Tri-C Film Students Score Session with Grammy-winner Terence Blanchard
March 16, 2016
Grammy award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard gave about 25 Cuyahoga Community College film students a unique, behind-the-scenes look at scoring movies March 10-11 in the Metropolitan Campus’ Mainstage Theatre.
Students watched clips from films Blanchard has scored and discussed considerations he made when writing the accompanying music. The Internet Movie Database calls Blanchard “the most prolific jazz musician to ever compose for motion pictures.” He has worked on films like Chi-Raq, Inside Man, Barbershop, Mo’ Better Blues, Next Friday, Bamboozled and many more, including a number of made-for-TV movies.
Blanchard is artist in residence for this year’s Tri-C JazzFest, presented by KeyBank. He took questions from Miriam Bennett, associate professor of media and communications, and students. He showed a clip from Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq with full dialogue but without music and asked students how they would score the scene. Answers ranged from blues to classical strings. Blanchard and Lee settled on what could be described as a march or ceremonial music.
“The role for a score varies from film to film,” Blanchard said. “It depends on the director’s vision. Some directors want soundscapes. In some scenes, the music is a character.”
The session had the feel of a casual chat as Blanchard relayed anecdotes from his film work. He emphasized the importance of education.
“It will carry you beyond your talent. Talent is just a seed,” he said. “You need to water it and nurture it.”
March 29-30, Blanchard will conduct private sessions with music students chosen to score 5 short films directed and produced by Tri-C film student film makers.