I'm no stranger to tight deadlines in both big productions and film making contests, each one I've been involved in has been a blast and I'm truly fortunate to have film makers request my services time and time again. Very thankful.
This May, a group of filmmakers will be producing a short film in the central IL/St. Louis area for the 168 Hour Film festival. 168 hours to make a movie - the challenge is on!
Director/Producer - Seth Rice (http://www.anchorcreativemedia.com/about-us/seth-rice-bio/)
Writer - John Roberts (http://www.latterrainmedia.com/about_john/)
Director of Photography - Nathanael Brunner (http://www.newcovenantpictures.com/)
Production Designer - Mark Kozelek
Music Composed by - Austin lawrence
1. Don't wait until you have picture lock to begin writing. ( No I don't mean to compose music and just slap it onto the picture) What I mean is, write in your head if you can ( I DO) then when you finally get to see the picture, you'll have a better idea of where to go and how to make speedy adjustments to your "mental symphony" I personally write every note in my head before ever touching a piano or other musical instrument.
2. Trust your instincts. These deadlines are TIGHT, you don't have much time to be sitting around debating on the best move to make. Trust yourself, use your intuition, get creative, and get busy!
3. Talk with your director about the type of music he or she may want. ( Then tell them what they really NEED) Haha. No but seriously, LISTEN to your director and try to determine together what's the best way to serve the film.
4. Schedule your time. Seriously, I know some composers who, for some reason also have meetings scheduled on the day they're supposed to be composing on a ridiculously tight deadline...Time managent guys.
5. Write the music as good as you can in your timeframe, then let it go. Sure as film composers we can write the greatest music ever heard in the history of forever...but it would take a stupid amount of time. Write your music and know when it has to be handed over to the director ( Hans Zimmer talks about this a bit in his interviews) and I know from personal experience that we just want it to be perfect, but when we're out the time the director has to pry the score from our hands and we just have to accept it.
6. Be able to be creative under pressure. Working under pressure is one thing, being CREATIVE under pressure is a whole new ball game. If you're new to this, don't panic, just do what you know how to do, and do it! and also know that even the pro's were ammeters at some point. ( It's easy to forget that)
7. Have fun! ( yes I'm being serious) If you don't enjoy doing what you do, you probably shouldn't be doing it. people you work with can tell when you're having fun and dedicated to a project, and they also can tell when you're in a foul mood. It messes with the creative flow and it's just nota professional thing to be snappy and miserable while working with the people who HIRED you to be there for them.
That's all I have the time for now, I have some film scoring to do!
Leave comments, share, whatever floats your boat. ( speaking of float, a root-beer float would be awesome right now)