PRISM PRODUCTIONS SOUNDTRACKS
Any Prism Productions film with an original score Starting with Prognosticon, and leading all the way up to the 2021 release of Aeternus, the soundtracks used throughout our short films have varied from orchestral to electronic, sometimes even bridging the two with newer sounds, but always with the objective of fitting the film's theme, tone, and mood. Music is an essential part of cinema, both in its use and in its absence.
Clyde Hanna, composer at Prism Productions
My soundtrack experience
I remember I started composing around 2017/2018 for some Star Wars-type videos I used to make with a few friends, and (quality aside) I was able to get a good idea of what's required for music in film. By that I mean that when I watched those old videos with the soundtracks I'd added, I wondered why it didn't fit the tone at all, and then started to think more about the sounds I was using.
The first actual soundtrack I did was in 2019 with a horror short film called PULSE - and this was around the time that I was really starting to work with GarageBand, so there was new ground being broken but you could tell I was still just experimenting with it. The mix of synth soundscapes with orchestral compositions just didn't seem to work, so that was something to work on.
Growing up, I did a lot of music theory along with learning to play classical piano, which might explain why most of my stuff sounds slightly calculated (perhaps more than it should be), where I often try to break into more of a jazz rhythm if I can and if it works in service of what I'm composing for. I think the dilemma a lot of musicians face is how much precision to apply to a track (the highest being at the level of Bach, for example). All the software we have access to nowadays is fantastic in terms of the musical range we can reach, but then it gets more difficult to be spontaneous about the flow of the track, and I always try to keep that in mind.
Out of all the short films in the Prism Productions catalogue, the ones with original soundtracks are Prognosticon, The Exchange, and Contractor, all of which have their own distinct style. Prognosticon was entirely orchestral, inspired by films like Joker and a variety of John Williams tunes. The Exchange was a great chance to experiment, with some impactful electric guitar notes for the action scene mixed with a lot of synths. Contractor had moments of melancholia, in which a particular synth resembling a piano was used in calmer scenes, only to be interrupted by a gritty industrial arrangement for the tension that ends up breaking out.
Finally, we have the upcoming Aeternus, an opportunity to throw a wide combination of synth sounds together in an attempt to create an epic soundtrack with emotional and futuristic moments comprising the longest album I've done yet.
If you're looking for the Prism Productions soundtracks, you can find them all on my SoundCloud page.