Film Composing: Where is the Love?

For many first time directors, there is a huge underestimation of the amount of work involved on the part of Composers and I suspect Editors. Though editors usually are sitting with the director for perhaps weeks or months at a time, Composers are given a brief conversation and then left to their own devices for the most part. 4 to 6 to 8 weeks later the score is delivered and if there is not massively clear, constant and open communication between the two, disasters can happen. With so much of the subtext being communicated via music score (depending on the film) it’s astonishing more thought/training is given this area.

At the recent Sundance at BAM brunch, I was impressed by the amount of support the Institute provides from the ground up and in so many more areas than I knew: film, theater, film music, screenwriter’s labs, directors labs. And the cross-communication between the different labs sounds impressive as well. I know I’d like to go – I’ll have to wait until next year as the deadline is April 1. It’s interesting to note the Sundance Film Festival does NOT have a category for Best Music Score.

On the other hand, IFP, the huge NY-based indie filmmakers network aims to support filmmakers similarly. The results are a bit less impressive, especially as regards film music. At a recent IFP Market panel on film music, the majority of the conversation was on licensing tracks from your favorite band. There was so little advice on where directors can meet composers. It’s as if they all were saying you can find a great indie band that has a film composer in it.

And then, there’s the Independent Spirit Awards – where’s the category for best music score?


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