Shady Oaks Takedown (Original Soundtrack)

The original soundtrack for our 48 hour film is now available to stream and purchase.

Tickets are available for our second screening at the Audience Awards!

During our preperation phase, our producer, T, brought in Sarah Wallin Huff to compose an original score for the film. So I did my homework, took a listen to her stuff and it was great! Even more great, her personality and excited "let's do this!" attitude was just what we needed on this project.

Our composer is also a violinist, and to my surprise, our soundtrack features a real violin! Here's a bit of trivia: we were frequently confused when someone said the name "Sarah" because we had multiple Sarahs both on crew and in our lives and at one point refered to her as "Huff-y." 

The Soundtrack

Behind The Music

So I wanted a little look into the mind of our composer to see what went into making the music...

Q: How did you approach composing an orignal score in under 48 hours?

Sy, played by Don Appleby 

Sy, played by Don Appleby 

Sarah: First, knowing that we were given the genres of buddy film with martial arts, that we were doing a comedy, and that it was a film focusing on Krav Maga in a senior center -- all that really helped me to at least start prepping before the script or any film clips came my way. I was able to build a folder with various sound patches I could use for the project: sounds like the duduk, native flutes, african and middle eastern drums, etc. I also jotted down a couple of scale forms (ethnic minor scales) I thought I could draw melodies from. So, luckily, by the time I saw the score and a couple of the first rough clips, I at least had a general sound palette I knew I could work from. Also, getting to see the rough cut of the bathroom scene was extremely helpful... Because of the character Sy's improvised "ode to Jaws" he got everybody to sing, I was able to construct a cute knock-off melody based on that. So, while we didn't end up keeping that little sing-along shot in the film, I nonetheless had a ready-made theme set up for that scene.

Q: Did you draw inspiration from anywhere?


Sarah: I've always loved world music from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, so I got really excited when I saw the Krav Maga emphasis. But, I was a little nervous about how I could make such a musical feel work for a comedy... The nice thing about only having a day to work out a score is that you gotta just go with your gut -- there's really no time to question yourself. What I relied heavily on was the notion of the music being "serious" for the most part, and organically enhancing the comedy by nature of the sheer weirdness of "serious" martial arts music backing up the battling senior citizens! What helped that, too, was Rookie's suggestion of wanting some '80s style sounds mixed in. All I had to do was take the musical motifs I already had and have them done with very synthy sounds.

Q: What was a major obstacle you had to overcome? 


Sarah: The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was the battle between the clock and my own perfectionism. I was feeling so good about polishing the soundtrack for the first couple scenes. But by the time I was about halfway through the film (and keep in mind, I was watching the finished film while constructing the music at the same time!!!) and I realized I had a full-on fight scene to score... well, I was already running very behind our original deadline goals, and I began to panic just a bit! The other thing that compounded the problem on my end was that I like to go back and forth between several DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) and music creation systems, to get the most variety out of digitally recreated sounds as I can. So, as you can imagine, working between three different systems made the process more stressful and chaotic than I liked... But I managed to finish the music for the fight scene and finale, and I consented to sending those files along without my usual polish and super detailed mixing. Thankfully Rookie knew how to take what I gave him and balance it with the film for me!

Q: The soundtrack features a live violin performance from you, what was the thought process to record a live instrument under that time constraint? 

Sarah composing during the 48 hours. 

Sarah composing during the 48 hours. 

Sarah: In the very opening I knew I wanted to include a violin as a countermelody to the duduk, but I started using the live violin more just because it was easier to quickly record myself than to try and program digital solo instruments to do exactly what I wanted (with human-like subtleties in tempos and expression, etc). It ended up also being a great unifying factor, a single instrument that tied the whole score together despite the sometimes very different feel from scene to scene.

Q: Is this the first time you've done something like this? Were there any take aways?

Sarah: This was definitely the first time I've ever created such a thing under such an extreme deadline! But I had so much fun, and I'm super proud of, not just the music, but the entire film. Everything came together beautifully. Again, with these kinds of constraints, there's no time to doubt or question what you're doing; you have to follow your gut. And when you have an immensely talented team, it just makes the experience amazing! I figure that, if I can do something like this and still be proud of the end results, I can do just about anything alongside an awesome team I trust.


The Fight Continues...

Our film now moves on to Audience Awards! And we need you now more than ever! Get your tickets now and have a fun evening of films Friday August 25th! Tickets are for the "Audience Award's Special"


1000 West Olympic Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA

August 25, 2017


Film Title:
Shady Oaks Takedown


Album Cover for the soundtrack. Original poster artworkcreated within the 48 hours by artist Michael Anthony Fonteboa