Video shot by Peter Leix, edited by Collin McRae.

As Sharad Kant Patel goes through the final post production on his first feature film, he sought to compose and produce original soundtrack music of the type he has been a fan of since childhood. In middle school and high school, his turntable wasn't playing the latest top 40, but rather, the works of Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, James Horner, Basil Poledouris, and of course John Williams. Add to this his introduction to contemporary classical music (by avenue of Stanley Kubrick films) composers like György Ligeti and Krzysztof Penderecki.

With no music training and simply an ear for what sounded correct, he became inspired by the stories of one man bands like Paul McCartney or Prince, artists that could perform and produce entire pop albums by playing and recording all the parts themselves one layer at a time. He slowly began creating demos on a Pro Tools workstation in his living room with an old Roland XP-80 keyboard.

With this film project, he wanted to create distinct memorable melodies that did not overtly emulate contemporary soundtrack trends (that seem to focus more on layering orchestral tones or choirs to create generic grandiose crescendos). Creating a musical backbone with a repeating keyboard melody, he created the first theme for the film, a theme for the main character called "Mysterious Pity". The tone reflects the eerie supernatural tone of the narrative.

After completing his solo demo, he enlisted the help of artist/musician Collin McRae, initially as a session musician to add a few violin tracks. Collin's sessions yielded take after take of variations of improvised lead lines. Using those lead line fragments, as bricks on the foundation of his backing tracks, Sharad built melodies and counter melodies together into a cohesive composition. In effect, Collin became the co-composer of the lead melodies which in turn will influence the remaining themes.

Here is a behind the scenes look at the process, documented by Peter Leix at Sharad's home studio in Ann Arbor.

The finished, mixed and mastered theme can be heard here:


With a story expanded from a simple meditative 40 minute short produced five years ago, the current complex feature is now locked at a tightly paced running time of 1 hour and 20 minutes. The project is completely self financed with no investors. It is a joint personal effort between the original producer & story writer, Sebastian Mathews (who produced half of the core material with the intention of a short), Sharad Patel (writing, directing, and producing 50% more material to create a feature), Robert Murphy (DP throughout) and many subsequent volunteer actors, 2nd unit producers, and production assistants in the indie Texas filming community.

The expanded project is continuing in whatever spare time is available with final sound design and scoring.

Sample scene A (demo sound mix):
Sample scene B (rough production sound):
Title Sequence (more original score):

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