The All-Important Composer

Music can dictate the entire tone of a film and is instrumental convey the right emotion for your audience. It’s always a gratifying feeling when you’re in the editing bay and you add music after working with “music-less” sequences. When hiring a composer, the first thing you must determine is the tone and emotion of your film. Is it light-hearted, ominous, goofy, suspenseful, solemn, or joyful? It may be helpful to have a couple of comparable movies as examples. Once you determine this, the next thing you want to consider is what instrumentation you want to use. Which types of instruments will do the best job in conveying your tone? Is it an orchestra, electronic keyboard, acoustic guitar, acoustic piano? If you are not sure, then have your candidates provide examples. These days, with the advancement in technology, composers should be able to provide a diverse array of digitally generated instruments in a short period of time. With this in mind, feel free to give your candidates a clip of your project and have them provide examples based on what you have conveyed to them. Once you have chosen your composer makes sure you ALWAYS ask for mock-ups and demos during the composition process. Never wait until the last cut, and never be left in the dark during the composition process. This should be agreed upon before you hire them. If they are unwilling to provide demos or mock-ups, DO NOT hire them.

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