Category Archives: Films

meeting of the creatives

(1st mtg)
director: so glad to meet you and let me say this – i love your music.
composer: thanks nice to meet you too.
director: i have all your records. i would love to have you do the music for this film.
composer: wow.
director: want you to do whatever naturally comes to you.
composer: seriously?
director: it needs a certain type of musician.
composer: i have some ideas.
director: can’t wait, you da man.
(next mtg)
composer: what did you think of the music i sent in yesterday?
director: we need to talk.
composer: sure.
director : here’s the thing, I don’t think this direction you are going in is right for this particular film in this particular instance.
composer: at this particular time.
director: exactly!
composer: forget the classical stuff.
director: forget the bassoon or oboe whatever that was
composer: I can try other things. no sweat.
director: you know I really like what you do.
composer: you have all my records.
director: you da man.
composer: hi.
director: we need to talk.
composer: ok.
director: how is it coming?
composer: pretty good i’ll have something for you to hear by the end of tomorrow.
director: awesome. do you think you could listen to this (hands him radiohead cd).
composer: you want something that sounds like this instead?
director: (proudly) i want something that sounds like you sounding like this!
composer: i’ll try but you know it isn’t what i do or what i hear in this film.
director: here’s the thing when we made a rough cut we used this and we love with it.
composer: so why didn’t you use that?
director: do you know how much that costs?!
composer: too much.
director: you da man.
director: have you seen this on youtube? can you sound like that too? isn’t it awesome?
composer: it’s a drum machine and a choir from estonia not really like radiohead or me but if you want-
director: i want!
composer: ok
director: you da man.
composer: did you check out the new music?
director: (smirking) we got it.
composer: you liked it?
director: my daughter saw the first thing you did and she and her boyfriend loved it and when i played them the radiohead estonian choir drum machine thing they said it wasn’t as good as the first thing. was that a bassoon or oboe i fucking love it.
composer: your the man.

How Can Can You



I have a task in writing for a film to imitate the Can Can song by Offenbach. So I wrote a piece on piano that feels similar but doesn’t steal the melody. It’s almost finished take a listen




Next thing is trying to replace the piano parts in mock orchestra. I’m pretty horrible but here is the preliminary sketch. Do I know any musicians out there who can offer me advice about improving the realism of it?




Do Your Thing …But Do It Like This

sunny ade

The common train wreck filmmakers have with composers is the “how” of temp music. The editor wants something to cut with (understandable) so they take Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, King Sunny Ade – whatever they love or whatever the director loves – and cut with it.


Then the composer gets the film with temp music and is told make something kinda like this but do your own thing too. Like hiring an actor because they’re cool and then telling them to act like Robert de Niro or Meryl Streep but be the cool person you are as well. Paint like that particular Picaso but do your own thing too.


Directors are scared, there’s a lot of money at stake and it’s a rare person who says do what you do and means it. They almost all say do what you do but once the project starts they change to do what you do …like this. Nothing wrong with that but it kind of mocks the first conversation.


Dennis Mohr stood out when he hired me to score Mugshot because he did just that, he said do what you do …please. I thought yea right but in fact he was for real and the results were super duper.

I’m currently working with Ken Finkleman and Jason Tan on a film called God and Country, and one the actors told me Ken didn’t try to manipulate him, he was keen to let them bring whatever they wanted to their part. That’s the type of energy that excites me. Take some chances with your creative partners, enjoy the differences of what everyone brings to the table more powerful work probably results. What’s the difference between the Beatles solo albums and the Beatles together? Obvious no?