520 SR. THESIS: ORIGINAL SCORE & SOUND DESIGN - DELIVERABLES, DATES & WORKFLOW
A. ANIMATION DELIVERABLES
Project Story and Design elements can be found on Base Camp in the Mid-term Pitch Submission folder.
1. Project Description/Design Workbook: A compilation of project description, story treatment, character biographies, and character & environment design elements.
2. Storyreel: As close to final timings as possible the storyreel should include scratch musical score and sound effects.
3. Director's notes on Sound Design: You'll want to include a description of how you see the role of music in your piece. This can range from a general overview to a scene-by-scene breakdown describing the emotional tone and musical role in every scene.
The following documents are an example of a live conversation between Director and Composer on Google Docs: Director's Notes.pdf and a Composer's Score Plan with Notes.pdf.
4. Focused Examples (optional): If you believe it will be helpful, provide a focused sampling of music, short films, or teasers that you feel best exemplify the role that music will play in your project.
B. HAND-OFF DATES & WORKFLOW
An ideal workflow between the Animator, Musician and Sound Designer for scoring a short animated film is listed below. As in all art-making endeavors, every project has its specific needs, limitations and opportunities so we remain flexible.
Typically this process includes the following roles: Animator, Director, Editor, Sound Designer, Musician and Composer. In most cases, these roles are shared by individuals wearing multiple hats. Whatever form your post-production roles take on, here are the key steps for hand-offs and deliverables.
1. Animator/Director pitches rough storyreel to Musician/Composer (Fall Mid-term Pitch): This is generally comprised of loosely timed storyboards with "scratch" (stand-in or temporary) musical score and some scratch sound effects. Often this is accompanied by "Directors Notes" to help the Musician understand the sub-text of each scene.
2. Musician/Composer provides “musical sketches” (January): These sketches should provide the animator with a broad musical vision for the project and be simple enough to accommodate feedback. Once a direction is clear, Animator and Musician part ways to work on their respective parts of the project.
3. Musician/Composer provides midi-track (February) : At this point the musician may provide a midi-track that animators can work with to time their final animation or the animator will continue to work to scratch audio.
4. Animator/Editor provides final timings as "locked edit" (March): Once animation is nearly complete, the animator/editor works closely with the sound designer to create final timing for a "locked" edit. Final animation is ideal at this point but due to tight deadlines, the locked edit will likely contain near final animation and low-resolution renders, and a combination of scratch and final audio FX.
5. Musician/Composer provides finished score to Animator/Editor - 1st then final draft (April): The animator/editor will then replace scratch score with final music. Leave time for some back and forth adjustments as the final elements are put into place.
6. Animator/Editor works with Sound Designer to create a final audio mix (May): At this point the sound designer (if you have one) provides final sound effects and works with the animator/editor to create a final audio mix. Four ears are always better than two.
7. Create final credit roll (May): Make sure that you have included the credit roll as part of your sound design!
Stephan Leeper/Central Michigan University 2021