Film school:Narrative Dialog Editing:Story of Penny and Eggbert:Film Score

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An example for the course on Narrative Film Editing
Eggbert OTS Penny visible.png

Planning the movie score

Before we can create the film score, we need to understand how to create a film score.
  • Because there are no words or action in this scene, the audience can only understand the scene by understanding the moods of the scene.
  • Moods can only be produced by music.
Therefore, we need to figure out how we can create the correct music for this scene.



The story of Penny and Eggbert
Intro: Penny & Egg Introduction Eggbert CU.png
Page #1: The story and script Oxygen480-categories-applications-office.svg
Page #2: The camera setups Crystal Clear app camera.png
Pop Quiz: Penny & Egg Pop Quiz #1 Nuvola apps kalarm.png
Page #3: The dailies Mplayer.svg
Page #4: The rough edit Edit-cut.svg
Page #5: "L-Cuts" Applications-accessories.svg
Page #6: Creating "L-Cuts #1" Applications-accessories.svg
Page #7: Creating "L-Cuts" #2 Applications-accessories.svg
Pop Quiz: Penny & Egg Pop Quiz #2 Nuvola apps kalarm.png
Page #8: Planning the film score Crystal Clear app knotify.png
Page #9: How to insert narrative music Musica clasicismo.png
Homework #1: Create the film score Crystal Clear app knotify.png
Homework #2: Editing the scene Edit-cut.svg


Note: Penny and Eggbert are 3D Poser models created by 3D Universe. For this lesson, these characters were posed and rendered with the free DAZ Studio.
Possible music for this movie
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The five sources of music

There are five sources of music for a scene.

1. The melody line of the dialog.
2. Songs (pre-recorded by popular artists)
3. Background music
4. Narrative music
5. Sound effects


Eliminating the obvious
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No songs and no melody line music

We cannot use songs to create the mood for this scene and we cannot get the mood from the melody line of tha ctors. Therefore, we can immediately elimiate these two options.
1. Pre-recorded songs
Songs can only be used in a motion picture if there is just a single mood throughout the song. Songs don't change moods so you cannot use a song if there is more than one mood for the entire time the song is playing.
This movie should have more than a single mood. Otherwise, it will be very dull indeed!
Therefore, you cannot use a single song to create the mood for this scene. Your choices are to use multiple songs (not recommended) or find some other way to create the necessary moods for this scene.
2. Melody line of the dialog
There are no words other than quacks and cheeps. And since there is no dialog, obviously, there is no music built into the dialog. A duck quacking and a penguin cheerping creates very little music as they speak.
Note: The tonal range of the quacks and peeps does not vary in our example. However, in a Luney Toons cartoon, the peeps and quacks have a wide range of tonal pitch so they do create a kind of music in those movies. Unfortunately, our movie does not have expressive cartoon voices.

What's left?

Therefore, we are left with background music and narrative music.
Which shall we use? And where?
Enhance the mood?

Background music

Background music is gentle music (never the same frequency as the dialog and without any percussion, complex structure, etc.) that can easily fit in the background.

However, remember that the purpose of background music is to enhance the mood of this scene. Initially, that is a problem since initially, there is absolutely no mood in this scene. (Not with just a duck and a penguin making noise.)


How to add background music
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Adding background music

We can add background music anywhere we want. Because background music does not interfer with the dialog, we are not limited to where we put background music.
But background music will not exlain what is going on in this scene. We need music which will immediately explain to the audience what is happening in this scene. Therefore, we will need at least some narrative music which is music that acts like a narrator.
So before we add any background music to enhance the mood of the scene, we need to add the narrative music.
Later, we can come back and add additional music which will be background music.
Narrate this movie with music

Narrative music

The only option left is narrative music.

For our scene, narrative music must be used to explain a scene.

We must add narrative music because nothing else will do this. We have already eliminated all other possibilities.


Now to add narrative music
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It needs its own space

Narrative music needs its own space. We can add narrative music in four places:
  • 1. At the beginning of the scene before anyone says a peep (pun intended).
  • 2. At the end of the scene after everyone is finished talking.
  • 3. Inbetween the dialog. That is after Eggbert says his first lines and after Penny says her lines.
In the third option, we must pull the dialog apart to leave a gap where we can insert narrative music. This is a very common way to insert narrative music into a scene and this is the ideal scene to practice on.
For this scene, we can do all three.
How to insert narrative film music
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The next page

Next I show you the steps for inserting narrative music in the middle of dialog. Click here to go to the next page.

If you have any questions

Your instructor for filmmaking classes is Robert Elliott.
If you have any question, click here to email me. Crystal Clear app xfmail.png