Saoirse: My Movie Soundtrack

While I was doing Transition Year at school, many of the things we would normally have done were not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. However, my former school asked me if I’d like to get involved in a STEM project they were doing, by recording the music soundtrack to a short film they were hoping to make.

The film was going to be called Saoirse (the Irish name for Freedom) so I used the same name for the music soundtrack as well. I also asked my Dad to help with the project so he played the electric guitar while I played my acoustic guitar.

A few people have since asked me how we did the soundtrack so I decided to write a little bit about that here.

Studio Setup

The first thing we had to do was sort out how we would record the music. We tried a couple of ways to do this, including using a Loop Pedal (Boss RC-2) and a USB Audio adapter connected to a Mac (with GarageBand). However, these proved to be a little too complicated for our needs and, in the end, we decided to just record the music using the Audio Recorder app on my iPhone, placed close to the amplifier.

Some of the first recording we did had a little bit of echo and background noise from the acoustic guitar strings so I faced the other way from the iPhone when playing and this helped a lot.

Music Equipment

We used the following equipment to play and record the music we created:

  • Acoustic Guitar: Epiphone PR5-E (Florentine Cutaway Electro Acoustic Guitar)
  • Electric Guitar: Epiphone SG-400 Vintage
  • Amplifier: Roland Cube Street
  • Smartphone: iPhone Xs

The guitars were both connected to the amplifier, which was placed in front of the iPhone to record.


After we took the music off the Audio Recorder app (by uploading it to Dropbox) we trimmed some of it using the Audacity app on my Mac, which is free (and open source). Because the iPhone app only records in Mono we also had to convert the tracks to stereo using Audacity. This was a simple matter of duplicating the mono track and saving both tracks as a MP3 file.

We were also able to enter some song/track details into the MP3 file when exporting from Audacity, which made sure these appeared in iTunes/Music apps later on, which was handy.

Sound Effects

Some of the scenes in the movie were shot near a beach (and during a storm) so we also recorded some waves at our local beach (placing some socks over the phone to cut out the noise of the wind) and mixed this with the music we recorded. We did this mixing in Audacity too.

Song Names

Once the filming of the movie was underway, the teacher was able to tell us more about each of the scenes that would need some music. This helped us to name the songs, as follows:

  1. Banú (meaning Dawning) became the song for the opening scene, which shows a young girl walking on a beach. This track has some wave sound effects too.
  2. Réadú (meaning Realisation), which has some thunder sounds mixed in, was used during a storm scene.
  3. Amhras (meaning Doubt) was a short filler track between two scenes.
  4. Machanmh (meaning Reflection) was used during the closing credits.

Once the filming was finished and the editing process started, the teacher was also able to tell us how the music tracks needed to be. We made some adjustments to the chord (and sound effects) here to get the track lengths correct, once again using Audacity.


The finished movie was recently launched and actually won some awards in a national school drama competition

While it took a while to compose and record all the music, and we had to do a lot of takes to get versions of each song that we liked (and that were the right length for the film), we were really happy with the results, especially when we finally got to see them in the finished movie.

I learned a lot about music production and editing too, which was quite interesting and I’d definitely recommend using Audacity for this as it’s very flexible and easy to use.

The Marvel-ous Stan Lee

Anyone who knows me, or who has read some of my previous blog articles, will know that I’m a huge Marvel Studios fan. I recently did a school project which involved creating a presentation about a successful entrepreneur that I admire. Naturally, I chose Stan Lee, the creator of the original Marvel comics, so here’s my take on his life story. 

Who is Stan Lee?

Stanley Martin Lieber was born in New York on Thursday, 28 December 1922. He was a comic writer and is best known for his Marvel comics and films. After finishing school at the age of 16, he got a job with Timely Comics and in 1942, became an editor there. He started writing his own comic books in the early 1960s and started working with Jack Kirby there too. He married Joan Boocock on Tuesday, 5 December 1950 and they had two children. Sadly, he died on Monday, 12 November 2018, aged 95.

What did he create, and why?

Stan Lee created the comic book company, Marvel Comics, with Jack Kirby in 1961 after creating the characters, The Fantastic Four. He also created the famous characters, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, among others. In total, he inspired the creation of around 37,000 different Marvel comics over a period of 80 years. From those comics, he created films series like Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers.

He created the Marvel Comics company in 1961 with Jack Kirby because he was interested in creating comics and wanted to share them with the world. He also created the company because, when he created his first few comics, people were saying “you can’t make a company out of this” and “these comics are no good”. He didn’t let these people ruin his idea and, as a result, he was motivated to keep going.

He started creating these comics because he was very interested in writing and making stories. He also had a lot of skills and these helped him to create a highly successful company. Some of his skills and characteristics included creativity, artistry, positivity, persistence and ambition, which he used to make his comics more interesting and exciting.


Excelsior is a Latin word that means “ever upward” and “still higher”. Stan Lee said this all the time because he truly believed that the phrase summarised how he felt about his life in general. The word is very positive and he often used it to motivate people to do what they’re interested in, instead of what other people tell them to do.

When he was younger, his family did not have much and they struggled a lot. That didn’t affect Stan’s dream and he also used this word to describe how he got to where he was in life.

Voluntary Work

Stan Lee donated a lot of money to the American Heritage Centre at the University of Wyoming from 1981-2001. He was also asked by the National Institute of Mental Health to use an anti-drug theme in some of his comics, and he did duly so in many of them because he believed it was worthwhile and informative for the younger generation.

Another good thing that Stan did was to create a superhero of African descent, Black Panther. This was something that had not been done before and he was heavily praised for it. He also created the Stan Lee Foundation in 2010 to promote diversity, national literature, culture and art.

Modern Day Marvel

Marvel Comics is still a huge company today, selling lots of comics and making lots of money. The Marvel Comics HQ is in California, USA and Kevin Feige is the current President of the company.

Their movie division is called Marvel Studios and this has become even more popular for them. There are about 50 Marvel movies in total and the most famous ones are set in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), such as Spider-Man and Iron Man. Avengers: Endgame is currently the biggest box office movie and made $1.2 billion at the box office in its first weekend.

Interesting Info

Here are another couple of facts about Stan Lee that I found interesting:

  • When he was younger, he wrote obituaries but left the job because he felt it was too sad.
  • He made a cameo appearance in every single Marvel movie (before he died in 2018) and these scenes have become really famous.
  • He was inaugurated into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
  • He gave the keynote speech at the 2017 Graduation Ceremony in the University of Los Angeles. His advice about believing in yourself is one of my favourite videos of him.
  • He took the name Stan Lee when he started writing comics because it was shorter and easier to say than his real name, Stanley Lieber.
  • The parent company that he created is now called Marvel Entertainment, is now one of the largest companies in the world, and was bought by Disney in 2009.

Closing Thoughts

In my opinion, an entrepreneur is someone who creates a company from a simple idea and, while knowing that there are risks in doing so, they do it anyway because they believe in themselves. In his lifetime, Stan has shown that you can achieve things and do the things you want in life, while being successful and happy and proving people wrong along the way.

I believe that Stan Lee is therefore a superhero in his own right because of the things he has achieved in his life, and because of how his creations have been such a positive influence in my life, and in the lives of my friends and family.

What are the best Marvel movies, and why?

As part of English class during the 2019-2020 school year, I had to write a fictitious blog about any topic and I chose one of my favourite topics: Marvel Movies. Seeing as I now actually have a blog, I decided to publish this here as well (with some minor tweaks), so here goes.

Let me also say that, if you’re not a fan of Marvel movies, then this isn’t the place for you. 


Personally, I think that all 23 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies are amazing. They all have great story lines and keep the viewer interested and excited throughout the whole movie. The directors and producers also know how to make us fall in love with the characters and their relationships with others, and this makes fans like me committed to watching all of the movies, and even sometimes make up our own stories about what could happen next.

So, what are the best Marvel movies? It’s a tough question because they are all so great, but I think there are definitely some that are better than others, as you’ll now see.

5. Spiderman Far From Home (2019)

Spiderman Far From Home (2019), as the sequel to Spiderman Homecoming (2017), is a funny teen drama, but also an action packed movie, and deserves to be in my top 5. It teaches us that everyone has a responsibility and we can’t run away from it sometimes. It also has a huge plot twist that I never saw coming and that makes the movie so much more interesting. Finally, the humour in this movie makes it very enjoyable and reminds us that the characters are still very young and relatable.

4. The Avengers (2012)

As the first in a series of four great Avengers movies, The Avengers (2012) is definitely one to watch. In this movie, we see the six heroes that we know and love come together to create a team that will protect the earth from any threat that comes their way. This classic had to be in my top 5 because I would watch it on repeat if I could. We see the extremely different characters and personalities come together and work to save people’s lives against a threat from outer space. We also see the importance of the end credit scenes as we are briefly introduced to the newest and most dangerous villain, Thanos. This scene (revealing Thanos) becomes a lot more important as the other movies are released.

3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

As the third of three Thor movies so far, I was very surprised by how good Thor: Ragnarok (2017) was. I was not a huge fan of Thor (2011) or Thor: The Dark World (2013) and didn’t find the plots very interesting (I would have loved if the director of Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi) directed those). Waititi did an amazing job on Ragnarok and it shows throughout the whole movie. The plot is very interesting and exciting, and it really shows off all of the original and some new character’s skills very well. 

One of my favourite things about the movie is the use of colourful settings, makeup and costumes which give the movie a lot of character and brightness. The use of dark colours in costumes and makeup for the villain gives it a negative and dark theme to contrast with the bright and happy theme at the start.

2. Black Panther (2018)

Coming in at number 2 is Black Panther (2018). I believe this movie deserves the second spot because it is so unique. The storyline is so exciting and different, and I think you could definitely watch it without watching any other marvel movies first. The high-tech suits and machinery of the future in this movie are amazing and I’m sure the costume designers and prop makers had a lot of fun using their imagination to make them.

This movie is also very different from the rest of them because it has a very unique setting and the characters have very strong characteristics and relationships. This keeps the MCU from going stale and keeps the fans interested in their movies. I really hope the next Black Panther movie, which is due for release 2022, is as good as this one and will do it justice.

1: Iron Man (2008)

Finally, coming in at number one, Iron Man! Lots of people say that you can never beat the originals and the first movie is always the best. I think that, in this case, it is also very true of Iron Man. Out of all the movies in the Iron Man trilogy, I believe that the first one is definitely the best. I also think that it is the best out of all of the MCU movies overall.

Actor, Robert Downey Jr., plays the genius billionaire playboy Tony Stark like nobody else ever could. It jumps straight into the action in the first two minutes of the movie and you never get bored at any time while the story develops. The director also does an amazing job at giving just enough information about the character so that we can enjoy the movie, but also not telling us his whole backstory (which is revealed is later movies).

It has just the right amount of humour and quotes that are said again in future movies that give the OG fans a really nostalgic feeling. I think it was the perfect movie to start off the journey of so many characters and I think Stan Lee (creator of Marvel) did an exceptional job.


I hope you enjoyed my assessment of these five movies because I really enjoyed writing about them. This decision was really hard to make and I think that shows how amazing all these movies are. I look forward to revisiting my favourites as more movies are released in future, but will admit now that it’ll take something special to knock these ones off their top spots.