Archive for category New Mexico

“A French horn player of [Cline’s] level should be playing, and not working a day job as a waiter,” said Maki. The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, coupled with the low cost of living in the Mahoning Valley, are the two main reasons for the area’s wealth of classical musicians. Maki passes on the savings to his clients. Almost all of the musicians in the YSS are professionals, working as music teachers, members of regional orchestras, or as otherwise paid performers. The YSS is producing three to five scores per year at this time, while building its reputation among filmmakers. It is kept on pace largely through the efforts of four key people: Mariana Szalaj, administrative director; concert master Natalie Sahyoun, who handles stylistic expresssions between Maki and the orchestra; engineer Mike Talanca, owner of Tune Town recording studio in Newton Falls; and recordist Jack Ciarnello, who manages all takes and records them. Maki works full time as a composer, and does not take pay for his work as director and conductor of the YSS. His clients are mainly indie filmmakers with modest budgets. Contracts are obtained through his film industry connections. Work begins with Maki reading the script and watching the film to determine the best way to handle the music. “I’m more interested in seeing the film than the script,” he said. “There can be pacing issues. For example, a script might simply say ‘car chase’ but in the film they might do it in slow motion for artistic reasons.” There is a lot of back-and-forth between Maki and the director as the score is fine-tuned. it requires a high degree of cooperation and often results in repeat business. “When a director finds a composer that he can work with, he will continue to do so,” said Maki. “It has to be someone who doesn’t take offense at being told to make changes, who wants the film to be as good as it can be. “There is a lot of give and take. Sometimes I have to start over.” The goal is to make music that enhances the film, seamlessly and unobtrusively. Maki gave an example: “When you hear the score of ‘Rocky,’ it makes you go ‘yay, Rocky,’ not ‘yay, music.’”

Las Cruces – Dominic Brown, 23, a senior at New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute, is directing a film called “Knock ‘Em Dead.” It’s a short film about a mortuary assistant who dreams of becoming a comedian, but lacks comic timing. “He’s not very funny, so he practices comedy in front of the dead as […]

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