Director: Dionne Edwards
Production company: TengTeng Films
Short Synopsis: “Ball Talk” is a tongue-in-cheek short, in which we join two sisters for an awkward birthday dinner.
The film is set all in one scene, with a continuous build in the tension between the two main characters. However, though tense it has a humorous spin.
The score had to get those elements right – the tension and the humour. It would have been a very easy one to over-write for, since the setting is very minimalist and there’s a lot of dialogue. When approaching a concept and discussing with the director, I knew that I wanted to put the audience into the atmosphere of the restaurant rather than pulling them away from it. We settled on an idea to make it almost as if the music was playing live, but with more tension and unease to match the scene.
We eventually agreed on a jazz score, taking on a style inspired by Dave Brubeck with Saxophone, piano, drums and double bass. This helped it match the contemporary setting to come to the front or sit right back in the scene when it was needed, and to subtly hit moments while building consistently to the key point, all without distracting the viewer from the immediacy which the film needed.
The result is a track of roughly 6 minutes in length, with altered extracts for the opening and closing titles. I have rarely written Jazz, so this was an interesting challenge which helped me to broaden some skills in writing for less familiar ensembles. I was particularly glad of my ability to quickly absorb key elements of a style, and then incorporate them to make my own writing authentic and believable without silencing my individual voice.