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Topic: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

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  1. #1

    OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Hi all,

    Recently, I was asked to score what could potentially be a relatively big film (depending, as always, on a lot of things)...

    Anyhow, the director is actually very musically conscious and has a decent ear. When I talked with him about the amount of music I'd be doing, he informed me that he sees me being responsible for about 47% of the music. The rest, he'd already picked out. (He wants to use a lot of trip hop stuff by various artists)

    I just want to know: Is this the way it works? Especially as it may be my first actual 'gig' I have no room to complain, nor would I really want to. But deep down, it feels strange to me that a director would already be so set on specific tracks. I know a lot of movies do the various artists thing (Trevor Jones and 'Armageddon' comes to mind)

    Anyhow, am I just being stupid? Is this the way the business works? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Steven J. Kukla
    Kuklamusic.com

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    "47%" ? That's precise!

    Well wait until he plays you all the temp tracks and just tells you to make it sound like that. You are just a hired hand, there to fulfill the wishes and vision of the director, so it's best to just put away the ego, lay back and enjoy the wonderful world of film composing. Not so glamorous, is it?

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    I don't think that's strange at all. Many directors are thinking of music while they write, shoot, edit, etc. And depending on the type of film - there is always source music (existing songs) in the film. And this isn't just music coming out of radios or in bars, it's used in many montages and such.

    Look at it this way - you'll get the same credit for the film, regardless of the minutes of music you write, so look at it as your job is a little easier....

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Thanks for your input, I appreciate the insight!

    S.
    Steven J. Kukla
    Kuklamusic.com

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't movies that include "hits" more likely to have soundtrack CDs released than movies with underscore only? And, if a soundtrack CD includes your cues, don't you make more money?

    Sharing the musical space with some pop artists might not be such a bad thing!

    -JF

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Yeah, I mean, like I said, I have no idea...
    Steven J. Kukla
    Kuklamusic.com

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't movies that include "hits" more likely to have soundtrack CDs released than movies with underscore only? And, if a soundtrack CD includes your cues, don't you make more money?

    Sharing the musical space with some pop artists might not be such a bad thing!

    -JF
    AND make sure right now that you don't get shut out of the soundtrack CD. You'll be signing a contract, make sure a minimum percentage of your work is in the CD.

    Todd

  8. #8
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    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Hi Steve - as a veteran of the film post-production world, I can say that yes, this is normal. A director/producer/studio exec will determine how much score they want, and tell the composer, "ok, score here here and here. The rest of the film's music will be pop tunes." Now if you are John/James/James/Hans/etc., you might say, "oh - how about a score cue here!" and the director will at least listen to the suggestion. But the position you are in dictates that you will listen to the director, and put music exactly where he tells you to put music, and you will do it with not only your mouth closed, but a huge smile on your face. Kinda like this >

    Just do the best job you can, and don't worry about it. The most important thing for someone in your position who is not an established A-list composer is keep the director/producer/studio execs happy.

    Best of luck!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NYC
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    357

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Oh, and what Todd said, too^. He too knows what he is talking about - trust me.

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Directors and their musical choices...

    Yeah, I'm on good terms with the director so getting credit shouldnt be a problem. And really, I'm just glad to have the oppertunity... thanks so much for the advice, all.

    S.
    Steven J. Kukla
    Kuklamusic.com

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