Why Does my Film Need Original Music?

Picture this: you've been working on a film for a long time. I mean, a really long time. You've gone through many revisions of the script, you spent months on casting, finding your crew and location scouting. You then went through weeks of rigorous shooting and reshoots to get the best footage possible. You've sat down with your editor, managed to survive the infamous 'first edit' and have pushed through several more edits to the point where you film is finally at a reasonable length and it flowing smoothly. 

At this point you are several months (possibly years!) into this project that you've poured blood, sweat, tears and a lot of time and money into. You sit back and watch the latest cut of your film...

...and it doesn't feel professional. 

Immense frustration takes over, possibly accompanied by crying (no judgement, I've done it before too). Why does this not look like a real film?  Yes, the dialogue needs work and the colorists still need to do their job, but it should be looking somewhat professional by now.

The answer, as you've probably guessed if you've read this far, is music. Easily one of the most common pieces of praise I get after I finish working on a project is how much more professional the film looks and feels now that is has a professionally composed score to accompany it. Music is not just an audio enhancement to the film, it makes everything else - acting, scriptwriting, directing, editing - look more professional as well. Every part of the film gets better with music. 

Okay, so you get some library music to add to your film. Should do the trick right? Library music is professionally mixed and recorded and sounds pretty good. You sit down to watch the latest version with library music and...

 

...it's better. For sure it's an improvement, but something still doesn't sit well. The music matches the intensity of the scenes but there is still something not sitting right with you. It doesn't isn't flowing as well as you like it and elements of the film seem disjointed and random. It has no particular sound that makes the film all come together. 

Finding the sound of the film is the most difficult and rewarding part of working on a project. Taking time with the director and exploring different themes for characters, different instrument combinations and different sounds we can really nail down what this film is going to sound like. 

Having the sound of a film along with different themes for characters helps glue a film together. It makes your film look, sound and feel like a professional work.

 

At this point, you've probably got some questions... 

But isn't hiring a composer expensive? 

Is it? You won't know until you ask. But, spending the extra time and money on making your film look professional can help in the long run when sending your film to festivals or shopping it around to buyers. 

Many directors are concerned about their composer letting them down halfway through the process, leaving them out of cash and no further along than before. To deal with this worry, I've developed a demo guarantee to help ensure you've got the right person for the job.  

But isn't Library Music faster?

Yes, that is true. Library music is instantaneous and you know exactly what you're getting when you hit the buy button. However, be prepared to spend time combing through millions (I'm not exaggerating) of tracks to find the ones that work with your film. 

Also, your budget dictates how many pieces of music will appear in your film, which will likely lead to heavy reusing of tracks. With a composer, once you decide on the final price you'll know that you're going to have an entire film score at the end of it. 

So, to recap...

1) Music isn't just about making your film sound good, it's about making your film look and feel like a professional piece of cinema

2) By working with a composer, you can develop unique sounds and themes to help create a coherent score to bring your film together

Interested in learning about how to demo a composer? Here's a link to how I demo

©2020 by Alex Liberatore