Joe Trapanese

IMG_7405Joe Trapanese met the cohort tonight for dinner at Puran’s restaurant in Los Feliz. Joe is an independent composer who has worked on projects such as The Divergent Series, and Straight Outta Compton. He has also collaborated with artist such as Daft Punk on the film Tron: Legacy. Joe went to undergraduate at Manhattan School of Music and then went to graduate school and got his M.A. at UCLA.

Joe spoke to us about his creative process and working with the artist and directors in order to clearly portray their vision throughout the soundtrack to the film. He also spoke to us about the process of getting the rough cut of the film initially with the “temp score” attached to it (which is music cut from other films to fit the dead air space so that when the film is screened and tested with viewers, the video still has some soundtrack to it). Then he takes the temp score and works off of it to create the director’s vision through new, more dramatic score. His score creates the feeling of the scene and can really help establish he mood of the film. In addition, he spoke about the financial aspect of the industry and how important it is to be aware of deadlines and budgets.

After dinner, Joe walked us over to his recording studio (in the backyard of his house a block from the restaurant). It was very cool to see his studio and all the technology and recording, editing, and mixing software he had. He walked us through his work on a scene from Straight Outta Compton and we got to witness the different ways that he mixes music and blends a score into a scene. He also showed us the original temp score on the scene. It was very interesting to see how the original temp score created a completely different feel and effect to the scene. When Joe added his score to the scene, we were able to see how the score worked off the temp score but was better at conveying the feeling of the scene. Joe’s score made the audience focus and pay attention to aspects of the film that may not have been very highlighted with dialogue but still had to get across a story line to the audience.