Who scores my films? iPod Nano scores my films.
In this brave new world of now now now and zero budget filmmaking, we’ve lost touch with the traditional big-budget, huge orchestral scoring techniques of old…. wait… were you and I ever in touch with that sort of thing?
Scoring your films with stock music can be a powerful tool for cheap and easy filmmaking, without sacrificing much integrity (except for the fact that anyone can use the same music for the right price in their own film… let’s just hope nobody’s ever seen that one).
When we have a project and everything feels like it’s coming together, often we have no choice but to browse online catalogs of stock music because all that’s missing is that magical key ingredient upon which filmmakers have relied since the beginning of time: music, harmony… THE MOJO! Everyone needs mojo.
When “scoring” with pre-composed music of any kind, either stock or from a friend’s band, here are a few things to think about:
- Get the vibe. Getting a clear vibe for your how your piece will feel and flow is a huge first step and using your imagination for this is key.
- Hold it in your mind. Once you can hold your piece visually and emotionally in your mind then choosing the perfect piece of music becomes much easier.
- Structure your edit to fit the music. This is the opposite of how big budget productions do it, but until you get a band or orchestra together for your first officially-scored film…. edit to the music =)
Music selection is a hugely important thing in filmmaking because it creates a sub-conscious flow for the piece. It can either carry an audience along graciously and make the piece feel tight, cohesive and deliberate, or it can make the film feel awkward and forced if it doesn’t suit the subject matter.
Personally, I believe the right piece of music is always out there just waiting to be found, if not created, because for me film has a sort of life of its own and much of my job is to really just do some listening.