Scoring the Screen: The Power of Music in Film

This event is part of the Obermann Conversations Program: Scoring the Screen: The Power of Music in Film.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event Location: 
Iowa City Public Library
123 S. Linn St.
Iowa City, IA 52240
headshot of Janet Leigh screaming in the shower from the movie Psycho, with music staves superimposed over the photo

How do composers, producers, and directors use music in film? How does it help to tell stories, complicate plots, create atmosphere, and manipulate audiences' emotional responses? How is it selected, scored, and recorded? Join Kaitlyn Busbee (independent filmmaker), Corey Creekmur (Professor of Cinematic Arts), Rebecca Fons (Programming Director at FilmScene), and Nathan Platte (Professor of Music) as they discuss the role—and the power—of music in film.

Kaitlyn Busbee is an independent filmmaker and works as a video manager/producer in marketing for University of Iowa Health Care. Tribeca's Film’s partner festival, 30 Under 30, selected her as one of the next wave of gifted young filmmakers for her feature-length directing debut, These Hopeless SavagesSavages has screened in over 30 festivals around the world, received numerous nominations/awards, and recently acquired North American and European distribution. Additionally, Busbee has directed, shot, and edited a wide range of award-winning films, including dance films, music videos (Caroline Smith, Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright), and narrative short films (Sad Dad and Laundromat). In 2014, she shot her first feature documentary, The Legend in My Heart, in Guangzhou, China, in partnership with the University of Iowa International Writing Program. This film won Best Documentary at the Universe Multicultural Film Festival in Los Angeles. Her most recent short film, Sexpert Franzen, has played at several film festivals, including the Twin Cities Film Fest, garnering several nominations and awards. Her work has been featured in USA TodayHuffington Post, and on ESPN, ABC, CNN and MTV. vimeo.com/ktbusbee

Corey Creekmur is jointly appointed in Cinematic Arts and English and is affiliated with the Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.  He is also affiliated with the South Asian Studies Program and directs the Institute for Cinema and Culture. His teaching and research focus on international popular cinema (especially American and South Asian), cross-cultural film genres, and the way in which such films interact with other media (such as music) as well as popular discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. 

Rebecca Fons is the Programming Director at FilmScene, Iowa City's premiere art house theater, and also serves as the Development and Programming Director for the recently re-opened Iowa Theater, a multi-disciplinary film and performance center in Winterset, IA. She served as Education Director for The Chicago International Film Festival for nearly a decade, growing their Education Program to include yearly education screenings that welcomed over 10,000 students to the movies each year and embraced emerging cinephiles through initiatives like the Festival's Student Film Council and CineYouth Festival. She serves on a number of screening committees for film festivals around the country. She received a masters degree in arts management from Columbia College and a BA in Cinema and Comparative Literature Studies from the University of Iowa. Fons is a Steppenwolf Theatre Associate, a member of the Gene Siskel Film Center's Community Council and the Junior League of Chicago, and performs with the improv ensemble Spitfire..

Nathan Platte’s research and teaching interests include American film music, opera, collaborative creativity, and musical adaptations across media. His publications explore film music of Hollywood’s studio era from a variety of angles, including the collaborative process of film scoring, the intersection of technology and music, the role of studio orchestras, and soundtrack albums. Platte’s books include The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook and Franz Waxman’s “Rebecca”: A Film Score Guide. His most recent book, Making Music in Selznick’s Hollywood (Oxford University Press, 2018), investigates the scores for films like Gone With the Wind, Since You Went Away, and Spellbound. Platte received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he also completed bachelor’s degrees in history and trombone performance. 

Free and open to all.