By Kelly Mahan Jaramillo, Nov.30, 2007
This final cue of American Dumpling has, it seems, sent Tomas into a realm of insanity that I am not sure he will come back from.
I know this because last night I had one foot in this black pit, as we were listening to three versions where the orchestra transitions into the theme, which then leads us into full end credits. We were both very tired, and I was, as usual, brought in to be ‘fresh ears’. Part of the music co-producing gig.
On an aside, I hate having the word ‘producer’ in there, what with the Writers Strike and the fat-cat producers a shining example of the epitome of greed, but….there are many kinds of producers, and my job as Tomas’s partner is actually hard work. God knows, I am not sitting back counting my money while other people sweat it out. No, I am one of the sweaty sweaters.
Hey, maybe that is my new credit! Music co-sweaty sweater!
I like it. I like it very much.
And what classic film did that line come from? I will give you one hint: Vivian Pickles, 1971.
Once again, ( try to get used to it), I digress.
The facts concerning this last cue are:
1) Tomas’s equipment is being pushed to the limit, and it is very very tired, therefore, full orchestral playback is not an accurate representation of actual tempo, and although he knows this, in his exhaustion he starts hearing nothing but crap. This is where I am supposed to be able to be “fresh ears”.
2) No bias allowed in the studio when I come in, I have to listen with no love for him. Usually this is fairly easy, because I am get impatient with the fact that he will not recognize his burnout and micro-tweaking and get up and walk around the block. Or eat something. Or sit outside and pet the cats, whatever. I have to admit, when one is a crazed perfectionist, this is easier said than done. Still, it pushes my love for him back into my own office until we are finished.
However, last night he unintentionally invited me into his world, as he had written three different transitions, all gorgeous. But he took me down his path of insanity as to what will work with picture, and what he feels is not musical without picture.
Even though I kept saying, “You are writing to film, stop thinking soundtrack,” he had already infected me with the “cue alone” virus. The more he tried to explain that it was not a soundtrack issue, the more I did not want to hear WHAT the issue was, listen to the cue ONLY with picture playing!
Before I knew it, the studio was swirling, I could not tell if we were on choice number one, two, or three, I could not program in the numbers to get back to where I wanted to hear the transition, I felt as if someone had dosed my water with LSD.
I made my choice, he was surprised, as it was his least favorite, I explained why I liked it, asked him what his choice was, we listened, we managed to eliminate transition number one, but then….the more I heard his choice, number three, the more I liked it, where as the more we played my choice, number two, the more he liked it.
The game show Let’s Make A Deal, I mean, Let’s Pick A Cue had gone way past it’s air time, and if we did not shut it down and start with fresh ears this morning, we were going to be roaming the streets, ranting and muttering, in a matter of minutes.
Guess what saved us? Food and a lack of cigarettes. We left the studio like zombies, watched a little television, and woke up feeling as if we had guzzled a bottle of cheap blended scotch.
The final pick last night was Number Two, and it stayed the pick this morning after the tea kicked in and we started moving around. All was good, when just as I was writing this, I saw Tomas walking out of the studio, and felt both pleased that he was finally getting some air, and slightly guilty at what I had just written. But, he was walking away from the computer crashing again, and decided to get some air while the rebooting went on.
The guy did not need a music co-producer, he needed a friend. And that is where the job ends and Tomas is merely my beloved husband, and I want to, and do, hug him, laugh with him at the real estate flyer stuck in the door, and eat lunch, trying to gross him out with food mastications. Laughter ensues, which we both need. Oh my heavens, we are both taking A Break.
He is back in the studio, and I am now finished.
It has been a good day.
What will evening bring?