Last month we launched our first Video Scoring Contest. We received entries from all over the world, many of which were beautifully produced contenders.
The contest has come to a close and we’re ready to announce the winner. But before we do, our judges want you to know that this was difficult! “In a professional situation, the ‘winner’ would really be down to the brief and what the client wanted to project; each is effective in its own way,” writes Peter Kirn, one of the contest judges. “We didn’t really give them a brief, other than to say go wild.”
We received almost 400 entries and listened to every single one. We were blown away by the quality of each entry and want to highlight not only the winner, but some of our other favorites.
The Winner: Erasmus Talbot
“It’s so well executed, I can’t really argue with it. And it seems like a client might go for it, too” said Peter Kirn of Erasmus Talbot‘s submission. The UK born composer studied music at Sussex University and London’s Guildhall School of Music before moving to Stockholm, Sweden where he currently lives. He started his career as an in-house sound designer with Disney Interactive. He set up his own company providing music to clients including the BBC, Microsoft, and Warner Bros. Most recently, he completed a 120-minute score for “Elite Dangerous” by Frontier Developments.
“I work mostly ‘inside the box’ using a simple midi keyboard, software plugins, and samples. When using commercial sound libraries, I always explore ways to find a more unique, personal sound, by combining different timbres and sending these through plug-in chains. I do record musicians when possible in order to bring my compositions to life,” says Talbot of his process. “I am a classically trained pianist but like to dabble on any instrument I can get my hands on.”
As the winner of the contest, Erasmus will receive a prize package including goodies from Korg and iZotope. Check out his profile and the winning track.
Sawyer Schneider is originally from Springfield, Ohio but now lives in Boston, Massachusetts as a student at the Berklee College of Music. We were surprised that this is only his second attempt at scoring for film. He uses Logic X, Massive, Battery 4, Slate Digital and Izotope plug-ins, S-gear 2, an AKG 420, a Fender Telecaster, and a Seagual S6. His primary instrument is guitar.
“I love the sonic palette and melodic theme of this piece. It pairs an uplifting vibe with a current groove. The stutter effect at mark :30 really had my jaw on the floor and there are sound design details like that throughout the video,” judge Dani DiCiaccio says. “The melody breaks into octaves later in the video adds some gravitas to the imagery. This piece adds a lot of commercial value to the video.”
Based in Sheffield, England, Neil Dube has been writing music for about 20 years, over which time it has become more cinematic. When he decided to try film scoring he joined the South Yorkshire Filmakers’ Network. “I must have scored 15 short films or so now, plus promotional films and a radio play” says Dube.
“I’m PC-based, and use the Reaper DAW, matched with a pair of KRK monitors. I use a load of different software packages, most notably EastWest’s Symphonic Orchestra and Kontact. I use a Novation Nocturnal keyboard controller and a range of guitars (and if I have to, I also sing!). My primary instrument is the keyboard, although I dabble in a number of different instruments.” Check out his Pond5 profile for more!
“I felt Mahoux was strong from a scoring standpoint,” said Peter Kirn. “Too many people got tripped up on all the hit points in this video; Houx seemed to handle it well.” The Montréal, Quebec based composer uses Maschine and VSTs from Native Instruments. Piano is his primary instrument. If you’re in love with Mahoux’s production you can visit his Soundcloud page to keep up to date.
For even more music by contributors who submitted to our contest, check out the collection below »
Top image: Young Woman with Headphones by Emariya.