Case Examine: 3 Ways Editor Lucas Harger Selected Music for An 8 Episode Docuseries

When the crew at Park Tales was tapped by Quibi to supply the brand new collection Prodigy, that they had a imaginative and prescient of their head—a particularly polished, but inventive examination of younger athletic expertise on the highest degree. So, after they have been looking down music for the present, they knew they wanted music to match the standard of their work.

In the end, 53 of the 54 songs used within the present got here from Musicbed’s roster:

“After we discover individuals who we deem to be greatest at school, that’s precisely the place we need to be. Our expertise with Musicbed has been completely wonderful from second one,” Park Tales Founder Rand Getlin informed us. “After we received prepared to do that collection, we knew we had to do that with Musicbed. Now we have to determine a approach to make this an unique.”

However, it seems that was just the start of the method. Prodigy is an eight-episode collection that includes eight very distinctive athletes. Editor Lucas Harger wanted music that spoke to every of their tales, heightened key moments, however nonetheless flowed with the present’s fashion. 

Lucas served because the music director for the piece, in addition to the editor, and was the primary individual to get ears on what the sound would develop into. We talked with him about how he chosen the music for the piece, and he provided some key recommendation that filmmakers can apply to their very own initiatives. 

Discover Your Characters’ Tradition

When Lucas started the method of choosing music, he knew he wanted to start out with who these characters have been. So, he began with their “tradition.” However, perhaps not the type of tradition that involves thoughts at first:

“On the level music is available in, I’ve seen all of the footage and have an understanding of the cultural place of every of those athletes,” Lucas says. “However, by way of their tradition, they’re so totally different from each other. So, I don’t essentially look to literal cultural cues, as a lot as tonality. What does this second sound like? What does this motion sound like? What does this method really feel like? After which it’s about simply diving into these extra esoteric approaches.”

In different phrases, Lucas isn’t wanting on the literal tradition of his characters. He’s taking a look at what his characters signify. Does their story signify an arc of redemption? Or does it signify rigidity? Discover a sound that is sensible for the story, and it’ll inherently make sense for your character. 

Work From Emotion First

Now, upon getting the emotion and tonality of your character, it’s necessary to go looking primarily based on these standards at first. As Lucas identified, in the event you begin with a selected style, tune, or artist, you’re bringing your personal style into the combo greater than the story’s:

“Once I search via Musicbed, I by no means filter by style, as a result of I’m already bringing a preconceived notion of who I consider this particular person is,” Lucas says. “It all the time begins with attributes and the emotion. If I want this to really feel intense and darkish, I let the genres come to me. I don’t need to go into this with pre-existing notions of what I consider this second ought to be—cinematic, ambient, hip hop, rap, or no matter. Style is irrelevant if the tune hits the emotion.” 

Then, when you’ve begun the method of discovering songs that make sense for the emotion, you can begin to construct out a complete fashion for your venture—on this case, for every episode. By beginning with emotion as an alternative of style, he might develop a extra numerous vary of music than if he’d chosen primarily based solely on his style:

“Then, you can begin to develop a various palate for music, as a result of you might have every little thing from dubstep, digital, to opera, you understand what I imply? It’s all hitting the identical emotion, and people issues can exist throughout the similar universe of an episode, and really feel proper,” he informed us.“In an intangible manner, two songs can work collectively to painting the emotion of this second.”

Suppose Like a Sound Designer

Making his alternatives is simply the beginning of the inventive course of. As an editor, you need to use our artists’ unimaginable music to create a new id for your venture. It’s only a matter of enthusiastic about music totally different than simply drag and drop:

“As soon as you discover the tune, it’s about pushing the boundaries of the tune. Begins and stops. Reorganizing, slicing, mixing two songs collectively in the identical key, issues like that. Take a way more sound design method to music modifying,” Lucas says.

For instance, in Sha’Carri Richardson’s episode, Lucas discovered the right tune so as to add some grittiness to a second, however knew it wanted a bit extra:

“There’s a rock tune that’s a bit extra gritty and intense. For Sha’Carri’s episode, there’s this actually driving rock spine that’s constructing, constructing, constructing, after which it simply cuts to silence,” Lucas informed us. “So, and that is the one a part of the tune that made it into the episode, I used a choral swell from one among Tony Anderson‘s songs to bridge it, after which we smashed again into the rock. So, I’m wanting for songs to be songs, but in addition wanting for songs to be items typically. I want a string hit right here, so I am going in and discover a string hit. Even when that’s solely two seconds of a tune that I exploit, I’m making a mattress that feels extra customized.”


A giant because of Lucas for strolling us via his music course of. Watch his work in Quibi’s Prodigy and also you’ll see how being intentional in your course of can remodel the standard of your movies and your storytelling.

Right here at Musicbed, we’re obsessed with bringing your imaginative and prescient to life. Whether or not it’s a TV collection, 30-second spot, branded content material, feature-length movie, or one thing in between, our crew may help you discover the right tune for your venture. 

We’ve labored with a whole bunch of the most effective groups internationally, together with Google, Nike, Apple, and extra, and we’d like to work with you. To begin listening to music, see extra of our work, or attain out to our crew to get began, head to musicbed.com.

Hearken to Park Tales Musicbed playlist (together with songs from Prodigy) under.