Composing : Check Your Ego - A Lesson In Humillity by Joel Irwin

Joel Irwin

Check Your Ego - A Lesson In Humillity

I am currently scoring my third film for this filmmaker/director and so I decided I knew what he wanted, what he likes and how to score his scenes. This is a scene towards the beginning of the film. I watched the scene and decided the viewers did not at this point know the 'contents' of the letter or how the plot will develop (it is only 2 minutes 41 seconds into the film). So I decided to write just over a minute cue that would be 'neutral'. First of all, it turned out the cue was far from neutral but more importantly, the fillmmaker gave me a temp track (though not quite the same length) to show me what he wanted and I ignored it. I knew better. Point is, I am a member of the crew and it is my job to follow the guidance of the filmmaker - that is why he has the term 'director' assigned to him. So the cue was 'discarded' and I sat down this morning to rework it. First I listened to the temp track and then the ah ha! The guidance was all there. He wanted just strings to sound something like that. Nothing fancy - just support the scene. I wrote the cue again - took just about an hour and he just listened to it and said it now works fine. So I am back to the cue I was working on before this 'detour' - my lesson in humility. Check out: 1. The original cue - which indeed was much too "Happy" 2. His temp track 3. The final version of the cue

Joel Irwin

we talk a lot here about the business end and not the artistic end. That is why I attached a link so you can see the same scene from three different perspectives with the third being the one that will get used.

Matt Milne

lol, always follow the temp track. Even if you know it to be wrong. Convince the director you are right, and if he disagrees, at the end of the day, you work for him. You're there to bring his vision to life, and bring the audience to it.

Daisy Coole

A great lesson! Pride comes before a.... We've all done it. Appreciate you posting the reminder!

Matt Milne

I had the opposite problem yesterday. Wrote a theme according to the temp track and brief. Director looked at it for a few days, decided he didn't like his request and changed it. Now I'm writing exactly what I would have done, frustrating. My favorite kind of director is one who knows what he wants, it's just more fun.

Arhynn Descy

Its also really important to discuss each cue and decide with the director what the intent of it should be. That's what I like doing...

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