Monday, August 16, 2010

For A Few Dollars More

In the recent piece on the Sunspot Pictures blog ("Scoring Your Film"), there is a great discussion on why music is as fundamental to your film as the writers, actors and directors...

So my question is, with such a meaty chunk of the film experience balanced on score, why do so many aspiring directors overlook this irrefutably integral piece of the pie?

From my experience it's because it's the aspect of film making that directors understand the least. They may know exactly what the shot composition should look like, how the line should be delivered by the actor and even where the music needs to be placed -- but getting the music from point A to point B and hitting all the emotional cues in between? Not so much.

This part resonated with me (and many other composers, I suspect), with regard to directors...

Some of you will go the extra mile and have a little money for post effects, but most shorts out there are either illegally co-opting copy written material, or using a synth score that your brother in-law cooked up in his basement.

Not that there's anything wrong with a synth score... but that hits the nail squarely upon the head. Composers are often the last in the small film food chain (if at all). I can recall early on, being asked to score a short film and politely asked for $150 (the going rate had been established at $500, but I liked the project and wanted to throw them a bone). However, as a first time director/producer team, they acted like I was asking for their first born.

It wasn't an isolated experience...

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