Film scoring

I’m scoring a big long movie. What I’m doing is making a flow for each scene, and I’m attaching the entire movie to each flow, and setting a video offset starting point for each flow to start at wahtever scene I’m working on. Is this the best way to go about this? My concern is, that attaching the full-length movie to each flow may slow things down in the project. Then again, maybe this works in a way to where it doesn’t slow things down and has no effect on how big the file is. What do you other film composers do? Thanks!

1 Like

The actual size of the file is not a big issue. Rather resolution/codec can have influence on the performance. I would however work on different files instead of different flows as this can become quite slow with many cues. When all is done you can still combine all single files into a multi-flow file but during the work phase, a multi-flow approach might create performance issues.

2 Likes

Would a “focus layout” help as an alternative? That’s a layout where only one or two flows are included. Once the work is done on those, they can then be unchecked in Setup mode and a couple more can then be checked for work to continue.

1 Like

+1, having an entire score in a single document is a lot of data, and liable to cause slow down. I’d say this for nearly any application - movies are long!

Though I must admit I’ve been naughty before and scored an entire feature in a single Logic session, I wouldn’t generally recommend it.

In regards to OP’s original question though, I’m not sure how much data Dorico is using to address the movie file. I suspect it’s not a big deal, as it’s not copying the movie into the file - it’s just a reference process, referencing the same video over and over again. In that regard, I doubt having the movie referenced by a few dozen flows is not itself a big problem. BUT this is also veering into territory that Steinberg probably hasn’t tested extensively and you’re kinda asking for something to pop up.

@taciturneternity If you really want to organize by combining cues into one document, I’d recommend approaching it from the old “reels” method. Break the film up into 10-20 minute chunks, and score those. Since it sounds like you’ve got the movie in long play format, where you make the split is arbitrary and up to you, but separating the film into its primary acts and giving each one a separate Dorico document is probably a safer way to go. You’d have 5 or 6 documents instead of 30, but it wouldn’t be all in one either.

1 Like

thanks so far for these tips… I will consider making several files instead of working with the one big one. Seems like I can just export flows to accomplish this.

I have done one big long file - not recommended. I have done 20 minute “reels” - better but not recommended. What I do is break it into “spotting” chunks decided on with the director. Much more manageable, timecode gives where the sync is, easier if rewrites / re-recordings are needed.

2 Likes