Writing "too good" for TV/Film

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Len911
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Re: Writing "too good" for TV/Film

Post by Len911 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:24 am

I think it might have been taken out of context. I think the art and commerce is more about artists thinking they have sold out if they write for commerce, not an actual difference maybe between the two. on target is on target, too good probably has more to do with wasting your time trying to perfect a song or mix than film/tv only wanting sterility. obviously you don't want the music distracting or interfering with the scene becoming the main focus unless it's maybe a musical.
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Re: Writing "too good" for TV/Film

Post by Kolstad » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:14 pm

I think its about not trying to impress anyone with virtuoso skills, but keep it useful in context of a media production. Support or underline without trying to be the star and draw attention. It is something different than stand alone Billboard music. I definitely dont think it is about the quality of the music, which needs to be top shelf for tv/film also. It is more about collaborative art, than art vs commerce.

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Re: Writing "too good" for TV/Film

Post by hummingbird » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:07 am

It's really about remembering that the music is not the 'star' when you are writing cues. You're meant to supply enough to support the scene with a certain emotion, without being distracting. Best way to learn is to read the listings carefully, listen to the a la's, listen to the tracks that were forwarded - and also listen to the returns. I often get returns that are 'on target' but 'too busy' or 'too creative' or 'not dramatic enough' or 'too dramatic' for this particular listing. So it's first getting your production skills up to scratch, then understanding what the brief is, and then writing to it. Know your strengths and watch the shows you think your music will suit to hear how the music is used.

I don't think the phrase "too good for film/tv" is really valid. It's more like understanding the difference between underscore / background instrumental versus the theme of a show or movie. Everything has to be 'good'. It's just different.

And I don't agree that it's 'easy' to write this stuff. It took me 3 years to get my first forward and I am still learning. But I do think if you listen, and learn, and write consistently, then you will get better at it and faster at it. It's going from being a home cook to a professional chief. Takes time, effort, mentoring, understanding, creativity, stick-to-it-ness. And getting paid about a year and half or so after your work is placed, too.

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Re: Writing "too good" for TV/Film

Post by Tunesmith » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:22 am

hummingbird wrote:Best way to learn is to read the listings carefully, listen to the a la's, listen to the tracks that were forwarded - and also listen to the returns. I often get returns that are 'on target' but 'too busy' or 'too creative' or 'not dramatic enough' or 'too dramatic' for this particular listing. So it's first getting your production skills up to scratch, then understanding what the brief is, and then writing to it. Know your strengths and watch the shows you think your music will suit to hear how the music is used.

I don't think the phrase "too good for film/tv" is really valid. It's more like understanding the difference between underscore / background instrumental versus the theme of a show or movie. Everything has to be 'good'. It's just different.

And I don't agree that it's 'easy' to write this stuff. It took me 3 years to get my first forward and I am still learning. But I do think if you listen, and learn, and write consistently, then you will get better at it and faster at it.

JMHO :D
I agree with Vikki as I have seen positive results by doing just this. I really study the listing descriptions, etc. It has made a difference.

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Re: Writing "too good" for TV/Film

Post by DesireInspires » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:42 pm

It isn’t easy at first, but once you get a formula down, it is fairly easy to crank out cues for these TV shows. Formulaic music works wonders for reality TV show placements. Never make the music too striking.

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Re: Writing "too good" for TV/Film

Post by admin » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:31 am

Especially in reality TV; they're not typically looking for virtuoso composing so much as music that supports the scene's mood and/or emotion. And yes, the music typically isn't the star. Simple is better. Sterile isn't really the right way to think about it, IMHO.

The above is about instrumentals. Songs are a different animal, and much depends on context. A song used in the background of a bar scene, ostensibly coming from a jukebox, will have a less stringent set of requirements than a song that is featured, up front in a pivotal scene, or in the clear with no dialogue.

HTH,
MIchael

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