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Addendum: “I Worked On a Senior’s Capstone Film”

Daniel Muleady
Daniel Muleady ’22, Multimedia Production and Analysis POE, My Mom Thinks I’m Special

The editing crew ended up spending a lot of nights grinding out the rest of the project to make sure that it could be completed in time for the Creators Club film night (if you want to watch the final product along with the many other great films that were premiered at this incredible event, you can watch the lineup here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMRXshcDiwQ).

I would still say that working on this project was one of the best parts of my academic career at Juniata (if not the best so far!). It was surreal to work on a film for so long, logging 80 hours of work as a collaborator and seeing it pan out on the big screen. Honestly, I wish I was more competent with audio mixing. While I had enough time to compose the score for the film, I really didn’t have time to do audio balancing and the editor, Connor Hoch, barely had time to normalize the film (get the volumes from one scene to the next smoothly transitioning).

In the link above, one of my most favorite scenes I wrote was the one that starts at 1:08:55. In my opinion, this is the strongest scoring job in the film because it takes the tension on screen, processes it, and then enhances the emotional output of each character in a way that doesn’t seem too tacky or forced.

I worked with Connor on picking the sounds for this scene for quite a while. We stayed up in Kepple Hall trying to balance the lack of emotion that Lucian (played by Luke) should have with the almost-begging tone of Moseni (played by Andre) trying to believe that there is still humanity in his boss. In the end, we picked a very hollow sounding sample that I turned into an instrument that represents the action of Lucian crossing the moral line. As per Connor’s request, this was balanced with a low evolving drone sound that embodies the underlying tension going into the scene. It fades out momentarily to highlight the turning point in Moseni and Lucian’s relationship and then returns to mark the thoughts of betrayal that Moseni feels towards the end of the scene.

Connor and I eventually scared ourselves with the disjointed melodies that ended up filling the end of the scene. This project taught me that loosening up and getting into a working “groove” is essential to making forward progress. You can’t always choose to stick to your plan ESPECIALLY when it becomes clear that it doesn’t account for many things that happen spontaneously. I would highly recommend that everyone participates in a senior project either as the leader or someone that helps on the side because there’s nothing like testing your limits with a project to see what you are capable of producing.