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?


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