SPOTLIGHT: Mitch Hood, Music Producer
June 17, 2019
Mitch Hood, 36, is a local record producer who we worked closely with to create the original soundtrack for our award-winning documentary, Poured in Pennsylvania.
With 25 years of experience, Mitch dove into music at a young age. At five years old, he simply started playing his family’s piano at home, and soon after began formal lessons. One day, his mom brought home a guitar she purchased at a yard sale. Mitch hasn’t stopped playing the guitar since.
Today, Mitch is primarily making records, but his musical expertise spans the industry from performer to teaching music lessons to scoring films.
We sat down with Mitch to talk with us about his involvement with Poured and his other work.
You produced the music for Poured in Pennsylvania. What was that process like?
Incredible! I was honored to be part of that project. Great team of people to work with and it was awesome watching it all come together. The process for scoring film is very different than producing a single. For starters, I’m usually working alone when scoring a film. When I’m working with bands or solo artists I am at Rock Mill Studio in Mechanicsburg with Logan Summey, who I love to work with.
When I scored Poured in PA, I worked alone in my home studio. Nate [GK Visual Co-owner] approached me about a year before the film was released so I had roughly a year to work on it, but there wasn’t any footage at that time. So I actually started writing and tracking ideas that I felt were compelling and captured a cinematic vibe just so we would have some options to choose from when the footage started rolling in.
In the world of scoring film, you basically wait for the film to be completed, then most of the footage shows up at once and you need to try and have it finished in two weeks hahaha. So the process at the beginning is completely different from the process at the end. The pressure was definitely on me when we wrapped the film because everything else was done other than the music! But I love it. Scoring film is one of my favorite things to work on.
How does a track come together?
For me, music is all about feeling. Does it feel like something I, personally, would want to listen to? Do all of the different parts make sense musically and compliment each other? It’s really just a bunch of questions at first. So as a music producer it’s my job to make sure the answers to those questions are “yes”, and most importantly getting the artist’s vision to take shape and come to life through the process.
How do you find the right style?
Finding the right style with an artist is always a lot of fun. I really just listen to their songs and let the songs breath and try to find the pulse. I’m definitely a believer in songs having a mind and/or soul of their own. I feel as musicians the songs can choose us and it’s our job to figure out how to craft them so it can say what it needs to say and sound how it wants to sound. Then it’s just a matter of making sure everything is working together and all the sounds are cohesive and the performances are compelling.
What’s it like to hear your music out in the world?
It’s a humbling privilege to be able to have the opportunity to produce so many different artists and be part of scoring film for some amazing and compelling projects!
What types of projects do you enjoy working on?
All of them! BUT, I LOVE scoring film! It’s a peaceful process to me and I have a blank canvas to work on. I enjoy the challenge of getting film and needing to come up with something on the spot and deliver it on time. As a songwriter I tend to procrastinate and I want everything to be “just so”, but when I’m scoring a film or writing a jingle I don’t have the luxury to be so precise and I love the pressure of that believe it or not. I end up going in directions that I otherwise might not go. And that sharpens me as a musician all around.
Where do you get inspiration?
I get my inspiration from sound. When I’m creating something new, it starts with an idea I hear in my head, and then I start to track it and just simply listen to what I’m doing and follow it until It feels compelling. At that point, the inspiration just keeps growing.
What makes a good track of music for a film?
Mood. Hands down. No matter what the scene in the film is, as a composer, it’s my job to capture the feeling of that scene in a piece of music, and I love the thrill of the chase to capture that mood and vibe
How does music impact a film?
Simple. Music adds context to the emotion of the film. Imagine watching your favorite scenes of film without the music.
What’s next for you?
Everything [laughs]. I’m out to do it all. Lots of artists that I”m currently working with. More film to score on the horizon. I’m even working on a few original songs of my own.