Underscore

A couple of weeks ago I attended an incredible masterclass with great jazz musician and film composer Terence Blanchard.

If you’re not familiar with Terence’s music, you should be because he’s a jazz legend and has scored tons of movies, including most of Spike Lee’s work.

If a director has chosen to work with the same composer again and again since 1991, I’d certainly want to hear from that composer. I’d want to learn as much as I could from such a privileged experience. How do you earn that level of trust? What does it mean, artistically, to have that kind of relationship with a fellow creative?

Just the day before attending the masterclass, I went to the cinema and I watched BlackKklansman. 

The movie was great, in my opinion one of the best movies Spike Lee has made in recent years and I have been a huge fan of his work since Do The Right Thing

The score was fantastic! A pretty unique blend of powerful orchestral touches and homages to the seventies with funk guitars, cool drum beats and everything you need to tell an epic story set in 1979.

The thing that intrigued me the most though, is that Terence mentioned that Spike Lee hates underscore.

Apparently, he doesn’t like subtle music under dialogues or smooth fades in and out of scenes. And that makes perfect sense: Spike is not a subtle director!

To be honest, I was pretty sure about that even before hearing it from Terence.

It happened several times while watching his movies (even during what I think is his biggest box office hit: Inside Man), I would notice some music and think: wow, this really sticks out! But here’s the thing: it works perfectly with Spike’s filmography; Terence is the right person to tell his stories.

Something really magical happens between two creatives when there is the right connection.

A big shout out to Stage32 for organizing this masterclass. It was the first time I joined one of their webinars and it was great!

If you haven’t heard about it, come and join this fantastic community of filmmakers.