Etude: November 2017 – Challenge: Two Minute Romantic Comedy Trailer – Hans Zimmer Masterclass

November 2017 – “Romantic Comedy Challenge”

We were provided instructions and a voice track (narration and character-dialog) by an imaginary director who is looking for a score for romcom trailer.  The “director” set a one-week deadline!  I sweated this one a bit, given that this is also Fall Projects season here at Prairie Haven.

Pretty darn cool challenge.  This was by far the most complex mix I’ve done in quite a while, 26 tracks across 13 scenes (in 2 minutes!).

Some fun!  Here’s the link to the 2 minute trailer.

Here are the characters:

Arabella is the female lead. Struggling to find her way in a man’s world.
Cartwright is the male lead. Cynical, jaded, tired.

They get their own intertwining themes — Arabella first, then Cartwright

Lucinda and Ramon are a secondary plot element for contrast with the primary characters, and are foils for the primary characters’ emotional unavailability.

They also get their own themes, but a little lighter than the two romantic leads

Maxwell is a poor sap in Accounts Receivable.  (he doesn’t get any music at all, poor guy)


First is an office scene, Arabella monologue directed at silent Maxwell.

I’ve provided an office-space soundbed plus printers and keyboards in addition to Arabella’s theme.

Second is Cartwright giving his cynical take on human relationships in a Chicago bar.

Soundbed is a bar — we hear Cartwright’s theme

Third is Ramon and Arabella in a garden – Ramon’s getting suggestive, and Arabella doesn’t get it.

Here the soundbed is a field recording from here at Prairie Haven, we hear Ramon’s theme and listen to it crash as Arabella completely misses his cue.

Fourth is Cartwright’s therapy office – Lucinda’s getting suggestive, and Cartwright doesn’t get it.

Soundbed is an office, plus the ticking of his client-hours ticking clock.  Lucida’s theme goes well for a second, but Cartwright really shuts her down.

Fifth is Arabella and Cartwright in his therapy office, a first counseling session.

Same office soundbed with the ticking clock.  This time we hear parts from Arabella and Cartwright’s themes alternating as each of them talk.

Sixth is Lucinda and Ramon finding each other and getting each other’s suggestions all too well.

Perhaps that same bar where Cartwright expounded earlier.  This time their two themes (and conversation) fit together perfectly.

Seventh is Arabella and Cartwright, continued.

Back in the office — this time both their themes are played together in full.