Anatomy of a Short Film: The Spotting Session

“In-Kind” co-director Dan Quitério with composer/sound designer Jay Rothman during the spotting session

(Read about the entire process of making short film, “In-Kind,” by checking out the “Anatomy of a Short Film” section of this blog.)

“In-Kind” co-director Stephanie Dawson and I recently met with our composer/sound designer Jay Rothman at his studio in Hell’s Kitchen, New York for our spotting session. With limited knowledge about film music—but with an immense appreciation and respect for it—we allowed Jay to guide us a bit. We watched the film in its entirety to get a feel for it, then again scene by scene, all the while conveying the emotions we’re looking to extract from the audience—as well as what the characters are feeling—along the way. Since Jay is wearing two hats, as composer and sound designer, we discussed both crafts simultaneously, highlighting the various cues where music should begin and end, as well as the different sound effects that would help enliven the story.

Since “In-Kind” has very minimal dialogue, Jay’s roles are of the utmost importance. It’s always difficult to watch a film without music. You don’t always realize just how important it is or its power to manipulate emotions. Once Jay felt he had a grasp on what Stephanie and I are trying to achieve, we left him to work. We expect to receive updates with him over the next few weeks, including individual scenes, so that we can keep track of his progress and provide feedback along the way.

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