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The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin

What's The Sound Of Music?

Glendyn Ivin

Assistant Steven is smiling cos he can finally get some sleep!

This is a shot of the music cue that the film ends with. It has kept me and others awake for many nights for many different reasons...

Tonight we finished the music. Paul Charlier has created something quite special. In very little time I might add. It's probably been the trickiest part of the process for me personally and I wont say it's been an easy run.

Music is such an intangible thing. Everyone has a different opinion of what they do and don't like. Finding a common language to discuss the intricacies to creating a piece of music is something that will continue to frustrate, confuse but ultimately intrigue me for the rest of my life.
In the end for me it comes down to the fact that all the other aspects of the filmmaking process I can physically get my hands on. I can bash away on a keyboard and write. I can make decisions about casting. I can search for and choose locations. I can attempt to direct. I can physically place a camera and make an assessment on what lens should be used. I can assume people share and understand my vision for things. I can bash and crash an edit together. I can hold a microphone, I can even make the sandwiches if I have to.
But essentially when it comes to music, I cant play an instrument (despite my father and brother being very talented musicians). So I physically cant grab a guitar or a keyboard and play it like I'm hearing it in my head. AND THAT KILLS ME!!!

Jack, Greig and Jo and others that I have worked with over a long period of time, share a common language and set of experiences and references that allow us to communicate in a kind of creative shorthand. It's very easy for us to discuss things of a visual things amongst ourselves. But, I hadnt worked with Paul before and this placed us in the tricky position of finding this language in a very short amount of time. And in my opinion it's far harder to discuss sound than it is pictures.

Perhaps thats why Werner Herzog said he would give 10 years of his life to play the cello. Not so much as to be able to play an instrument but to be able to cut to the chase while working with musicians and composers. It's interesting watching Herzog in that clip. He famously said once that making films is a physical activity more than any other. And there he is in the studio sitting quietly in awe of what the musicians are creating. It's the least active I think I have ever seen him. BTW that clip is from the extra features on Herzog's GRIZZLY MAN one of his most accesable and best films. I highly reccomend it!

I'm obsessed with sound and music. I think about it perhaps more than other other element. In fact if I am really honest, I think I make films cos I can't play an instrument. After all film has much more in common with music than any other form, as like music, film is linear and time based.

I've been in Sydney for the last week working with Paul and we finished today after two days of track laying at Sound Firm. It was such a pleasure to finally hear the tracks being layed down. I cant wait to get to Adelaide now and get into the final mix with the others now that we have all the ingredients to finish the film.
The end is in sight!