Film Noir

Course Description, Spring 2013

“In the making of a film, storyboarding is a major step between the script and the film itself. The director, perhaps in collaboration with the screenwriter or actors, draws a set of still pictures, each representing one particular shot within a scene. This picture roughly establishes the camera angle, the blocking (where the characters stand and move), and perhaps other technical elements of the shot, such as color filtering, or a particular camera or sound effect. Many great filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, the Coen brothers and, to a lesser extent, Spike Lee, rely on storyboards when bringing a scene to life.

I find a version of storyboarding to be a useful tool in composing or recomposing a piece as I prepare it for performance. It is a way to move beyond the spine of a piece without simply abandoning it, and it is a creative alternative to a sketch based simply on theory or abstract motivic development.”

~ Ran Blake, Primacy of The Ear

While becoming familiar with classic film noir is a major goal of this course, the primary goal is to have film noir influence your music. Through lectures, discussion, film viewings, readings, composition/recomposing/storyboarding, and performance, we’ll explore a variety of ways to create interesting and thought provoking music for film.