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Doc U: Music Master Class with Composer Miriam Cutler

IDA Offices, 3470 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 980, Los Angeles CA

What you will learn:

Music represents a critical part of the film experience. No other element plays as significant a role in determining a film’s potential to create a lasting emotional impact on the audience or in seamlessly weaving a director’s vision into a cohesive whole. It’s also true that no other part of the filmmaking process is as poorly understood or scary for directors as that of overseeing the creation of an original score for their films. This Master Class seeks to demystify the scoring process and give directors the tools they need to ensure that when the final mix is done, their films will become music to their — and their audiences’ —  ears.

In this Master Class, Emmy-nominated composer Miriam Cutler will show clips from her own work to demonstrate the various ways music can be used; will present her unique Music Story Arc process, which is an invaluable creative and organizational tool for directors; and, provide a hands-on opportunity for up to six participants to provide clips from their own work so that Miriam can present alternative scoring ideas for the class to discuss.

There is no better guide through this intimidating process than Emmy-nominated composer Miriam Cutler whose scores have been featured in many award-winning and acclaimed documentaries including Ethel, One Last Hug, American Promise, Vito, and, most recently, The Hunting Ground, which recently premiered at Sundance 2015. A Lab Advisor for the Sundance Institute Documentary Composers Lab, Miriam Co-Produced and scored One Lucky Elephant (OWN) and has co-produced two Grammy-nominated live jazz albums.

Who should take this master class:

  • Any filmmaker who wants to be more pro-active in getting the score he or she wants by increasing his or her understanding of film music and by learning to communicate more effectively with and direct composers
  • Composers seeking the tools and experience of a master composer who has developed a unique set of tools and pedagogic strategies for enhancing communication with directors
  • Editors who want to learn more about how composers work as an integral part of the film team
  • Documentary film students who want to develop a keener understanding of how original music can be integrated into their films and set their work apart from others

Miriam invites you to join her for this special master class:

“I have been focusing on scoring documentaries since 1997, and have worked with many filmmakers in all kinds of scenarios. The most common thing they tell me: I don't know anything about music. This is not true and in this workshop I will show you that you know more about how music works for your film than you think. I will present simple tools to help you communicate about music and give better direction to your composer. My goal is to put this powerful storytelling tool into your hands.”

Built into the Master Class will be a generous amount of time for Q&A.

The use of cameras, audio recording devices, and video recording devices is prohibited at Doc U events.