bowed cymbals and percussion, hair-raising synthesizers, and low strings. While on its run on the film festival circuit, Vicious has won many awards, including Best Music/Score at the LA Independent Film Festival.
As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, Bryan Minus has recorded and released many albums as a solo artist, and with the band Bryan Minus & the Disconnect. He also composed music for the virtual reality (VR) game Ship It, and has scored over 20 short films. He recently finished his second feature film, Pompeii, Oregon.
Following up his recently release of the EP, ThreeSixNine (Waiting For The Loop), Bryan is releasing Vicious exclusively on Bandcamp June 16th, 2017.
PO Box 8911
Portland, OR 97207
Today I sent out my first quarterly newsletter! It is has summaries of all the projects I've worked on so far this year, what events and conferences I've been to, and what projects I have coming up. If you want to get my newsletter delivered to your inbox sign up here.
I had a great time at the Barebones Film Festival! I met a ton of cool people and saw some great films! Vicious had a great reception and Q & A. Plus director Jason Rosenblatt won the Indie Auteur Award, and Angela Nordeng won Best Lead Actress!
Here is the trailer for Jason's next feature film, Intersection, featuring music I wrote for the trailer!
Spent the weekend at Betacon showing Ship It! There were a lot of VR newbies and it was a lot of fun introducing them to VR. We had quite a number of people come by and try out the game. Here is a picture of Ian McClellan of Think On Labs showing Ship It at the event:
This week I am heading to the Barebones Film Festival! It will be a week of films and Vicious will be screening at the festival on April 21st!
This Thursday, the 6th, I'll be hanging out at Gallery 114 showing Ship It for First Thursday in downtown Portland! If you have never tried VR before this is a great chance to come try it free! Undula will also be set up to play, so you can try two VR games. I'll be at the gallery all night so come say hello!
I just sent out the final mix for Pompeii, Oregon! It was such a pleasure to work on the film. Check out director Mark Andres and his other projects on his website Kinographic Novels.
On March 17th the Portland Tribune put out an article on virtual reality in Oregon that included an interview with me about my work on Ship It! Check out the full article Portland has virtually made it. No, really.
I'm excited to be attending the Barebones Film Festival in April! Vicious will be screening there on April 21st and will be up for Best Picture among other awards! Looking forward to meeting all the awesome people at the festival.
Today I released a new EP, ThreeSixNine (Waiting For The Loop)! I wrote this EP last summer for a game jam game called Waiting For The Loop that I worked on with Reis Mahnic. ThreeSixNine features three remixed songs that include voice acting from the game! I've released the EP exclusively on my Bandcamp page.
I had a great time at GDC last week. I met a ton of cool people, played some awesome games, and learned about some great tech. After attending I'm looking forward to incorporating more spatial audio into my projects.
Ship It was featured at the SVVR VR Mixer at GDC! The game got a great reception. On Thursday March 10th I'll be at the OGO Game On event along with Ian from Think On Labs to showcase Ship It. If you are in the Portland area it would be great to see you!
I'm entering the the final stages of scoring Pompeii, Oregon. Looking forward to seeing where this film goes!
This last month I have been busy scoring a feature film project called Pompeii, Oregon. Directed by artist, Mark Andres, the film is an animated silent movie! I am about half way through the project with a scheduled complete date near the end of March. I am very excited about this project and looking forward to sharing Pompeii, Oregon with the world!
I participated in the 2017 Global Game Jam along with developers Ian McClellan and Joel McDonald to produce a game called Undula! A VR rhythm game for the Oculus Rift, Undula let's you hear music with your hands. Here is a still from the game. Download the project from the Global Game Jam website.
I am excited to be attending GDC this year. This will be my first time attending and I am looking forward to meeting many awesome folks!
Vicious has been doing well on the festival circuit and picking up many awards. The next screening will be at the Barebones Film Festival in April!
I've start off new year scoring a short for TimeSculpt Productions called Spunk of the Reaper. The short is part of a horror anthology due out later this year. In the meantime Spunk of the Reaper will be submitted to film festivals. I really enjoyed working with the director, Bryan Hiltner. It was a fun short to score and I'm excited at the music that came out of the collaborative process.
In belated news Ship It was featured at the Portland Kaleidoscope VR Showcase Vol. 1 and the PIGSquad year end party. They were both fun events and it was a lot of fun seeing people try ship and VR for the first time. Vr is a medium I am very excited about for the future. Here is a picture of the Ian of Think On Labs giving a presentation on the ergonomics of VR and how that came in to play when designing Ship It at a recent PIGSquad Talent Talks.
Great news! Vicious has won another round of awards at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. Including Best Actress, Best Feature, and Best Original Music Score!
I have been quietly prepping a few release that I plan to release over the next few months. Soon I will be releasing the soundtrack to Vicious. Over the summer I did a game jam game called Waiting For The Loop. I did a remix of the music I made for that game that I will be releasing as an EP called ThreeSixNine. Last but not release I will be releasing the soundtrack to Ship It.
I have had some other projects as well including this video from DP and Drone Pilot Travis Stanton :
Lots of news for Vicious! Vicious was an official selection of the Chandler International Film Festival where the film won Best Actress. Vicious also is a official selection of The Apple Martini Film Series and The Monthly Film Festival. The Monthly Film festival wrote up this review of Vicious:
Jason Rosenblatt’s ‘Vicious‘ tells the story of a stripper that deals with her past and takes life in her own hands. She uses her inner power to overcome male oppressors and even a stalker.
This feature was a great surprise for us. The cinematography is very good, the edit is perfectly done, the score is amazing… basically, we could go as far as saying that this movie is on the right track.
The dialogue – verbal and non-verbal – is very powerful. The strip dancing is not only arousing, but filled with deep and emotional messages. The key of this movie is control. The only way you can control a big group of people, from the dancer’s perspective, is by attracting not only their interest but their attention. When you dance good, you have the power to control the masses, and by controlling the masses you are in control of the whole situations happening near you. As Rosenblatt points out in the director’s statement: “managers hold control of the stage and rules over the dancers, dancers use their bodies to control the customers and customers use their dollars to try and feel in control as each tries to take advantage of the other in a constant vicious battle”. And this never ceases to be true.
In movies like ‘Vicious’, the vice is the primal theme of the movie, and you, as a viewer, learn how to deal with vices. At first, you think you can handle it, and even control it. But it’s not like that. A vice is controlling you from the beginning to the last bit of your life. Rosenblatt’s feature is not only good for pointing out the whole control system, but he foregrounds a chain of power that we rarely have the chance to see in movies. Tons and tons of literary studies have been made based on this matter, but we assure you, no one took it as serious as Rosenblatt in ‘Vicious’.
Vicious premiered to a full house! I heard a ton of great comments and I'm really proud of the film and my contribution. Looking forward to it playing in future festivals.
I'm busy composing and recording music for a VR game called Ship It set to be released on the HTC Vive in October. I'm really excited about the project. Check out the trailer below and find out more info about Ship It on Steam's website!
Last night Waiting For The Loop was showcased at the PIGSquad Summer Slowjam Showcase. It was a good time and a lot of people got to play the game. You can download Waiting For The Loop for free; currently it is only available for Windows.
Big announcement! Vicious has been accepted in the Oregon Independent Film Festival where it won for Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. It is also up for Best Picture! Vicious will have its world premiere at the festival on September 24th at the Clinton St. Theatre.
In the last 3 weeks I've worked on 3 short films and a narrative point and click adventure game.
The video game is called Waiting For The Loop. It will be showcased August 27th and the final event for the PIGSquad Slow Jams.
I scored a horror short from writer/director Mont Haines called The Shed. I had a lot of fun breaking out my horror chops for the film.
I also helped out Jason Rosenblatt with mixing his new short For Dad being sent out to film festivals now.
I can't believe it has been almost a month! I finished up a mobile game project that should be released in the fall called Ghostly Garden. I moved into a new studio space (I'll post pics soon). I have two short film projects lined up for this month. I finished the first two tracks in a series of strings only pieces that I plan to release in the fall. I have also restarted work on my rock EP that I also plan to release in the fall. Plus I'm participating in the lastest PIGSquad Summer Slow Jam.
In more immediate news I released a collection of my cues on Bandcamp. You can stream or download Production Music Volume IV here.
I'm excited to announce that one of the games I worked for the Cartoon Network game jam made it into the top 16! This means Hot Cuppa Joe will appear for download on the Cartoon Network game site. More details TBA!!
Vicious is about to be sent off to festivals! It's been a long journey but the final mix is almost done. I'm proud of the work I've done on this film and am excited to see what happen's with Vicious as it gets out into the world.
I'm about to get started on a VR project demo for the Vive. It's cool to be able to write something for this relatively new commercial medium. I'm looking forward to experimenting with all the possibilities.
The game page has been expanded with more of the projects I have worked on over the last year. You can find more samples of music, gameplay demos, and links to download a couple of the games for free! Also I am excited for the Cartoon Network Gam Jam Showcase! It will be March 26th at XOXO Outpost here in Portland, OR.
The Cartoon Network game jam was amazing! It was a weekend full of tons of work and little sleep but it was totally worth it. I’m really excited about both the games I worked on and all the cool people I met and got to hang with. Reis Manic the game writer on one of my teams posted this awesome blog about the CN game jam as it happened. Also you can follow that team, Spicy Chai, on twitter as we post further developments about our game.
This weekend I am participating in a huge game jam for Cartoon Network! I’ll be helping out two different teams develop a game for a chance to win a full game development contract! It is going to be an exciting weekend as I stay on site of the jam, get no sleep and make as much quality music and sound effects as possible. Follow my twitter and instagram for updates on the jam!
Today marks the anniversary of my first solo EP release, Forage. It is interesting to listen back to what I was up to six years ago! Here is a link to my band camp page where you can listen to Forage.
This past weekend I had a blast at the 2016 Global Game Jam here in Portland. I worked with two teams both of which completed our game. I’m working on a full post mortem about the jam that I’ll have up ASAP as well as few of the tracks I wrote.
5 ways Original Music Improves Storytelling in Media
Paired with storytelling, music heightens our emotions and captures the imagination. It’s hard to think about movies like Star Wars or Edward Scissorhands without thinking of their epic, world building scores. Watch a scene from any movie without the score, and it will seem lifeless and fake.
Here are five ways original music brings storytelling to life.
1. Increased production value
Original music composed for a project raises the production value in that it adds cohesion and aesthetic appeal. The music plays off visual cues, cranking up the emotion. Whether the mood is eerie suspense or lost love, perfectly synced music will make the audience feel.
2. Original music makes a project unique
Original music gives a project a voice of its own. A good score builds off the emotions, story, and themes. Imagine Back to the Future without Alan Silvestri’s quintessential score. Think of Doc Brown scrambling to send Marty back to the future at the climax of the movie and try not to hear the main theme as it’s passed around from section to section finally hitting the triumphant brass an instant before Marty and the DeLorean vanish in a trail of fire.
3. Custom Fit
Original music can be tailored to fit the storyteller’s vision. Imagine a composer presents a score to a director. It’s perfect for the scene except the oboe solo. No problem, it can be switched out. A composer can take one theme, tweak it to fit a sad scene, then later on, a happy one. A good composer bends music to their will, hitting every emotional point, all while making the music sound as if it were written independently from the picture.
4. Unified themes and variations
Original music creates worlds. In using the same harmonic and melodic language across an entire project, a composer can spin many variations of a theme or melody to fit any context or situation, producing cohesion. The music becomes a story within a story. A great example is the score of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; the music is so well done with its powerful themes and orchestral colors, it’s easy to find yourself immersed.
A leitmotif is a reoccurring melody or musical idea that becomes associated with a character or idea in a story. These are useful in suggesting a character with music even when that character is offscreen. While not right for every project, when used well leitmotifs have a powerful subconscious effect on the audience. This concept can be expanded to ideas and concepts that reoccur throughout the story. One famous use of this technique is the theme for the ark in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Whenever the ark is on screen or the idea of the ark is present, this mysterious theme is heard.
It’s no accident that music and story have been intertwined for centuries. Music is psychologically tied to the amygdala, the primitive part of our brain that processes emotion and makes connections between visual and emotional stimuli. Storytellers in any medium can boost their project with the evocative power of music.
Looking for ways to take a movie, video game of any other storytelling medium to the next level? Consider hiring a composer for your next project.
Tell me about your favorite original scores on twitter at @bryanminus.