Spooky Comedy Film

Spooky Comedy Film: The Missing Cat

Randy Nundlall wrote and directed this hilarious film about two young women who dabble in witchcraft. The film has some very nice sound effects produced by Lucy McLellan. I am particularly tickled by the performances by the actresses Samantha Laurenti and Victoria Sanders, who play cold-hearted, bumbling, clueless dilettantes in witchcraft.

I composed the music soundtrack in a spooky-comedy style. How did I achieve this style? First, by using a combination of pizzicato strings and staccato bassoon, I get a cliche comedy style. In fact, you may note that during the title screen (from 0:42 to 0:48), and when the woman accepts the stray cat (from 1:16 to 1:28), an ostinato pattern involving both staccato strings and bassoon give a humorous tone, while the addition of a glockenspiel (high-pitched bell sound) adds an air of magic al mystery. From 1:56 to 2:13, a full organ gives a cliche haunting backdrop to the full moon, the candles, and the woman in the witch’s hat. 

Second, there is a leit motif (a recurring theme) in parts of the score; a six-note melody that the women sing at time 05:51. This same melody occurs at several other times, such as in the piano part at the very start of the film, and in the pizzicato strings during the credits at time 06:54.

This film was so much fun to score! The spooky humor just lends itself to ostinatos that fit right into the moods of the film. Additional cliches can be heard from 3:09 to 3:30, with the organ, pizzicato bass and glockenspiel.

The filmmaker depends on these cliches to subliminally convey special emotions , atmostpheres and moods to the audience. There is a tacet understanding between the filmmaker and the audience, that Western music and cultural cliches are well understood, simply through repeated exposure to other films and concerts.

Enjoy!

 

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