What factors are really important to you as a film maker? Quality? Experience? Price? Portfolio?
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Quality and reliability. Music is such a huge aspect and if the composer is late, sloppy, or unreliable it can single handedly tank a movie.
Quality and portfolio. You want to make sure the individual can capture the emotion throughout your project. Experience I believe goes hand in hand with quality and portfolio, I am sure you want someone you has been seasoned and well proven. You would not want someone to play the three stooges theme music during a highly involved emotional scene. That is just my opinion of course.
Dale, I completely agree. Music is not supposed to be distracting at all. Also, being reliable is such a great relief for the director. David, experience is important. If someone can't prove that they are the best fit for the project, then accepting them on the team is quite a daunting choice. Perhaps having the composer demo a scene would be a good route to try.
That sounds like a perfect solution. Maybe give them a few scenes to "dress-up." this way you can get a feel of different situations and how they would approach each scene and what you are looking to accomplish. Best of luck.