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  • Writer's pictureFilipe Leitão

Secrets of Scoring Animation: The Inspiring Journey of Sérgio Torrecilha

Animation movie

Scoring animation movies is more than just creating a soundtrack; it's an exciting journey full of unique challenges. It's necessary to capture the essence of the film and, at the same time, complement the visual narrative in a way that only music can do. Recently, I had the pleasure of closely following the scoring project of my mentoring student in Brazil, Sérgio Torrecilha, for an animation that blends comedy, adventure, and action.


Sérgio described his process as a complex journey, where each note, pause, and transition are carefully chosen to evoke the right emotions. He emphasized the importance of not just meeting the film's expectations, but exceeding them, creating scores that stay with viewers long after the screen goes dark. According to Sérgio:


Navigating this complex and highly creative process is not an easy task. Here, the mentorship of Prof. Leitão becomes indispensable. With his experienced guidance, we are able to deepen our understanding of how music can serve animation, not just as background, but as a living force that breathes alongside the characters and their stories.

During my mentorship, I witnessed Sérgio's evolution as a composer. For Sérgio, this journey was essential in his development as a composer for animation. The experience helped him explore the unknown, opening his mind to new possibilities. The result was a soundtrack that not only complemented the animation but also elevated it to new heights, creating an emotionally impactful experience for the audience.


Watch the movie with Torrecilha's music below:



In animations like this, scores play a crucial role in communicating a wide range of emotions, from comedy to adventure. To achieve this goal, it is essential to use a variety of musical elements intentionally. Sérgio Torrecilha excelled in this aspect, demonstrating mastery by incorporating specific techniques to effectively evoke these feelings.


In the case of a scene requiring comedy, as at the beginning of the film, it is common to use musical pauses to emphasize comedic moments, following the technique known as "Mickey Mousing," where musical notes accompany the physical movement of characters in synchronized manner. Additionally, the use of short articulations and woodwind instruments, such as clarinet and flute, adds a light and playful aspect to the score.


To convey the feeling of adventure, it is essential to use a fast tempo and a rhythmic movement. Percussion plays an important role in this regard, creating a sense of energy and movement. Brass and string instruments can also be used to add layers of emotion and intensity to the score.


Sérgio Torrecilha's music in this movie is an inspiring example of what can be achieved by combining talent, passion, and proper guidance. His music shows us that, with dedication and guidance, we can create soundtracks that resonate deeply in the audience's soul.

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