Low Budget Horror… You should use the Shepherd’s Tone to ratchet tension in your soundtrack

There are many ways in which a film can make huge dramatic gains without maxing out the budget. If you are making a low budget horror (and I have made two), and if everyone involved is on the same budgetary wavelength, then why not work with your composer to utilise ‘The Shepherds Tone’ so successfully exploited by Chris Nolan and Hans Zimmer?

What is it?

It’s an auditory trick whereby music or a tone seems to continually build up octave upon octave, never ending and always feeling like it’s about to peak. Of course it’s a trick where multiple rising notes or passages are layered and fade in and out rather cunningly.

This is an ideal tool for horror and thriller movies. Consider…

• It’s extremely effective at creating tension
• It’s easy to create for anyone who knows there way around sound and music
• It won’t cost a penny aside from talent and time

The video below is a great primer on what it is and how it works.

Remember, as a low budget filmmaker we have to use every trick and resource available to us. And this is one of this hidden tricks that has yet to be over used.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones
My movies www.LivingSpiritGroup.com
My Facebook www.Facebook.com/ChrisJonesFilmmaker
My Twitter @LivingSpiritPix


 

Filmmaker (LivingSpiritGroup.com), screenwriter, author of the Guerilla Filmmakers Handbooks (GuerillaFilm.com), founder of Create50.com, CEO of The London Screenwriters’ Festival (LondonSWF.com) and certified firewalk instructor.

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