Jurassic Harz Museum Exhibition

I started the writing process by establishing the general tempo.
I viewed the video and recorded myself clapping every time there was a cut, or when something quick happened, like the crocodile attack. This gave me a general overview of all percussive hits that could occur in the music.
I noticed that most hits fit quite nicely in a tempo of 120 bpm, so I used that.

I started replaying the video and experimenting on my piano until I found a chord progression that seemed to fit.
the very first music I wrote was the ending sequence, when the dinosaurs are leaving the beach. The chord progression stayed the same until the very end, and I only needed to adjust the last chord from a major to a minor chord.
The animatic that I was working with had clear skies at the end, and I assumed that the dinosaurs looking up in the sky was a hopeful ending, but I later found out that a heavy thunderstorm was planned. Changing the chord was a quick fix. Just using the chord progression seemed kind of empty and unfinished in the end, so I decided to add a melodic run down on a flute. This helped ending the video, it provided closure, like a dot at the end of a sentence.

Now that I had part of the chord progression written, I worked my way backwards. the next part I wrote was the dinosaurs entering the beach. Here, I used major chords in the same scale that I used for the ending, and established a peaceful atmosphere.

Connecting the beginning of the beach sequence to the ending of the video turned out to be rather difficult. the fight sequence in the middle was very quick, there was no time to build up tension, or to release it. I knew immediately that I wanted to accent the attacks with brass stingers, so I made some sounds and alligned them with the attacks. After failing to come up with a fitting solution multiple times, I turned my attention to the beginning of the video.

I knew that the beginning needed to excite and captivate the viewer, especially since the opening was fairly long. I decided to make the music dominant in the intro. I watched the opening multiple times, until the reflections in the water gave me the idea to use arpeggiating woodwinds.
this perfectly built up tension and supported the camera movement, the chord progression is captivating and a bit mysterious. I added tremolo strings and a staccato cello that supported in building tension and movement, the cello really adds life to the intro. The slow Euphonium melody playing over the intro creates a great transition to the beach sequence, and it also makes the music sound fuller and more epic.

I am really proud of the intro, it is fun to listen to.

The toughest part was the transition to the rather short fight sequence. I rewrote this short sequence at least three times until I finally came up with the idea of using staccato violas to establish some action. A new problem arose. The staccato violas seemed to appear out of knowhere, so I had to extend them into the previous and next parts to smooth out the transition. I think this worked quite well and actually enhanced the whole song, but it was initially not planned and I needed to rewrite the instrumentation for a lot of the song.

I also added all of the sound effects in the video.
Most sound effects were fairly straightforward, I gathered water and wave samples and panned them according to the video, then I added some rain to it, fairly basic stuff.

the crocodile uses a mixture of tiger and crocodile sounds. the big growl and the hiss I made myself, by recording and editing my voice. I used multiple samples pitched down, going into a frequency shifter and EQ to get the monstrous growl there.
The Dinosaurs steps were simple Samples of the Timpani drum that I pitched down and EQed, and there is also a whoosh sound for the swinging tail of the dinosaur. I recorded a big piece of cloth that I swung in front of a microphone.

the thunder samples were interesting. I placed and panned them so the timing was right, and then compressed it to make the thunder loud. There was also some sidechain compression going on so the thunder could cut through the mix.

I noticed something interesting with thunder. you can actually adjust the pitch of it quite drastically and it still sounds great, the sounds change significantly. They actually change so much, that it becomes difficult to recognize what the original sample was. this made it really easy to have different thunder sounds for the video.