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My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!) 
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Post My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
Hi all,

Just thought I'd post this. It still needs some refining, but it is my Showreel, 16 years worth of original music (with the occasional quoting of existing themes) I did for tv commercials as a musician/composer/producer. I decided to use old fashioned (retro-trashy) 35mm/16mm film intro and outro just for the fun of it.

This is 100% for non commercial purposes here in this context (I am located in Europe, I guess almost noone here is). Since I am permanently broke as of lately, I had it done by a dear friend who kinda/sorta knows his way around Final Cut Pro. Good enough for me.

Any kind of input welcome, even if it's to trash the whole damn thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_JtrwNZ ... e=youtu.be

Tue May 15, 2012 8:06 pm
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
O.K. The total absence of comments means you think it sucks big time or you just don't care. I'm fine with that. Really.
Don't forget: what you are able to come up with in a portfolio is what the paying client (who doesn't give a flying fuck about art - they want to sell their stuff and force their own amateur/layman taste into how to do that) allowed you to do. Oh did I menion that many powerful people in the tv commericial biz are frustrated, talentless, musicians, telling pros - out of frustration and envy - what to do because they can?
Any "what I am able to do" showreel will always be much better than a "what acually aired". But ther latter wouldn't be a true showreel.

Oh, am I un-PC again? So sorry...

Sat May 19, 2012 7:17 pm
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
I thought it was pretty good.

Sat May 19, 2012 7:23 pm
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
Sorry. You originally posted this when I was at work, and I made a mental note to check it out when I got home. I guess the mental note got lost in the pile on my messy mental desk.

I feel like a bad Reelviews friend.

Sat May 19, 2012 8:13 pm
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
Ken wrote:
Sorry. You originally posted this when I was at work, and I made a mental note to check it out when I got home. I guess the mental note got lost in the pile on my messy mental desk.

I feel like a bad Reelviews friend.

You are NOT! Please keep in mind that what you see is what the retarded guys in Europe allowed me to do. NOT what I am actually able to do. Two of the later spots I did for free!! (the alternative would have been not working at all) Same old story.... the times we live in suck for creative people...

Thanks for checking back!

P.S: the saying goes: "Don't shit where you eat". That is correct. But since noone in Europe wants original music for tv commercials done by pros anymore (too slow, too expensive) I can speak my mind.

Sat May 19, 2012 10:41 pm
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
I'll look at it on Monday if I can. This weekend's been busy with graduation-related activities. :P

Sat May 19, 2012 11:15 pm
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
Alright. I've been home from work a while, I've had a couple, I've watched myself about halfway through 2001: A Space Odyssey (good one to revisit every now and again), and I'm ready to check out some tunes.

The beer commercial? What can I say? You're playing to the material, and you nailed it. Superbo.*

(*Upon careful review, I have no fucking idea what I meant to write here. But I'm not changing it.)

Coca Cola? A blend of the many varieties of guitar--electric, acoustic, distorted--and, as a guitarist myself, that's in my proverbial wheelhouse. I dig it. You get less than a minute to express something, and you get along as much as one could hope.

"A spoonful of sugar makes your hairdo go wild." This cue cracked me the fuck up, which (I hope) is exactly what it was supposed to do.

Pedras: the ostentatiousness of the whole thing, especially with the voices, push it into slightly absurd territory. As with the previous one, I feel this is utterly appropriate. It should be a little silly, and it is.

I might as well take a moment to acknowledge the bass-heavy cue that bumpers each of these clips. Is this yours as well? As a burgeoning (that is, shitty) bass guitarist, I find this a good way to join the various pieces.

The tourism thing: again, interesting how various textures of electric guitar are blended. In terms of levels, they overtake the synthesizer line, but somehow it all balances it out. I don't know how much influence you had over that particular element, given that it would take a very careful mixer to sort out all the elements that come together to form the collective melodic atmosphere.*

(*As far as I know, I just coined the phrase "collective melodic atmosphere". Can I please have an honorary music doctorate? I did minor in the subject. Wank wank wank.)

The milk thingy: am I just too drunk, or is the rhythm of this one completely deranged? Sidebar: tonight, I exposed my girlfriend to Meshuggah in the car for the first time. Under threat of more Meshuggah, she will avoid any possibility of crossing me now or in the future.

Madiera: I like how the typical orchestral sound is supplemented with the accordion, which gives it a vaguely... Madiera-esque texture. I don't know. My thesaurus is in the other room. I know I could Google it, but the search bar is way up in the left corner. Am I really talking about this? Jesus. Damn you, Seagrams...

Danone: hmm... flat white chick ass. Hell, I'm not that picky. And I know you had nothing to do with the ass, so I'm not going to complain to you about it. Besides, she's cute, and you have to evaluate the universe as a balance of elements. What am I talking about? Okay, I just rewound, because I'm supposed to be paying attention to the music, and this gal keeps distracting me. Are those strawberries? Fuck. I am significantly more inebriated now than I was when I started this post. Okay, electric guitar and sidestick snare. Focus on that, Ken. You can do it. I guess the music sounds cool... but that is one cute chick dancing around in her skivvies. Fuck. Sorry, dude. You've been upstaged in this one. Nothing to do with you and everything to do with stupid sexy panties.

I know this is incoherent and/or rambley. As I said, I've had a few. I'm going to go pee now.

Nice selection, though. I definitely admire what you do. Orchestration of musical elements is a feat in itself, but expressing something cool within the space of a commercial ad--with mega-corporate restrictions, no less--is truly impressive. My hat would be off, if I wore one.

Pee now.

Sun May 20, 2012 5:30 am
Post Re: My Showreel (not shameless plug, really!)
Thanks a bunch! You summed it up very nicely. The guitars in the Coke ad are all real (I love that guy's work, he is now retired). There is also another musician playing portuguese guitar. Unique and sweet timbre. He managed to blend into a pop context because he is a pop/rock/fusion guitarist.

The A├žores vacation guitars are all samples, played on keyboards by yours truly, run through virtual guitar amps. Yep, I'm that good. Mwhahaha!

The Mary Poppins "Little bit of sugar" soundalike bit is simply funny retro trash. The "hairdresser" is actually a Japanese guy, vocalist of a punk band (and was casted to be remotely a Johnny Depp lookaloike) I worked around the original to avoid copyright issues. The vocalist (same as in the Milk ad) is also a voice artist for animated cartoons. Unfortunatley she is already married.... Well anyway: For a Portuguese, I think she pretty much nailed the British accent.

Madeira: it's what artzy-fartzy "Gotan Project" probably would have done with the Madeira folk tune "Bailinho da Madiera". Then all the big shots came into the studio (I wasn't there - the studio owner wanted to prevent physical violence) and jerked off for hours changing just about everything (I provided the multitrack). I was lucky enough that the studio guy sent the version to me, like "I don't know if this sounds right - please re-check". Man he did the right thing: It was all out of sync and clearly a very, very poor edit (wanking seems to cause deafness). I had to change just about everything to make it sound decent again - then the studio owner said: this is exactly what you guys approved, we just did some light "mixing/mastering" to finalize it. Everyone bought it. Oh did I mention: this was a freebee! I dind't earn one single cent, just the right to include it into a showreeel. Welcome to Europe!

Yes the music for the titles is mine. I went for some David Holmes Ocean's 11,12,13 60s retro stuff. The opening and closing stuff is Tarantino-esque Grindhouse 35/16mm stuff with crunchy optical soundtrack.

I have no problem with the girl in the sweet low calorie whatever desert ad upstaging my faux 80s soundtrack. What a booty!

P.S. Thanks for your valuable input.

EDIT: the milk ad suffered the same as many a sung jingles in the good old days: task: compose a melody fitting into 30 or 40 secs to lyrics written by a copywriter who doesn't give a shite about music, they are five pages long and: don't you change anything because the client already approved it. I had the director of the animation film studio on my side because he needed to produce the film to my song and he knows a thing or two about frames and seconds - but to convince the client and the agency, I had to do two things: compose music for the complete lyrics (it was at an insane tempo, not one single quarter note rest to breathe (all edited) and still about two minutes long. Yep, it takes that much work to convince the people who call the shots that they have no idea qhat they are doing. After three (!) re-writings I was able to come up with this. Of course there are odd time signatures 4/4, 3/4, 5/4, all mixed to fit-in the lyrics. Try to make it a 4/4 all the way through and you will need rests which take up valuable seconds. No way! I call it a song in 1/4 time signature sung by identical twins to avoid rests for breathing. Oh well...

The sparkling water ad is of course inspired by other ads which were at the time inspired by the Peter Pan movie. I had it much more decent. The client wated the cheezy fanfare at the start and crank up on the "magic" (= "Airplane!" style choir) - it's O.K. I',m not making art herew, I'm trying to help someome who pays me, seel their product. As you correctly stated: try to do your best without making a fool out of yourself (I have my fair share of those ads, they are obviously not in the reel). For years, the music is very often chosen for you: they give you an ad or a tune and saay: make something wich sounds very similar (or exactly the same without being the same, or not exactly the same, just within that style). I find it way batter than back in the eraly 90s when they gave you "creative freedom", yoiu had to make some 5-6 version and the client and agency all knew exactly what they don't want. You think I'm harsh with the people sho pay me? Ask ANY composer for tv commercials. Watch the opening of "Consenting Adults". This is a very soft and understated version of how it is in reality.

I hope it's still online (of course nowadays it's mostly done with computers) but the guy unable to put anything in words except that he doesn't like your work so far is just as it is in real life 8sometimes they are five of them at the talking at the same time:


Sun May 20, 2012 8:06 pm
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