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Can you imagine iconic movies like Jurassic Park or Star Wars without their theme music? Never! A film score is what brings out the mood of the movie. It is composed based on the storyline. It is an original piece that is made specifically to fit the movie. Composing a movie score is not easy, since it has a lot of elements that need to be placed perfectly so that it matches the emotions in a movie script.
A composer’s goal is to create a unique, unforgettable, and impactful piece. However, not all composers accomplish to do so. Here are some great tips that can help you compose an amazing movie score.
Always carry a diary with you. Start noting down all your ideas. Some may work out, some may not. It doesn’t matter. Just keep writing it all down. The goal is to keep developing the music for the required movie. You can play around with ideas and see which works and which doesn’t. You can highlight the ones that may work out. Don’t remove any ideas from your diary. You will realize that at times when you feel stuck and out of ideas, you can revisit these old ideas. Some of them may actually work out or may inspire you to create something original.
Most failed film scores usually tend to take diversions from the storyline. It is always important to know your story well and make sure your score is specifically designed for it. When you watch the movie for the first time along with the director to decide on the music for it, try to feel the various emotions throughout the movie and make notes of the different places which can be enhanced with music. You can choose some important scenes in the movie and try to create your score around these areas.
When it comes to dialogues, make sure the music does not interfere with and ruin the dialogues in the movie. The film score should complement the dialogues.
Before beginning to compose, you need to sit and discuss with your director what kind of music they are looking for. Some may have adequate musical knowledge and some may not. Either way, try to find out their vision and how they feel the music should be. Here’s an example- try finding the tempo that the director prefers. This will give you a small idea about the kind of emotion they require.
Lack of good communication with your director can result in misunderstandings and the project may end up as a failure. Thus it is important to communicate with your director and understand their feelings towards the movie and the music that you plan to compose.
By pace, we mean the tempo. Your score’s tempo needs to match the scene. It is important to use the right tempo for every scene.
Creating sound palettes for movies can help to convey to your audience from an early stage what kind of world they are about to enter when they watch the movie. The music should connect to the elements of the movie such as colors, lights, and people. As a composer, you need to observe these elements carefully. Get the essence of it all and get inspired to create a sound palette for the movie.
Always consider the budget. You may receive a certain payment for the entire work that you need to do. Keep a track of your budget and expenses while making the score. During your initial days as a composer, when you are still trying to get projects, you may work on low-budget or short movies. You need to compose a piece that can be executed easily within the given budget and which will be impactful at the same time.
It’s always good to know the people you are going to work closely with. As a composer, you may work with music editors, music supervisors, etc. Know the other people in the department. Also, know their roles and how they can help you during the process. A good rapport with your team is a good foundation for success.
Although luck plays a role in bringing you success and fame in the music field, there is no denying that hard work pays off in due time. The best way to be successful is to work sincerely and passionately. Always try to improve your skill by learning your craft better. Nowadays, thanks to the internet and technology, learning a skill has become easier. Want to learn to be a good composer? Check out the various teachers at Music4humans who can teach you various aspects of music composition.
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