We return to the topic of music in film once again with London based composer Ram Khatabakhsh. Ram discusses his passion for composing music for film and working as a composer for independent film. We also spend a fair amount of time talking about his beloved Casio keyboard.
Ram Khatabakhsh- Composer
Ram started playing the keyboard at the age of six – just to figure out the melody of his favourite songs and themes. His parents bought him a small Casio keyboard at the time. He continued to play on his keyboard as a hobby after school hours and learned to play his favourite songs by ear. By age of 11, he was attending private piano and music lessons and exploring multiple musical genres. At the age of 15, Ram began to compose his own music and was instantly captivated by this. His passion for film music was apparent from the early days. He attended Kingston University in London where he obtained his degree in music composition. In November 2008 Ram was commissioned to write orchestral music and had his music performed by Kingston Chamber Orchestra in public concert. In June 2008 Ram had his music played and work shopped at Royal Academy of Music in London where he worked along side the conductor Christopher Austin and composer Philip Cashian. In November 2007 Ram’s music was performed in the South Bank Centre as part of the PLG Group season. Ram’s music is highly motivated by film music, as this is the greatest goal in his career. He has been working as a freelance composer for several feature film projects and has written music for number of online advertisements and commercials and short films.
Ram currently directs a music production company (Motion Sound Production) based at Pinewood Studios (UK) where he collaborates with directors and producers and works with a number of talented musicians and engineers.
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Ashley Ruskiewicz is the winner of The Complete Film Production Handbook giveaway contest! Ashley’s essay displayed not only her ability to learn from a difficult situation, but she also showed her understanding of hiring people who know their role on a film set and working with people who are committed to your project, which shows that she is well versed in Film Method-ology!
“Lessons From the Backlot” by Ashley Ruskiewicz
I learned a wealth of information from an experience on a film set where I was directing and co-producing. I discovered the keys to the entire production process, but also the fundamentals of maintaining order on set. We had a very small crew and we lost one member due to the extreme heat that day on the Universal back lot. The assistant camera crew member was not cooperating with the producer, and was giving her own input for how each shot should be taken, interfering with me as the director, and our director of photography. While suggestions were welcome, the crew member was trying to change things that had already been decided in pre-production.
Because of the heat, the assistant camera thought it would be okay to sit in the shade with the slate, so after every shot I had to wait a couple of minutes to get her attention to bring me the slate and walk across set so we could slate each shot. I saw that the production could have easily been played out with just me, the producer, director of photography, and the two actors. While we all had a specific role to play we knew what we were good at and used our skills to get the film made. The producer for example, wrote the script and acted as both the producer and script supervisor, making sure everything was on time and that the crew and actors were taken care of.
I learned from this experience that knowing your role on a film set is extremely important to be able to get the job done effectively. The crew as a whole was under pressure because we only had the location for a certain amount of time that day. As a producer, it’s also important to hire people who are reliable, and have interest in the project. The same assistant camera person was supposed to be in charge of post-production. She ended up flaking out for another project, leaving me to edit the short by myself. The production went smoothly, but it would have been much better had everyone stuck to their roles. I found that knowing the people you will be working with, and how they work, before you get to set is crucial to ensuring a smooth production.