July Update

Hey everyone, I apologize for the long pause in between updates recently. I have been incredibly busy!

I started working as a Coordinator for the music library company Black Toast Music. I've also begun work on The Bray Road Beast documentary. It's looking like this one will need finished by the middle of August. It's a daunting project for sure, but I am very much looking forward to diving in here. More behind the scenes on this one to come.

And finally, I recorded synths and did some programming for a band called Absolute Hero on a few of their songs on their new album. The band was recently featured as one of the "12 Bands You Need to Know" in Alternative Press magazine! Check out their music video for "Bad Hero" here

Once I get a few weeks in to Bray, I'll be updating with some behind the scenes pictures and possibly new music as well. Talk to you soon! 

B

IMG_8331.JPG

Bray Road Beast Film Shoot Behind the Scenes

Time for a quick update!

As you know, I recently returned from helping to shoot the next Small Town Monsters documentary, "The Bray Road Beast" in Wisconsin. It was awesome to be there, and you can view what that was like in the video below, which is a vlog from our Director Seth Breedlove on the experience and the crew.

Since I've been back, I have been starting to come up with a concept for the score. A big part of the preproduction on any score, I'm discovering, is coming up with a concept. There are many different angles and ways in which to interpret each story, so a part of creating a concept comes from talking with your Director of course, but also finding something that you relate with in the story and translating that to music. After thinking about it for a while, I'm coming close to finalizing the concept on how I want to shape the score, but I don't want to give too much away yet.

Right now, I'm working on the opening theme song for the On the Trail Of series and I've been working with a few different music publishers on placements in music and tv. 

Will update more soon.

B

Bandcamp Sales!

After a number of requests over the last few years, I FINALLY put all my soundtracks up for digital sale on Bandcamp (click on the image below). While a few of these have had a physical CD release, some of them have only had a few songs be released (i.e. Boggy, Invasion, & Flatwoods). Now's your chance to own any or all of them in their entirety in a digital format. Cheers!

Bray Road Beast Production

Hey guys!

I’m just getting back from a few days out in Elkhorn, Wisconsin helping shoot the next Small Town Monsters documentary “The Bray Road Beast”. Other than the flight delays (the snow was crazy just north of us) the trip was a success and I had a great time hanging out with the crew and getting to see the infamous Bray Road in person. I can’t wait to score this one later here in a couple of months. Here are a few behind the scenes photos from production:

30705318_1033390710146887_8544675575254482944_n.jpg
IMG_7969.JPG

Also, as you know, The Flatwoods Monster documentary was released recently and has been doing great! It reached #3 in the best selling new release Horror category and #4 in the Documentary category. We’re currently sitting at 4.5 stars as well and the reviews have been amazing! I want to thank everyone for supporting us and if you haven’t seen it, click here to check it out:

That’s all for now, talk to you soon!

B

 

Behind the Scenes - The Flatwoods Monster Score

Today is finally the release day of the Small Town Monsters documentary “The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear” that I scored over the beginning of this year!! What follows is a behind the scenes look at the creation of the score:

IMG_7877.jpg
DQStKDOUQAALkmE.jpg

No one really knows where our best creative ideas come from, and we’re always worried that right in the middle of a project is when the tap will be turned off. I've come to learn that workflow is everything - you can’t allow a laggy computer to stop you from getting down the theme the universe has just jolted into your fingers, or prohibit you from handling multiple jobs and client demands at once. This is why, just prior to starting work on The Flatwoods Monster, I invested over $3,000 into my system and software libraries. This became vital in completing the movie on time; in fact, while I’d normally have two to three months, I gave myself only the month of January 2018 to write this score.

The next thing that was different about this than the other five I had done for Small Town Monsters in the past was that I wasn’t able to be on location, helping the crew shoot the film, just due to me having moved to Los Angeles prior to the shoot. I typically love being apart of the shoots for multiple reasons, one of which is it gives me a much better understanding on what the music should be after talking to the witnesses in person and hearing the sounds/seeing the place in which these stories actually happened. As I didn’t have that luxury this time, I had many conversations with Director Seth Breedlove about the tone and style that we wanted to go for.

 

MV5BMmY1YmFkZjgtZjRkZC00MTRmLWE3ZjMtYjRjMDUxZGRhOWZmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUxODE0MDY@._V1_UY317_CR9,0,214,317_AL_.jpg

Due to the story taking place in the 1950’s, Seth wanted the music to be inspired by 1950’s science fiction scores, but with a modern twist. I began watching a lot of those old movies and listening to the scores, and I came to be really fascinated with one composer who became a giant influence on this score: Bernard Herrmann. If you’re unfamiliar, he is best known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock and has scored such films as Psycho, Vertigo, Citizen Kane, and Taxi Driver.

THE-DAY-THE-EARTH-STOOD-STILL.png

The one that influenced my score the most though was his for the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. I began recreating a lot of the cues from the movie and then analyzing the instrumentation and harmony he was using in order to get inspiration for my own music. The main instrument I took from these studies to use was the tremolo vibraphone, in which they would use a motor and fans under a vibraphone to give it a tremolo feel. This sound was used all over this genre back then and became a huge staple in my score as well. Here is a demonstration of that technique:

Although I started a lot of the cues with 1950’s sci fi harmony and instrumentation (including the use of more woodwinds than I’d ever used before), I had to find a way to give it a modern twist. Although I used many software libraries on this score, the main one was from Native Instruments and it is called Kinetic Metal. Due to the monster in this movie being described as “mechanical”, I knew I needed some metallic sounds, and this library was perfect for that. I also used modular synths (which we’ll talk about in a moment) and many other modern sounds such as arps/synths and even a little guitar thrown in there.

50ee3aedb1d859c736f6780b5fb49ed3.jpg

Speaking of the main theme - let’s talk about that. I used a preset from Kinetic Metal called “Natural Gas Pipe” that I loved. The three note theme came to me out of nowhere, and it’s really just an E major triad, but with the sound I chose, it sounds minor and spooky. I thought it captured the mystery of this monster and its personality well. Once this theme was developed, I began placing it all over the movie and created all kinds of variations. Although we had been working towards it for a while, this is the first time I’d say that I’d successfully developed a theme for one of our monsters and used it from the first frame of the movie until the end like a proper film score. This is something I plan to do in the future as it seemed to help glue the whole thing together to really give it its sound.

IMG_7432.JPG
IMG_7434.jpg

The final piece of the puzzle was modular synths, which I’d had a fascination with for a while. I started going to this outdoor concert event called Modular on the Spot and met the creators of it: Rodent and Bana, and I ended up hiring Rodent to create some experimental sound design for the monster and the score. We created a ton of soundscape/sound design type of material and on a flight back from Ohio over the holidays, I edited all of that into a seamless suite of music. I then took that and placed it all over the film and although much of it didn’t end up in the film, some of it really worked such as the 1950’s satellite type ambience or other metallic sounding noises for the monster.

And that’s really it! You can buy/rent the movie by clicking the image above and can hear music from the score here. I hope you enjoy the movie and the score and please let me know what you think! I want to thank Seth and the Small Town Monsters crew, Rodent and Bana, Bernard Herrmann, and my mentors at MI who on some level mentored me during the creation of this score: Amy Gordon, Tom Villano, and Jordan Cox.

Track Listing:

  1. “The Hill After Dark”

  2. “Main Titles”

  3. “Hushed Tones”

  4. “Witnesses to a Legend”

  5. “A Tourist From World’s Away”

  6. “Flying Saucers Invade”

  7. “Awash With the Unusual”

  8. “Fox Chasing”

  9. “Barkerson”

  10. “Ball of Fire”

  11. “Frying Bacon”

  12. “Facts and Fables”

  13. “Bogus Answer”

  14. “We the People”

  15. “Visitor”

  16. “There is a Flatwoods, West Virginia”

  17. “Resurgence”

  18. “Object of Ridicule”

  19. “A Modern Myth”

March Update

Hey guys,

I have been a little MIA and wanted to shoot you a quick update.

The Flatwoods Monster documentary for Small Town Monsters is wrapped! It will be released on April 6th. It is now available for preorder! On that day, I will also be releasing five new cues from the score I completed for the film here on the website and also an audio commentary just like I did for our last film, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge. I’m really looking forward to sharing the music, talking about the process in creating the score, and in the actual release so that you all can see it. Initial reviews are coming in and all seems to be really positive.

28870658_1008773032608655_4634348795616821248_n.jpg

In related STM news, our second box set, Volume 2: Appalachian Monsters is also now available for preorder which features the last three movies in the series: The Mothman of Point Pleasant, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, and The Flatwoods Monster.

27750250_995370960615529_1751687945050344310_n.jpg

We’re a couple of weeks out from finishing the Current Music project I’ve been telling you about. I decided to have a mixer come in and do a final mix on the cues. His name is Rob Chitwood and I’m very much looking forward to hearing what he does with the mixes and learning from him. After the mixes come in, we’ll do the final administrative work, and then that project will be finished. More on that later as well.

I’ve been really busy recently - I was asked to do additional programming for the band Absolute Hero. I'm working on one of their songs now. I also recently wrote a cue with composer Robert Lee who is apart of the husband and wife team behind the successful CSLA, or Creative Studios Los Angeles. His music library wanted a “mysterious” cue for a TV show, so he and I spent a few hours working something out and it’s now been submitted to his publisher. We’ll see if it gets picked up, but either way, it came out really well and it was great working with him.

17800356_1015542931907935_1973958010459596138_n.png

Also, over this last weekend, I visited San Francisco for the first time ever as the Director of the STM series was there attending an event where a couple of our movies were shown. I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the event (I had an orchestra recording session to attend), but I was able to drive up and see him for a couple of days and explore San Francisco. We hiked up into the Muir Woods and shot a bunch of wilderness B-roll for his upcoming “On the Trail Of...Bigfoot” series that he will be filming throughout 2018. It was an amazing time and I’m really happy I was able to spend some time with him again in person. We’ve now filmed from coast to coast and in six states together over the last 3-4 years. It’s been an awesome journey.

28871035_1010360965783195_3675525852482764800_n.jpg

As far as what I’m up to next: I will be preparing to actually be on set helping to film the next STM documentary later this month. We will be shooting The Bray Road Beast, the seventh film I will be scoring for them, in Wisconsin. I’m very excited to be joining the crew again for a few days and helping out in anyway I can. It always helps me figure out what music is needed by actually going to the locations where these stories happened and in actually talking to the witnesses. After I get back from filming, I’ll begin preliminary work on figuring out what the score is going to be. I’m also going to begin working on the theme song for the aforementioned On the Trail Of series, which I’m really looking forward to.

28795859_1008102862675672_8786999464045838336_n.jpg

There’s a lot of other things in the works right now. I’m feeling good. Talk to you soon!

 

P.S. The Press page has been made current with a long overdue update.

 

 

"Death of Innocence" Lyric Video

Hey everyone!

I wanted to let you know that I did programming for a band called Absolute Hero on their new single "Death of Innocence" which was released today! I was a part of the original band that wrote this song years ago, and the drummer for that band revitalized it for his new band. I did the strings, piano, electronic beats, ambiences, synths etc. in this a couple of years back and I'm happy to see it finally being used in this new version!

I would love to work with other bands in a similar way. If you or someone you know is interested, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Brandon

Final The Flatwoods Monster Trailer is Here!

Hey guys!

I have finished the rough draft of my score for the Small Town Monsters - "The Flatwoods Monster" documentary. We're on our way to finishing and it should be totally wrapped within the next couple of weeks. I'm really happy with how the score turned out - more on that soon.

In the meantime, I am finalizing the trailer cues for Current Music - all will be done by February 15th (a deadline fast approaching for sure!). In other news, the final trailer for The Flatwoods Monster has been released! Check it out:

Talk to you soon,

Brandon

STM Kickstarter!

unnamed.jpg

I have talked about it before here on the blog, but I wanted to give a final reminder to everyone that I'll be phoning in to be apart of the Facebook Live Q&A for the Kickstarter launch to fund the next three STM films that will be releasing over the course of 2018!

The event will be happening at 7pm EST this Thursday night! You can listen in on 97.1 FM in Ohio or it will also be broadcast LIVE on the STM Facebook page. The live audience will be able to steer the direction of the show and ask questions relating to our upcoming films, past projects and... well, pretty much anything. Looking forward to hanging out with everyone!

Quick update on everything else - Current Music has approved the four trailer cues I'm working on and so now it's spending the next couple of weeks totally finalizing them and perfecting them before doing the final preparation (separating the stems etc.) and turning them in!

I have a good amount of The Flatwoods Monster score finished and I just sent over everything I had done over to the Director and he seemed to really like what I've been doing so far. So now it's just in executing the remaining part of the score well and finishing strong. 

It's bittersweet to be on wrapping up side of these two projects. They've been extremely rewarding. Once I'm finished with these, I'll be moving on to scoring a main theme for an upcoming web series.

I'll have more to update soon. Talk to you then!

Brandon

 

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season. I have just returned from a few days in my native Ohio, visiting with friends and family. It was a much needed reset and short break before returning to the rest of this very busy month!

I am hard at work on finishing The Flatwoods Monster documentary for Small Town Monsters. I met with Director Seth Breedlove while I was at home and he seemed very pleased with everything I had written so far, so now we’re off to the finish line over the next couple of weeks.

IMG_7432.JPG

To help me create the “sound” of the monster, I have been working with, Eric “Rodent” Cheslak and his wife Bana, who created the monthly “Modular on the Spot” outdoor modular synth concerts here in Los Angeles. They have since inspired other groups in cities around the country to have their own Modular on the Spot events, which is awesome.

Bana.jpg

So far, our process has been typically that I’ll come over to their studio and just come up with some kind of a directive on the sound design I need and then we’ll tweak and shape the sounds and record as we go along. For example, it was described by the witnesses of The Flatwoods Monster that when their flashlight hit the thing, it emitted a sound like “frying bacon”. So that was one of the first sounds that Rodent and I worked on. Working with modular synths is really inspiring, and I’ve vowed to Rodent that someday, I’ll build a system of my own.

IMG_7434.jpg

One final thing for Small Town Monsters: the Kickstarter to fund this year’s Small Town Monsters productions will launch on January 25th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. I’m really excited about the projects we have this year - as we've been discussing, THE FLATWOODS MONSTER:

25659923_966086036877355_3900203817917483423_n.jpg

The Kickstarter will also fund post production for “On the Trail Of...Champ” which is a new mini-series about the Champ monster that will premiere this summer on VIDI Space. Note: I will not be scoring the entirety of this series, but I will be composing the main theme! More information to come soon.

26047272_967394396746519_4817336916878574634_n.jpg

And finally “The Bray Road Beast” about the dogman/werewolf type creature seen near Elkhorn, Wisconsin in the late 1980's and early 1990's will be our last traditional documentary of 2018. I am very much looking forward to working on "Bray" and have a surprise for all of you coming soon on something big for that one.

26166796_969980193154606_7011534143563923248_n.jpg

Just like last year, there will be a live online Q&A and Kickstarter Launch Party on January 25th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. EST. I will hopefully (if technology works with us) be able to virtually be there for the launch, so tune in to the Small Town Monsters Facebook for the event!

logo.png

Moving on to the album Trailer Scores 3 for Current Music. I have sent in the third cue demo and I'm now about to begin on the fourth and final cue. The goal is to have four cues approved, and then to go back and tweak them all into their final versions. I've enjoyed this project and am still humbled at the opportunity. I will be wrapping these up by mid-February 2018.

 

And finally - there is so much in the works for the remainder of 2018! More news soon. 2017 was a huge year of growth for me and one where I finally took that leap of faith. I'm really looking forward to 2018 and can't wait for what's to come.

Brandon

Quick update!

24232268_954514938034465_1791176090332701727_n.jpg

Hey!

I wanted to stop in and give a quick update. I am filled to the brim with work, which I'm loving! I am a few cue demos in on the four action movie trailer cues I was commissioned to do for the music library company Current Music. These cues will be licensed through an upcoming album of their's called "Ear Parade: 'Trailer Scores 3'". Having never done giant epic cues like these before, it's been quite challenging, but rewarding all the same.

Remember I mentioned last post about the documentary series I score, Small Town Monsters, signing with a new distributor? Well, the series is now on most online platforms, including iTunes, where it is currently sitting at #13 on the bestseller list, along with a 5 star review rating! This is awesome to see, considering this documentary came out back in June! If you haven't seen the documentary and want to check it out, click here.

25157988_10156414474416874_6524113467339020639_n.jpg

Also, a new book on the Mothman has just been released by our friend, the leading cryptozoologist Loren Coleman called "Mothman: Evil Incarnate". In it, he devotes a chapter to documentaries on the Mothman legend, and gives a generous amount of space to our documentary! My name is also mentioned while he's talking about the score. You can pick up a copy of this new book by clicking here.

69472-f6b2a585d728466d9dc2660fde25aa8e.jpeg

We are also working on "The Flatwoods Monster" which is the sixth documentary in the Small Town Monsters series. Post production is coming along smoothly (the film is looking awesome so far) and I will be focusing heavily on finishing up this score in January 2018. I am loving working in the 1950's scifi genre and the challenging part has been in making it sound unique and my own while harkening back to that great music.

DQStKDOUQAALkmE.jpg

 

Other than that, there has been some really exciting news happening that I can't wait to share for upcoming projects in 2018. Until then, thank you for your continued support and talk soon!

Brandon

Happy Thanksgiving!

23722306_947363342082958_7281891186972007137_n.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving!

A quick update - Small Town Monsters is now being distributed through Terror films which means the films are now being distributed in new places such as iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and the PlayStation and Xbox stores. So check that out if you haven’t seen them yet!

I have updated the Press section of this website with some new pieces, including an interview on a radio show called Beyond the Edge I did with some of the team from STM, which was a lot of fun.

As far as what I’m working on goes, I’m currently scoring the new Small Town Monsters film, “The Flatwoods Monster” which is due out in April 2018. The Director has asked me to go very 1950’s science fiction with the score, so I’m having a lot of fun researching old Herrmann scores and using instruments like the theremin. I’ve also been commissioned by the music library company Current Music to write four cues for action movie trailers that will be featured on an album and on their website for content creators to license for use in their own projects. Very excited to be working with them.

And finally, I wanted to share a new playlist I put together entitled “Walking Around Los Angeles at Night”. I often find myself out on walks around the city at the end of the day, to clear my head and to get some exercise after a long day in the studio. It’s also one of the few times during my day I get to be alone and to listen to music. I spent a lot of time crafting this playlist; it feels melancholic, dark, ambient, sad, hopeful...all the feelings one has when walking at night through the city alone. There’s something magical about Los Angeles that’s hard to explain; a very unique feeling when you travel through it at night. I tried to encapsulate that feeling in this playlist. If you’re interested in hearing it, check it out below or search for its title on Spotify.  

 

Thanks again for the support and see you soon!

CaseFiles: Season 1

22688020_932309946921631_7528687065620481083_n.jpg

Hey guys! 

Today is the release day for the inaugural episode of the new web series from Small Town Monsters called "CaseFiles". This series will expand upon stories briefly covered in prior Small Town Monsters movies and will feature some of my cues from those films. 

Episode one, titled "Cold", is now available and features an eye-opening interview with the daughter of Woodrow Derenberger; the eyewitness who met Indrid Cold prior to the Mothman case of 1966. You can watch all of the episodes as they're released on the Small Town Monsters YouTube channel here. You can also hear some of my cues that are used in this series here

Happy (late) Halloween!

Brandon

Invasion On Chestnut Ridge is released today!

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge Poster.jpg

The new Small Town Monsters documentary that I scored, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, comes out today!

Rent or buy the film on Amazon here and let us know what you think! You can hear full songs from the soundtrack here.

I thought I could do something special for this one and recorded a voiceover commentary on the creation of the soundtrack for those who might be interested. In it, I talk about my writing process and tell some behind the scenes stories on the making of. Check it out below. 

Hope you enjoy the film!

Brandon

Welcome to My New Website!

Black Shirt.jpg

Hi there!

The new website has been born. My pal Joe McKay designed the website, and I’m so glad that he did, not only because he did a good job on it, but also because IT’S ABOUT TIME that I get a website going to document my work in film music.

My aim with the website is to keep it updated with all of the fun stuff that I’ve worked on or am working on, but also to share behind the scenes photos, videos, and commentary on sets or in the studio as I work on each new project. I’ll also occasionally update on music networking events and shows that I’m a part of as well so that you can see what I’m up to here in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for new content!

If you’re interested in hiring me or working with me on a project, or you’re a fan of the music, or anything in between, don’t hesitate to send me an email through the “Contact” section and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks!

Brandon

P.S. Check out Joe McKay’s artwork and information at http://tuesdaymckay.com