Sunday, March 9, 2008

BMI Presents: Music for Film

SUNDAY - 10am

This was our first panel after registering for the conference. The panel was made up of music executives, producers, reps, directors, writers and musicians, most notably Richard Thompson. Some of their film credits include March of the Penguins and Grizzly Man.

The discussion revolved around finding the perfect piece of music for your film, something that seemed particularly relevant with as much emphasis as we put on music.

They talked about their different creative processes. Scoring a scene to picture while watching the scene, which they agreed is easier, versus Werner Herzog’s approach, which is to let the musician watch the scene and then make them go away and write the music without the film in front of them. More difficult, but sometimes yields more unexpected results.

Steve Conrad, a writer and director, made the point that the film should speak for itself and contain emotion and tell a story before music is put on it, which was interesting. We tend to always cut to a piece of music and have music in mind well ahead of time before we shoot the film. But his point is to try to get as much emotion as you can out of the cut without music first, then add music, rather than depending on it.

He also mentioned a scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where Joel and Clementine are on a train, and the music is used in the exact opposite moments that you might expect, which gave the scene a unique quality.

A piece of advice was also give, which seems pertinent to everything, which was to let the pros do their thing. From editors to directors, actors and musicians, let them bring what they're good at rather than trying to get them to do exactly what you have in mind. There's a reason we hire talented, creative people. Trust them.

Overall an interesting panel. Good start.

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