I'm working on a short film and the climax is a boxing fight scene. From your experience are there some golden rules of do's or don't' that I should be thinking about?
Copy the link below to share this page:
I'd say be aware of the boxers' pacing and decide whether you want the music to connect a little, a lot, or never. How your particular music interacts with that particular movie is going to be unique. Matching the pulse of the music to the pulse of the fight might be exactly what's needed, or it might come off as intrusive/comedic.
Many thanks for that Jonathan
I wrote a comedy/ boxing movie - maybe we should compare scripts and give notes.
Nice advice, Jonathan. I'm no composer, but I'm always taken out of any sports movie when the music is over the top. I think there's a complimentary way to score these scenes and a bombastic way. I prefer the former.
Hi Ryan, I'm waiting for the scrip and first viewing of the scene, but interested to learn of your approach
RB, thanks for the comment . It's always an insight to hear from a consumer / audience perspective .
Happy to assist, Andy!
Would you like to trade scripts?
Not received a script Ryan. Will let you know if / when I do. Cheers
Andy, are you going to send me your script as well.
I send script through Facebook
Human behavior is not 'structured'. Using a regular tempo for example doesn't work in a sports scene unless they are on a treadmill :). Remember to work with unstructured tempos that are constantly changing with the movement of the boxers. And in particular watch for key moments that we often refer to as "hit points" (no pun intended). Those need to be highlighted. That doesn't always mean use a percussive hit (though occasional use would be useful). You can also highlight a hit point with a sudden change in anything like increasing the volume/velocity or a staccato articulation. You could use a sudden trumpet blast. Lost of options. Just remember that unless the action is repetitive, the music should not be. Repetitive music has a purpose so when you do it, do so with intention and not just because it is easy to cut and paste.
Excellent advice Joel. Many thanks for that.
Nice share, Joel. Great info.
I find the cliche "oh he's going to lose, oh wait, he just found his inner strength and he's fighting back!" thing to be soooo boooring. So I don't know... maybe avoid that.
It depends. What is the story about? Is it about coming back? Is it about proving one's self to him/herself and/or others? Is it literally about watching a boxing scene (unlikely) or are we more inside the boxer's head? The action on the inside (inner thoughts/feelings/emotions) don't always match the external actions and therefore score clues us in to what the boxer is feeling. If it is the final scene, you are really defining all of the feelings/conflicts, etc that the boxer went through to get to that point in his/her life. Also, if it is a scene where we are to feel pity on the boxer the music might be slow, beautiful, operatic music that contrasts the on-screen brutality. Hit points, etc may be necessary, but not always. Don't think too technically. You're job is to move people. Period. Best of luck with your scoring endeavors!
You could study how other films in the boxing genre executed their fight scenes. That said, for my money, the film that really broke new ground on how a boxing match was executed is, of course, "Raging Bull". Especially the second bout between LaMotta and Sugar Ray - the camera work and sound design are breathtaking and elevate the scene beyond the constraints of the three-dimensional world.
Stevie - interestingly Raging Bull did not have a composer. Martin Scorsese used music from 78s since this film was mainly a 1940s/1950s period piece. The main contribution came from Pietro Mascagni and there were copyright problems/issue from 1980 already up to last year when a lawsuit was finally settled.
Thanks Timothy. Yes, there is an internal emotional struggle going on with the boxer, so that's really useful guidance. Many thanks to all: some really useful comments that have made me sit back and think. Andy
Look out for competing with the sound fx track - you might want to ask to hear what they are doing, if there is a lot of breathing, hi-freq punching, etc - you may want to find a part of the "frequency" spectrum that could use the driving... - sometimes being silent and letting the sound design be the score until the big turning moment is often the way to go too... Without seeing it - can't give too much advice, just start small and work from there.
Good point Samuel. I'll certainly ask them about that. Andy