The Art of the Film Score

The Oscars bring about a sense of relief into the sometimes groundhog day loop of Los Angeles - the films have been made, the blood, sweat and tears have been embedded within the edits, the audience has basked in the glow of the theater screen - and now, those who are deserving - are finally awarded.


Often times, the film composer's lifestyle is overlooked, as it appears ever so glamorous, yet the audience may not realize that when the budget is slashed by the Executives, the composer usually gets hit the hardest, as they are the very last step in the piece of the puzzle.
Another troublesome element for the film composer is that they are the cherry on top of the piece of art - this can go in either direction. If a director is unhappy with the film that they've ended up with, all the pressure lands of the composer to bring all of the pieces into one gorgeous cinematic display.
When this doesn't always go so smoothly, the composer can often times find themselves in "Rewrite Hell", where they are asked to constantly rewrite cues over and over.
 Art of Fiml Director.jpegThe final tough aspect of a film composer is the element of speaking another language that those with whom you work so closely with - the film world. If you're a touring musician, a session musician or just a hobbyist - often times it's easy to forget how lucky we are to be surrounded by people who speak in the same terms as us. They are able to describe their sonic visions, even if they can't read or write music, they can typically tap it out, sing it or play it on their instrument. However, film composer's are often left scratching their heads when a director will describe months worth of work as being "too pretty, too scary, too cold, too obvious" - you name it.
Let us not forget, though, the joys of film composition. The world of film scoring allows the musician to bridge the gap into another art form and live in both worlds simultaneously. They are able to interact with so many well-varied genres, topics, feelings - always switching it up, never bound to a current trend or style.
The art of film composition is truly the cherry on top, that final drop of paint on a masterpiece.