Task 2. Scoring a Chase Sequence.

Influences for my chase scene score.

On top of the films and influences I have mentioned in the previous post ‘Scoring Chase Scenes’, one of the major influences on my score is the rhythmic line used in John Williams’ score for Star Wars Episode IV. Williams score creates tense motion for the scene involving the Tie Fighter attack on the Millenium Falcon, which is accentuated by the allegro motif heard between 2:46″ and 3:04″ (relative to start a point of 0:00″). My score uses a similar line, best heard in my piece between 0:15″ and 0:21″, to signify the points where Batman enters a shot because I felt that the fast, consistent tempo of the music put emphasis on the dramatic imagery of Batman hunting down the Joker. Below is a video of John Williams’ score for the movement  Ben’s Death and Tie Fighter Attack.

Another of my main influences for my piece was the development of crescendos and varying dynamics throughout the score to emphasise the actions in the movie. The composer Trevor Rabin uses multiple examples of progressive build-ups in his score for Armageddon which I have tried to emulate in my composition. The build-up towards the end of my score where Batman is about to flip the truck, was based on the dynamic effect created by Rabin towards the end of his piece Evacuation at around 2:46″ as shown below.

Re-written score for chase scene sequence.

Below is the video player containing my re-written piano score.

Task 2. Chase scene score re-write. from James Utting on Vimeo.

Report for Task 2: Scoring a given chase sequence.

The objective for task 2 was to score a given chase sequence. Visual elements I chose to highlight were the guns on the Bat-bike shooting the skip in the alley, batman himself and the street lamps toppling over because these elements feel to be a significant aspect of the chase scene. Composer’s techniques I wished to adopt were the rhythmic allegro bass notes used to signify Batman, influenced by John Williams’ Star Wars, and the dynamic crescendos created by Trevor Rabin in Armageddon. An audio-sequencing technique I have used in this task was the use of the step sequencer in Logic Pro, which proved useful in realizing my score by aiding my inefficient piano playing experience. A musical technique I have learned from this task was the use dissonant notes and atonal clusters to create a disjointed feel which suited the tense atmosphere of the imagery. This task is an example of practice as research because it persuaded me to use alternative means of composing a score influenced by works such as the movement Ben’s Death and Tie Fighter Attack in John Williams’ Star Wars and between 2:46″ to 3:20″ in Trevor Rabin’s Evacuation from Armageddon. I would award myself a mark of roughly 59% for this task because I feel I have explored the practice behind composing chase scene music through an alternative means. My piece is evidence of this because it demonstrates consistent direction and a good understanding of the task objective developed in the resulting composition.

word count: 254


  • Armageddon. (1998) [DVD], dir. Bay, USA: Jerry Bruckheimer FilmsValhalla Motion Pictures.
  • The Dark Knight. (2008) [DVD], dir. Nolan, USA: Legendary PicturesSyncopy Films.
  • Davis, R. (1999) The Complete Guide To Film Scoring, Boston: Berklee Press.
  • Star Wars Episode IV. (1977) [DVD], dir. Lucas, USA: Lucasfilm.
  • Williams, J. (2004). Star Wars IV A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), US: Sony Classical. Cat#S2k 92950. CD, 91:08 mins.

Web references.


~ by J.E.R.U. on February 11, 2011.

3 Responses to “Task 2. Scoring a Chase Sequence.”

  1. some good sync, in fact quite good at the end. In general the problem is that you need better reflection on the piano of the film action. Sometimes you achieve it, like when the guns fire and certainly at the beginning and at the end, but you are lacking the stamina to keep the level of detail going throughout ! you are almost there, the overal sound and gesture world is quite good, it is definitely on the right tracks just needs closer correspondence with the screen !!!

    you write: “This task is an example of practice as research because it persuaded me to use alternative means of composing a score influenced by existing works that would not have been achievable without being a skilled pianist”

    which existing works exactly? God is in the details my friend, be precise in what you mean, it shows mastery of context. Keep up the good work. I expect great things from you !! look at my points and come on fix this ! you are almost there!

  2. this is miles better, have not seen the chase sequence as it is not up yet, just a little question… the timings you give for the John Williams are relative to what starting point? and BTW we are going to have to rename the ‘audio technique’ to ‘sequencer technique as it also includes programming as in the step sequencer ! can you correct that here and I will announce to the class !

    well done, now let’s hear the chase scene… 😉

    • Hi Julio, Thanks again for your comments, chase scene is now up. Have changed ‘Audio’ technique to ‘Sequencing’ as recommended. Apologies for miss-write of module title in previous email! James.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: