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Norm Sanders
03-24-2006, 08:17 PM
Film making is a community effort. No one person can handle EVERY aspect of the film and turn out an incredible product ... they can turn out a product, and it may be good, but it won't be incredible. You'll be spread too thin, trying to handle too many things at once vs. just concentrating on what you know you can do VERY well.

I HIGHLY advise the film makers to connect with the composers that have shown interest in scoring films ... have someone who KNOWS what they're doing do your score. Sure, you may know what you're doing as well, but learn to delegate so that you can free up time to focus your energies on other factors of your film by placing trust in other talented people to deliver what you want. You'll grow through the experience of working with others (whether a good or bad experience), and it WILL make you a better film maker for it, which is what these experiences are all about.

Also, keep networking on the board(s). If you see someone that's got a lot of skill in FX, etc., ask them if they'd like to team up with you.

The more networking & team work that can come out of DVXuser, the better for everyone involved ... even for the folks that are only watching the shorts, since they'll likely have higher production value products to watch.

Here are some links for composers (not in any order) who've shown strong interest in scoring your films ... PLEASE utilize them!:



SOME COMPOSERS thread: (lots of samples & names here)
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=49089


Chris Hurn's Thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=48162


Justin Durban's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50822


Leo Gardini's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50683


Stefan Podell's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50410


Herman Witkam's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50434


Tiago B.'s thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50421


Steve Dunster's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50441


Stephanie Pray's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=50497


Luca Thomas d'Agiout's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=51235


Marko Hautamäki's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=51192


Sid Barnhoorn's thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=53505



If I missed a composer's thread, I apologize ... just posting what I see on the Hero Fest Forum/Section.

Thanks, and happy film making folks! Looking forward to Hero Fest and some wonderful scores!

Until then,
Norm

Ben Sliker
03-24-2006, 08:52 PM
Well, since i'm guilty of being a one man wrecking crew, so to say, I would highly encourage everyone to rock every part of their project themself. There's no better feeling that completing something that was a majority your doing.

Case in point, say a film gets a great score for ... well ... score, and they used an outside composer. That's cool, but it in no way shows the ability of the filmmaker to complete their film, just that they can network.

I realize this is the way that things are done in the real world, but also in reality, you could hire an entire team to do the project for you ... and then what have you done? Pretty much nothing.

I guess i'm more in the heart of the true low/no budget filmmaker, trying to make a splash by themself. I think that dvxuser is definitely a great place to network, but i don't like the idea of networking out more than perhaps one of the parts of your film.

The last point i'd like to make is that diving into something that you don't know how to do is the best learning experience you can get, even if it isn't "incredible". The next time you do it, it'll be better, and so on and so forth.

Plus I like to argue with Envision. :)
(What's wrong with thinking a piece of music *just won't fit* aka is too epic for the movie you are putting together?)

In the words of the new beastie boys film - Awesome, I F*ing shot that.

Ben Sliker
03-24-2006, 09:00 PM
oh, by no way is my post putting down the kick ass composers on this site, you guys roxxor, keep it up.

Kholi
03-24-2006, 09:05 PM
Partially disagree with both of you, partially agree with both of you.

If the music doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean you can't ask the composer to create something specifically FOR the content.

Hybridtheory... I don't mean to be judgemental, and I'm not assuming I know you ro anything like that--

Seems you want ALL the credit, and sharing's not your thing. It's totally okay to let people know that you helmed the production of a piece, commanding all to compose a great product...

I'd rather show that than my attempt at being a one-man army.

Either way, Envision isn't far off-- use what you can, especially if you're not PAYING for it. This is how you formulate long-lasting relationships with people that can help make your work look better. Or in the composer's case, people who can make their work SOUND better. (Once you put a lot of this music against images, it'll sound even better.)

Good luck, peoples.

Ben Sliker
03-24-2006, 09:17 PM
That's true, i do realize that the music composers put on the site are samples of their work ... That being said, it's not about the ego. I fixed my earlier post to what i really wanted to say. I think these contests are a great way to bring the learning experience into filmmaking, like writing your own score, instead of shipping it off to someone else. I think something incredible CAN be made in 5 min without creating some film conglomerate.

Norm Sanders
03-24-2006, 09:23 PM
Well, since i'm guilty of being a one man wrecking crew, so to say, I would highly encourage everyone to rock every part of their project themself. There's no better feeling that completing something that was a majority your doing.


Sure, if someone is so incredibly talented that they can handle the writing, planning, shooting, acting, directing, score, FX, editing, etc. all on their lonesome, and that's the way they like it. More power to them. But I'd wager to say they'll never claim the top prize ... and if they're cool with that, then great. There may be the rare exception, but more often that not, someone who tries to do it all, simply can't do as well as if they'd surrounded themselves with some talented people to share the load.


Case in point, say a film gets a great score for ... well ... score, and they used an outside composer. That's cool, but it in no way shows the ability of the filmmaker to complete their film, just that they can network.


Sorry, that's inaccurate. Saying that someone who has a talented person other than themselves handle the score in no way shows their ability to COMPLETE their film? That's just ... well, I won't go there. Anyway, that's like telling a general contractor, "Yeah, it's a beautiful house, but since you weren't responsible for personally putting on the siding & roofing yourself, it doesn't prove that you can complete a house on your own". Sure they can ... they just did ... who cares that they didn't put every single nail in themselves?



I realize this is the way that things are done in the real world, but also in reality, you could hire an entire team to do the project for you ... and then what have you done? Pretty much nothing.


I know, I know ... you like to do it all on your own. Cool for you. So obviously you believe the folks like Brian Grazer & Jerry Bruckheimer and others pretty much do nothing. That the role of a producer is cake, and actually no work at all.

Okay.



I guess i'm more in the heart of the true low/no budget filmmaker, trying to make a splash by themself. I think that dvxuser is definitely a great place to network, but i don't like the idea of networking out more than perhaps one of the parts of your film.


I'd like to think that I'm a pretty true low/no budget filmmaker, and I'd certainly like to make a splash for myself as well ... I'm not doing this just to pass the time, that's for sure. For PANDORA, we spent a whopping $350 hard dollars, $250 of which was food for the cast/crew. Everything else I bartered my services for locations, craft services/labor, etc.

Even Robert R., yes the REBEL WITHOUT A CREW, now surrounds himself with talented folks to help out, as he simply can't do it all. Likes to keep his hands in as much as possible, but he knows his limits. And some would argue that in some cases when he handled something himself, he should have had someone else do it ... but that's debatable.

Kholi
03-24-2006, 09:26 PM
Sure, if someone is so incredibly talented that they can handle the writing, planning, shooting, acting, directing, score, FX, editing, etc. all on their lonesome, and that's the way they like it. More power to them. But I'd wager to say they'll never claim the top prize ... and if they're cool with that, then great. There may be the rare exception, but more often that not, someone who tries to do it all, simply can't do as well as if they'd surrounded themselves with some talented people to share the load.



Sorry, that's inaccurate. Saying that someone who has a talented person other than themselves handle the score in no way shows their ability to COMPLETE their film? That's just ... well, I won't go there. Anyway, that's like telling a general contractor, "Yeah, it's a beautiful house, but since you weren't responsible for personally putting on the siding & roofing yourself, it doesn't prove that you can complete a house on your own". Sure they can ... they just did ... who cares that they didn't put every single nail in themselves?




I know, I know ... you like to do it all on your own. Cool for you. So obviously you believe the folks like Brian Grazer & Jerry Bruckheimer and others pretty much do nothing. That the role of a producer is cake, and actually no work at all.

Okay.




I'd like to think that I'm a pretty true low/no budget filmmaker, and I'd certainly like to make a splash for myself as well ... I'm not doing this just to pass the time, that's for sure. For PANDORA, we spent a whopping $350 hard dollars, $250 of which was food for the cast/crew. Everything else I bartered my services for locations, craft services/labor, etc.

Even Robert R., yes the REBEL WITHOUT A CREW, now surrounds himself with talented folks to help out, as he simply can't do it all. Likes to keep his hands in as much as possible, but he knows his limits. And some would argue that in some cases when he handled something himself, he should have had someone else do it ... but that's debatable.

I knew you'd break it down more accurately, that's why I just typed something quickly.

=P

But, in his defense: A director DOES choose what music goes into their piece... so if someone says "It's too epic for my piece", well then... that's the call.

Norm Sanders
03-24-2006, 09:28 PM
Kholi, I'm not commenting at all about taste in music ... as you clearly pointed out, they're just samples to show the skill & ability ... something else could easily be created.

And I personally don't care if Hybrid uses a composer or not ... in a way, I hope he doesn't :evil:, since this IS a competition.

Ben Sliker
03-24-2006, 09:38 PM
man, i just got owned. Point Envision. 1-0.

just a few points. Who said it's all about the prize? I'm here to make a consistently make better films than my previous ones. And trial by fire has work well for me so far. My sci-fi film was my first jump into the realm of DVXfests and holy christ did i learn what not to do in 5 min.

Which brings me to my next point, i was framing my argument specific to this contest, where there are no producers with million dollar budgets.

You got me on the general contractor bit though, nice work. But again this is a five minute film. If I had someone else writing, scoring, editing, etc... my film, i wouldn't feel right claiming ownership of it. Or if someone was like ... "nice music", if feels a lot better if it was your work.

Thought you said you spend like $2k on pandora? Maybe I'm imagining things.

leogardini
03-24-2006, 09:38 PM
I agree with Norm...working alone is not the best way to get a great result...I as a composer can tell you my and other experiences with orchestras - whille you are composing at your home in your computer you are alone and everything regarding interpretation a sound belongs to your effort only , but when you piece goes to real players some kind of magic becomes true because other humans always improve interpretation of you music , and most of the time they even "say" things with their intruments that you´ve never meant with your score...I think we are all humans making our projects to other humans , so , the relationship with other people is crucial for "the best" result you could have!!!
I particularly admire the people that makes everything in their movie , but regarding orchestral music that is my area , if I were a director instead of composer I would never dare making such a score due to the fact that composing for orchestra require a whole life of full time studing almost daily...and even in this way , before many many years of great effort you still thinking that you´ve got unknown universe of knowledge in front of you!!!
There´s no way to your project get worse with others influence because if you like the new idea from your partner it´s ok and than your work will be improved than , but if you don´t like it you don´t put the suggestion in your film and nothing alse is lost or worse...two heads think better than one , and so on!!!
Opening your mind to other people will only teach and improve your knowledge...this is the way how we become better professionals and humans:)!!!

moviemaestro
03-24-2006, 09:43 PM
Hi Norm,

Thanks for the nudge! I was feeling like no one wanted my help at all. I feel that Hero Fest can be a rewarding experience for both the film makers and for the composers. Networking is always great and we all have a lot of new opportunities to do so.

Thanks again,
Stephanie :)

Kholi
03-24-2006, 09:50 PM
Hi Norm,

Thanks for the nudge! I was feeling like no one wanted my help at all. I feel that Hero Fest can be a rewarding experience for both the film makers and for the composers. Networking is always great and we all have a lot of new opportunities to do so.

Thanks again,
Stephanie :)

No need for the composers to feel that way--

Believe it or not, a lot of us arent' even at a stage where we can begin thinking of music (especially me.)

=P But I'm sure that you guys'll get picked up when the time is right.

Norm Sanders
03-24-2006, 09:56 PM
Yeah, you're imagining things on that $2K thing, Hybrid ... 235 Studios (fka waltind) and I split the $350 tab, which I got a check from him later for his half ($168 - so really our totaly was less than $350).

If you add up all the deferred contracts (we went ahead & put everyone - cast & crew - on deferred pay, just to be fair --- so if we ever made anything, after we rec'd our expenses back, they'd get paid before we'd see a profit), then it could probably hit into the $3K range.

A good producer just knows how to wheel & deal, and get things done ... I've seen Ralph Winter take a shot that was budgeted for X amount, and within an hour & a half figure out how to shoot it for a fraction of the price.

It's not about the money, it's about making a quality product ... the best you can ... and knowing your limitations & where other people have strengths.

Technically, the producer is the one who owns the film. When a picture receives BEST PICTURE, the top award, it goes to the producer(s). All the other awards are broken down for the individual people (i.e. best directing, best screenplay, best editing, best make-up, best FX, best score, etc.). Each person can rightfully call it "their film", as they've got a stake/ownership in it to a degree.

Like a General Contractor who's ultimately responsible for the construction & quality of a home, so the Producer is ultimately responsible for the "construction" and quality of the film.

And while I agree that with each attempt you'll only get better (if not, why bother?), there's also an infinite amount to learn from working with others & what they may bring to the table. Many times, someone else will think of an idea that I simply love better than my own, and would never have thought of had it not been for them.

For the talent I'm directing now, for example, they may ask me how I want them to deliver the character ... I may give them some pointers, but I'll usually say "Show me what you've got first, and I'll let you know if I don't like it". Sometimes, they'll deliver it in a way I never would have stated to do, but end up loving in the end ... sometimes not, and I'll let them know my specifics at that time.

Anyway, best to you, Hybrid, I'm sure you'll put out a quality project.

Norm Sanders
03-24-2006, 09:58 PM
Hi Norm,

Thanks for the nudge! I was feeling like no one wanted my help at all. I feel that Hero Fest can be a rewarding experience for both the film makers and for the composers. Networking is always great and we all have a lot of new opportunities to do so.

Thanks again,
Stephanie :)

Stephanie, Kholi nailed it. 235 Studios and I were just probably ahead of the game for securing our composer now. There's probably going to be a lot more hustle & bustle in another month or so, as they're either beginning to film, or have finished filming. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some last minute panicks as well, where people are begging for composers the last week of the deadline. :)

Ben Sliker
03-24-2006, 11:43 PM
Anyway, best to you, Hybrid, I'm sure you'll put out a quality project.

Word. I wish it was time to shoot ... And to third that composer statement ... i have a feeling people will be scurrying for music in about a month from now.

xpac84
03-25-2006, 10:06 AM
wow hybrid is getting hosed right now. lol. ill say something in his defense. i work with hybrid on almost every film he does so i dont think he means just leaving it all to him self....well he is a bit of an egomaniac so maybe that is what the means haha. i think what he means is going out and hiring others outside of your personal realm WHO ARENT GOING TO BE PRESENT to get the job done. i emphasize those words because we are kind of turning into an argument between autuerism and theatre and i dont htink thats what hybrid is saying at all.

ill use the example of Similio. that film was amazing no doubt, but the guy hired people all over the continent to get things done. now i dont argue at all that hes not a great producer or "composer" of his piece because its obvious that he really made everything come together seamlessly. its just that both hybrid and i kind of wondered if he was missing out on other experiences.

also, while similio turned out beautifully, this may not always be the case.

the main point im trying to make is that hybrid isn't against working with others because he is always ready for me to give and shoot down ideas, its that he and i like to be there part of each creative process in making a film and if we give the song up to someone that isnt even going to be around then we are not only missing that experience (as hybrid said), but can also easily end up putting pieces together that dont fit.

what im trying to say is htat there is a difference between what you were saying about a dialectic between you and the actors and the composer etc, and getting a song from a composer who hasnt seen your work but just knows its a hero movie or whatever. that isnt collaboration. instead of 1+1 = 2 it can easily be 1+1 = 1+1 without skill.

you can certainly argue that there can be a collaboration between you and the composer, but if they are 100s of miles away and the person doing the voice over is on the other side of the country, and guy doing sfx is in another country then collaboration is extremely difficult. if you are skilled enough you can pull it off as similio has shown, but most people here arent that skilled. and i think hybrid was trying to make the point that people need to learn how a film gets put together and what works by themselves before they have to put pieces together that may not fit without skill and these contests are a great way of getting that learning experience and seeing what THEY can contribute on their own.

and even with skill or knowledge, having people are adding their own interpretations in a vacuum from every one else, as you know as a composer and musician, can just turn out to be a bunch of noise.

sbkp
03-25-2006, 10:37 AM
For when the time comes, would it be possible to have a sticky topic that has references to each composer's thread (like the first post in this thread, but lock the topic, so there are no replies). That way, the producers can find a complete list of composers all in one place. Someone would have to handle updating the single post as new composers list themselves here.

Otherwise, we're all just going to be bumping our own threads occasionally... :)

- Stefan

Norm Sanders
03-25-2006, 01:05 PM
what im trying to say is htat there is a difference between what you were saying about a dialectic between you and the actors and the composer etc, and getting a song from a composer who hasnt seen your work but just knows its a hero movie or whatever. that isnt collaboration. instead of 1+1 = 2 it can easily be 1+1 = 1+1 without skill.

I couldn't agree with you more on the above ... getting "a song" from a composer who's not seen your work, is on the verge of stupid. First, if you were just getting pieces from people, then yes, you may have pieces that don't fit.

Perhaps there's been some misinterpretation in this forum/threads ... these composers aren't posting these score samples to simply have them used as a piece in someone's film. While they may be open to it, if requested, I'll guarantee it's not their intent. The samples are to give you an idea of what they can do. If you LOVE the theme you hear, and want that in your film, then they can build from it, making that the central theme, etc. Otherwise, they can just create something from scratch for your specific film.

But bottom line, if you work with the composer the idea is that they're scoring the ENTIRE film. So there's no issues of pieces not fitting together, as it's one artist doing the score (in collaboration with what the director/producer(s) want), just like there should only be one Director of Photography, one Director, one Editor, etc. While one person can take on more than one role, it gets sticky if you're trying to have multiple people share the same role.

So again, ONE composer. Do it yourself, cool ... but do it all, or have a skilled composer do it all.

Oh, and do it AFTER your final picture lock. That way, it's never an issue of a composer who's not seen your work. They've seen your work, and are in fact scoring to perfectly match the moods you intended based on subtle actions from the actors, camera movements, pace of the editing, etc. And, they'll work with you along the way (ideally) to submit it in pieces, so if it starts to go in a direction you don't like, it can easily be changed ... or they'll build a rough sketch for it, and if you like the melodies & main underlying sounds, they can continue to fill it in with more sounds for a full & rich score ... whether that be for romance, suspense, action, horror, comedy, etc.

And great idea, Stefan, it'd be nice if there was a sticky with all the composers ... I'll PM Barry_S/Jarred about it.

Final Design Studios
03-25-2006, 09:16 PM
I can understand the do it yourself mentality, especially among us smaller filmakers. However I stand by the idea that bringing in people who are more experienced than you and letting them to their job, will allow you to have a better product.

Special effects for instance:
I can give them pointers, but I don't know how to create it all and make it look realistic. There are people out there who can take what I want, embellish on it more and make if better than I had ever hoped.

Networking works real well when you network with people you trust.

Edgen
03-25-2006, 11:55 PM
coolio Norm! Man, Some of these composers here are just friggin' badass! I'll say it again.. If you guys can't find someone here to score your film and make it film festival worthy, somethings' wrong with you. :)

/ju st in

Brandon Rice
03-26-2006, 02:38 PM
Great post Norm! It's essential to network with others on this fest. It allows all to gain more experience!

leogardini
03-28-2006, 07:38 AM
Hey , what´s happening here???It seems just a few guys are taking care about the soundtrack part!!!

Norm Sanders
03-28-2006, 10:02 AM
Give it time ... some film makers plan WAY in advance, others wait until the last minute. Such is life.

It would astound me if at least HALF the entries didn't seek out composers, which should be at least 30-40 films. If they didn't, they'd be wasting a TON of talent.

I can honestly state, our last film PANDORA would not have done as well had it not been for the score.

Kholi
03-28-2006, 12:37 PM
Yeah guys. Remember that it's hard for us to say what we want, and probably hard for you to composers to even come up with something, without having footage ready.

In due time, you will all be flooded with PLENTY to work on.

SteveDunster
03-28-2006, 03:38 PM
Just to re-assure those directors who might be worried about the level of direction required for composers.

Of course I guess we all work slightly differently, but I think I speak for a number of composers when I say:

We rarely need "musical" direction - just "emotional" direction. Don't worry about telling your composer what sounds, harmony, tempo etc. - your composer will work all that out provided he/she understands the "emotional" context for each cue.

Personally I'll do my own spotting (deciding where music starts and stops) so you don't even need to consider that.

I'll read a script and get an "emotional" interpretation of the plot and come up with a theme plan which I'll then discuss with the director.

Some scripts are so well written it is then easy to come up with some sample themes prior to production - but otherwise, that's it until the locked picture is available.

Once the locked picture is in - the composer does his/her work.

As the composer produces cues for comment, it is helpful if the director can again work at the "emotional" level, rather than the technical "musical" level.

e.g. "could you bring out more of the frustration of the character" OR "I know the character is smiling, but can you bring out his uncertainty."

This is so much more useful to a composer than "Could you make it more Elfman there"

Ok, I'm sure I don't speak for all composers - but I thought it might provide some level of re-assurance as to the sort of direction some (or even most) composers require.

Emotional portayal is the business of composers - all you need to do is talk in that emotional language and I'm sure it will all work out fine. Some composers will even determine the emotional plot correctly for themselves leaving the director very little to do other than say whether he/she likes it or not.

It must be quite intimidating having so many composers join on block - but I hope this post might have allayed some fear for some directors regarding the use of composers.

By in large - we're a helpful bunch, and pretty flexible too.

I hope some of you guys take the plunge. I've worked with several directors who thought they only wanted a few bars of music - until they saw the power that good under-scoring coul add to their film.

Good luck and good hunting

Steve

Larry Rutledge
03-28-2006, 03:50 PM
Good comments, Steve... very helpful to me as a director.

Norm Sanders
03-28-2006, 03:51 PM
Good post, Steve. Thanks for that!

Edgen
03-28-2006, 04:00 PM
Well put steve.

ya, as long as the director doesn't tell me, 'I want blue here. and Green when she smiles." I'd be like.. WTFlick are you yacking about? I'm actually pretty dumb too when it comes to musical terms too but I do think 'emotional' terms are the best route to describe a scene. I like 'general ideas' and then have the director say.. "and... GO!" Its more of a challenge for me, and hopefully the director will like my 'direction'. as long as he/she doesn't have me try to do some urban hiphop cRap or disco.. *cringe*

/j

Kholi
03-28-2006, 04:08 PM
Well put steve.

ya, as long as the director doesn't tell me, 'I want blue here. and Green when she smiles." I'd be like.. WTFlick are you yacking about? I'm actually pretty dumb too when it comes to musical terms too but I do think 'emotional' terms are the best route to describe a scene. I like 'general ideas' and then have the director say.. "and... GO!" Its more of a challenge for me, and hopefully the director will like my 'direction'. as long as he/she doesn't have me try to do some urban hiphop cRap or disco.. *cringe*

/j

Aww, what's wrong with Urban/Hip-hop, or disco? =P It all has it's place.

Anyway, good information, Steve. I wish I could get music going like asap, but thinking about it-- it would only make sense to have visuals to get the composer going.

Good luck, everyone!

Larry Rutledge
03-28-2006, 04:12 PM
What if my super hero is one of the Gibb brothers, then can I have disco for my soundtrack? :grin:

SteveDunster
03-28-2006, 04:13 PM
PS

...and another thing...

Some composers can work extremely quickly provided they have a locked picture and solid emotional interpretation of the work.

This is very useful when working to a deadline and production or editing over-runs the schedule because they are almost at the end of the line.

BUT IN ORDER TO BENEFIT FROM A QUICK PANIC TURN AROUND BY THE COMPOSER YOU SHOULD:

1. Secure your composer as early as possible
2. Provide your composer with as much plot, production and schedule information as possible and keep him/her up to date regarding any revisions
3. Check out your IT and comms compatiblity with your composer AHEAD OF TIME - you don't want to be worrying about how to transfer large files when trying to meet a tight deadline
4. Foster a strong working relationship between your composer and sound man - if these two get on, between them they can solve so many of your problems. If they don't understand each other you can have a problem.

Often I have been involved in productions that have kept to their filming schedules but completely over-shot post production leaving me to do my job in literally a few days. This would have been impossible had I not been involved as part of the team since pre-production.

It is not unusual for me to be appointed as score composer during pre-production, even before casting.

My advice is:

a). Choose your composer ahead of time, before post-production - whilst you have time to work out if this is the person you want to work with. You might find you are all chasing the same composers - if so you need time to sort out your second choices.
b). Choose them as much for how well you will think they will work with the team as well as their compositional skills
c). Take an interest in their awareness of the drama - if they have a strong feel for what you are trying to achieve (at the emotional level) then you may still get quality results even if time pressures require a rush job
d). Find out ahead of time whether they are using PC or Mac. It doesn't matter provided you know. There can be some format problems if you are swapping disks and don't realise you are working on different computers.

Hope this is of some help - you guys are so talented it would be a shame if you wanted to use a composer but didn't know where to start.

[Larry - thank you for your comments, glad to have been of some help]

Steve

Norm Sanders
03-28-2006, 04:17 PM
Steve's reasons a-c were exactly what we did. We secured our composer before we even had half our cast filled ... we felt it was THAT important ... again, for many of the same reasons listed above, as well as a few others we've got.

SteveDunster
03-28-2006, 04:32 PM
Well put steve.

...to do some urban hiphop cRap or disco.. *cringe*

/j

LOL - Justin.

I've just accepted the underscoring of a SCOTTISH TATTOO documentary.

I thought it would be Bagpipes, Military Bands, Scottish Dancing, etc. Great! Lots of orchestral celtic sounds.

Like Hell! When I played it tonight it was BODY ART. I've been writing HEAVY ROCK all night.

I've got a headache now!

All the best to you mate

Steve

>> By the way guys - Justin is the EPIC-est composer I know, you might want to think about that over the next few weeks.

Edgen
03-28-2006, 04:51 PM
Not that cRap is bad... but it's just not my type of work. I think a director's got to connect with his music guy and if that's the type of music.. A hip hop producer is the guy he needs to seek out. Or.. better yet find someone like p-diddy and remix someone else's work and take all the credit.

I'm willing to stretch my bounds yes. but all I'm saying is that in the end it may not turn out as you would have liked. I've tried and failed many times before. Heck.. I'm not even a fan of temp tracks simply because the director gets 'hitched' to them and when i come along, I put out something completely different or trying to compare your synth/midi with a full 80 piece orchestral with thousands in the budget for a final mix. I lose... yet... failing again :) So, we all learn from our mistakes and we move on.

however; Some composers may like temp tracks as a basis to the score. I'd suggest finding that out before laying down temp music. Communication is key.

(epic? I can be intimate too)

/j

SteveDunster
03-28-2006, 05:03 PM
TEMP TRACKS! Don't get me going on temp tracks!

It is a personal choice: but give me a script, a director, a sound man and a locked picture - AND NO TEMP TRACK!

The music I hear, with all its subtleties and distinctions, when I read a script, talk to a director or watch a locked picture is hard enough to hear and get down before it evapourates - WITHOUT SOME TEMP TRACK GETTING IN THE WAY.

Only a personal view

Steve

moviemaestro
03-28-2006, 05:54 PM
Just to re-assure those directors who might be worried about the level of direction required for composers.

Of course I guess we all work slightly differently, but I think I speak for a number of composers when I say:

We rarely need "musical" direction - just "emotional" direction. Don't worry about telling your composer what sounds, harmony, tempo etc. - your composer will work all that out provided he/she understands the "emotional" context for each cue.

Personally I'll do my own spotting (deciding where music starts and stops) so you don't even need to consider that.

I'll read a script and get an "emotional" interpretation of the plot and come up with a theme plan which I'll then discuss with the director.

Some scripts are so well written it is then easy to come up with some sample themes prior to production - but otherwise, that's it until the locked picture is available.

Once the locked picture is in - the composer does his/her work.

As the composer produces cues for comment, it is helpful if the director can again work at the "emotional" level, rather than the technical "musical" level.

e.g. "could you bring out more of the frustration of the character" OR "I know the character is smiling, but can you bring out his uncertainty."

This is so much more useful to a composer than "Could you make it more Elfman there"

Ok, I'm sure I don't speak for all composers - but I thought it might provide some level of re-assurance as to the sort of direction some (or even most) composers require.

Emotional portayal is the business of composers - all you need to do is talk in that emotional language and I'm sure it will all work out fine. Some composers will even determine the emotional plot correctly for themselves leaving the director very little to do other than say whether he/she likes it or not.

It must be quite intimidating having so many composers join on block - but I hope this post might have allayed some fear for some directors regarding the use of composers.

By in large - we're a helpful bunch, and pretty flexible too.

I hope some of you guys take the plunge. I've worked with several directors who thought they only wanted a few bars of music - until they saw the power that good under-scoring coul add to their film.

Good luck and good hunting

Steve

Thanks Steve!
I couldn't have said it any better!! :)
Steph

fitch
03-29-2006, 12:51 PM
us composers are all different

i'm not too demanding when it comes to projects

i actually don't mind being contacted in the post pro stage .. this is fairly normal too ..

so consequently am very used to working very quickly and within a tight schedule


the only thing i'd ask is good communication on what you want ..

technically and artistically ..


other than that don't worry .. you got it :D


i reckon most of us are well versed in the different styles out there as we've all done tv, film , game, corporate video, and theatre work


so get in touch if you want music .. one thing we all have in common is that we all love writing and producing it


http://www.fitchsounds.com

gravehill
03-29-2006, 02:47 PM
Lots of very good advise from Steve and others. Also, another thing to consider when securing composer for your film is to realize that composers have schedules too, and often work on multiple projects at the same time. So please don't wait until everything else is finished and expect someone to send you a full score by tomorrow!

Jack Daniel Stanley
03-30-2006, 10:47 PM
Envision -- nice leadership and contribution dude.

Great comments as well Steve!

:thumbsup:

Anthem78
03-31-2006, 08:54 PM
Great comments. It's nice to hear things from a composer's standpoint.

Jay Rodriguez
04-03-2006, 09:58 AM
Awesome thread!


Steve, film making is such a learning experience for me and your two posts above schooled me.

Thanks : )

Nobody356
05-03-2006, 12:42 PM
this isnt hero-fest but if somone is interested in scoring a feature check out http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?p=537983#post537983 and let me know