Over the last couple of months I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on writing music for an entire story-line for the upcoming Hollyoaks Laters which broadcast on E4 every night from 22:00 till 23:00 next week (7th-11th October.)
I’ll put some clips of the work up on my videos page and show-reel once it’s transmitted.
The story I wrote for involves some of the teen characters getting into all sorts of trouble in an isolated house in the woods.
The producer and directors wanted a tense, scary score with lots of atmosphere that developed and grew as the story became darker.
When I first got the scripts through I started putting together a palette of sounds and effects that I thought might might be effective in starting to build the main body of the pieces.
I started manipulating a lot of samples of sheet metal and industrial sounds with some distortions (particularly running them through Guitar Rig and Camel Phat) and chopping them up and automating their pitch in Ableton, until I got some sounds with a strong attack but which had a eerie, resonating harmony to them.
I also created some high-pitched note bending noises with lots of feedback using an ebow and my guitar.
Once I had initial pictures, I spent a while at the keyboard, trying different chord sequences and melodies using a piano that I ran through some heavy distortion and amp sims to give it some nice crunch and resonance. Once I had found a central theme, I started putting it to picture, mainly deciding where you should here the full melody and chords and where I should just drop hint.
After that I worked on finding some drum sounds for a rhythm track and again, after running through some light distortion I managed to place it neatly under the piano.
I played around a lot with automating tempo shifts within scenes, so that as the action kicked in the tempo of the score shifts surprisingly and raises the tension for the viewer.
As I started to recieve picture changes and notes towards the end of the process, I added some modulation to some of the more drone-like sounds I was using to create some movement at crucial moments and also created some risers and hits from industrial samples and white noise that shift around the stereo field before landing in the middle for the hit.
For the final edit there are about 23 cues that have being used I think, some in episode 3, but mainly in 4 and 5 (Thursday’s and Friday’s episodes) when the action really steps up.
I really enjoyed working to picture and with so much great material, I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you have any thoughts or opinions once you’ve watched it.
Don’t get too scared!