SCORING IN REVERSE
Scoring a film (or any audio-visual project that seeks to affect, persuade, or otherwise "reach" its audience) is a process that begins with an understanding of the filmmaker's intent and proceeds through ideation, development, preparation and realization/recording. It is a slow and often painstaking process of "finding a way into a film," characterized by trial and error, hit and miss, success and failure, and the ever-present possibility of rejection. To actually witness each step of this process would be akin to watching paint dry, but if we take the composer's finished score in hand and reassemble the materials he or she worked with--the film, its script, its history and cultural-commercial context, its literary sources, etc.--we can, in a sense, "reverse score" the picture, working our way back to the composer's first jot much in the way cosmologists work their way back to the Big Bang. Every word and every note in SCORING THE SCREEN was written with the film on display alongside its full concert score, the sequencer open, notation software at the ready, and close at hand: pencil and paper. In other words, a simplified version of the composer's more elaborate set-up. This is also the way the book is intended to be read and studied. At the keyboard, with your eye on the score and on the screen.