Beta Test (Short film)


BETA TEST: 2027 is the latest short movie, directed by Craig Murray, I had the opportunity to work on. The movie is a fictional story set in a near future communist United States, where freedom fighters are up against a powerful government with control of armies, drones, and even the human mind.

The short was created for an movie contest. I was actually not familiar with prior to working on this short. My main contribution to this project was music composer. With a total movie production time of about 2 weeks, I ended up having about 3 days to create the 21.04 minute score, from concept to finished product.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS IF YOU CONTINUE READING! (You can watch the full movie above.)

The following Youtube video contains commentary by Composer, Adam Spade

Knowing that I was only going to have a few days to create music, I had to get ahead of the game somehow. So, after discussing the movie thoroughly with the director, I created a single Pro Tools session and loaded a custom orchestra before ever even reading the script. I was able to brainstorm and search out sounds for a few days in preparation. That helped tremendously. I wanted a unique sound and orchestra for the movie and then to score with that. The entire movie plays out like a dream so I would just load the whole 24 minute film into 1 session.

Beta Test 2027 Montage

The movie starts with a montage. I was able to read the script a week before filming to really catch the mood of the film and start building a theme based on my raw feelings. With the emotion ingested, I was able to start playing around with different themes at that point. I recorded a rough theme and sent it to the director. He loved it, fortunately. But there’s no real way of telling whether or not it would work in the film without watching it and seeing the look of the montage. The mood is really depressing, dark, and fortunately again, fit the montage perfectly.

Beta Test Trunk

The first scene is from the perspective of the protagonist, who is barely conscious and tied up in the trunk of a car. This is a transition point from a bit of a dream state to a conscious state, and needed to compliment the state of mind the protagonist was experiencing. It’s trippy. The movie is a constant ride from that point on.


The protagonist is then taken to an interrogation room, where he experiences more flashbacks. The director wanted to keep the intensity up. With such a short time, I knew it had to be done in a way that would allow me to concentrate on the more important parts of the film score.

So, I created an arpeggio with a virtual bass instrument and tacked on some animated plugins so I could control the sound of it throughout the rest of the film. The low frequency stays out of the frequency range of the speech. All I had to do from there was accent it with percussion and any lead I wanted and I was good to go. It isn’t amazing but the result works and made the director happy. It sounds good and also turns the soundtrack into something very much like an experimental rock album.


Director, Craig Murray, was fun to work with. The cast and crew was full of up and coming talent. Although, I did not get the chance to meet and greet with most of the them, it was an honor to work on the same project. I would like to see this team work together on a 90min feature, with more time and l budget. I would jump on that opportunity.

It’s been real,


Posted on

April 28, 2013