Composing

Discuss, share content, offer tips and advice on hardware, software, style, strategies, process, work-flow and the business of scoring a film, video or theater production

Joel Irwin
Scoring In The Blind

I have three short films to score this month and the score for the first has to be delivered in 6 days (Friday).  The first film is a documentary and the director asked for wall to wall music - 7 minutes (full orchestration).  The film is in post and the director keeps promising a locked film but I...

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Joanna Karselis

Interesting scenario Joel. Any update on how it's gone? Personally I only make sketches before seeing a locked picture, like mood ideas, which can slot in to the film or be catalysts for other thought...

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Joel Irwin

I wasn't keeping track until you asked and so I just did the count - 9 films so far for this director and now I am going to do two more this month. He obviously knows me and my sound pretty well.

If it...

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John Ellis

I'm not a music guy, but I think my advice applies to every aspect of this business. Don't lock yourself into any kind of delivery deadlines without clear parameters. Having to deliver a score without...

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Joel Irwin

John - problem is that the filmmaker does not set the deadline - the festival does and all three of the films I have or will score are under the same festival deadline. The first two need to be done b...

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Joanna Karselis

I agree with Joel's points (and well done for getting the documentary done Joel), but also John, there's a uniqueness about a composer's role in a film. Sometimes the director will want cues to play o...

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Joel Irwin
Moving In A Different Direction

While most of my scoring gigs end when the film releases, occasionally I get work to work on a film and part of the way into the project, the stakeholder (director, producer, filmmaker) pulls the plug and decides to go in a 'different direction'.

This is certainly common and happens for various reaso...

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Sean Jefferson

Hi Joel, out of curiosity, were you still paid for the work you completed? I’m assuming yes...or was it more of a headache to pursue getting paid than to just walk away?

Joel Irwin

An interesting question :)

I had a long conversation with a composer friend of mine (arguably the top film composer in Houston) who I consider my mentor. As far as the most recent example (#1) - this i...

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Sean Jefferson

Thanks for the response! I figured it would probably come down to whatever is in the contract regarding pay. I guess the key is always having thick skin, a good contract, and a good relationship with the director and/or producer.

Tivoli Silas
Music in the MCU Analysis

In honor of the release of the final film of Phase Three of the MCU, I completed an analysis of some of the problems that I feel have plagued the first several scores in the MCU but have been approved upon.

https://tivolisilas.wixsite.com/tivolisilas/single-post/2019/07/03/The-P......

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Hannah Woolmer
Managing workload

Hi I'm new to this site so not sure if this has already been covered. But I would like to start a discussion on managing workload. I feel films are like buses, you've been hired for a number of projects but are waiting for them to reach your end of post production then 4 come at once. How does everyone on here manage their workload?

Jonathan Price

Danny Elfman compares post-production schedules to ships on the ocean: at the beginning of the year they're all set where they're supposed to be, then as the year goes on they drift and run into each...

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Joanna Karselis

Sometimes long hours are needed, but they should definitely be the exception, not the rule, otherwise you'll burn yourself out. The more experienced I'm getting, the more I'm realising that I'm most c...

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Joel Irwin

When I was young :) back in 1970, there was a relatively obscure rock song called "Sympathy" by "Rare Bird". Made it as high as #27 in the UK (it was a UK group) and never charted in the U.S. (Back in...

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Hannah Woolmer

Thanks for responses. Has anyone ever asked for an extension on deadline for tardy films? By this I mean continue to compose the film that was sent on time but ask for an extension on the ones that di...

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Joanna Karselis

Maybe I've just got lucky, but so far, if the director has been running behind schedule on sending me stuff, they've always suggested moving the ultimate deadline backwards a little. However, from rea...

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Hannah Woolmer
International payments via PayPal

Hi me again with all the questions

Joel Irwin
Imax Audio Track

This was a post I made last night on FB. If you have or intend to score an IMAX film, this could be an interesting conversation for you. My question concerns the audio track of IMAX films. My observation last night may pertain to: (a) that particular IMAX theater sound system, or (b) the audio track...

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Joanna Karselis
James Newton Howard- BAFTA GURU

Some very interesting insights from one of the masters.

http://guru.bafta.org/james-newton-howard-on-composing?fbclid=IwAR3vYOyA......

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James Newton Howard | On Composing
James Newton Howard | On Composing
James Newton Howard reflects on how composing for Pretty Woman changed his career and making sure he takes time off in between writing music for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Linwood Bell

Thanks for that, Joanna!

Juhani Nurmi

JNH is one of my big film composer heros, cheers for this!

Allen Lynch

Thanks for sharing!

Michael Joseph DeRosa
Was tchaikovsky the original film score composer?

WAS TCHAIKOVSKY THE ORIGINAL FILM SCORE COMPOSER?

Before there was film, there was programmatic music. Tchaikovsky’s ballets and operas have a clear visual content to follow, but not his beloved fantasy overtures such as Romeo and Juliet, and the 1812 Overture. Clearly he had a visual content that he...

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Michael Joseph DeRosa

I agree Linwood, music is a gift meant to be shared, and it is one of my life’s greatest joys. I highly recommend getting Note Performer. They let you use two copies and it’s only a little over $100,...

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Linwood Bell

My son's name is Ryan, as well. I saw it was on sale this month for $78. Maybe today I pull the plug!! There's so much stuff I want to get and I've already got too much. Here the Silvestri clips I was...

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Linwood Bell

Joel's music I was already hip to from being a member for a while, ...but I just listened to Michael, Joanna, and Dillon. Wow! You are all so great. Wonderful music. Bravo!! So nice to have you here.

Michael Joseph DeRosa

Thank you for the compliments Linwood, but you are quite accomplished, yourself. I had always dreamed of writing jingles, but never found my way into the field. I was chatting on the phone with the he...

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Linwood Bell

Yes Sir, if the pencil is in your hand it's all serious music.

Ed Hartman
Upcoming Film Festivals on the East Coast

I will be attending the Myrtle Beach Film Festival April 23, (Myrtle Beach, SC) and the American Asian Latino Film Festival (NYC) May 16 in support of the film, "As the Earth Turns", and 1938 unreleased silent film I scored and co-produced. If any composers are in the area, please let me know!. My w...

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Joel Irwin
Features To Shorts

This was an interesting situation that happened to me last week and so I bring up for composers as well. It turns out, that I paid the entry fee for one of the (currently) two films I will be scoring for the upcoming 168 film festival in LA at the end of Aug (which sort of makes me a 'co-producer')....

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Brian Alan DeLaney

I've done a feature, and I am working on three more right now. But I enjoy working on shorts. I feel like they are a completely different puzzle to solve. And I feel going into the future I wouldn't a...

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Julian Montgomery
Scoring a Scene...A Case Study

After composing the music for Cause Unknown Season 2 I thought it would be interesting to share a little of my approach to composing a cue for one of the scenes. I thought it might be interesting to those looking to pursue film composing as well as a way of possibly getting some feedback from other...

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Yon Max-Aaron

I honestly have no words to describe how thankful I am that you shared this!

Julian Montgomery

Hey Yon Max-Aaron I'm glad you found it of value.

Linwood Bell

Thanks for the share, Julian. That was nice! Hope you're doing well and keeping busy!

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