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Film Scoring

9 May 2019

Making music is a passion. Expressing any kind of emotion is possible with music - and this is what makes it great.

Film scoring may be the highest point of musical creation. Music and film producers' perspectives need to be considered when film scoring is on the table.

A film producer has mainly two options when choosing the soundtrack for a movie:

Using a musical piece which was perviously recorded or produced or paying a musician to produce a specific sound for the movie. Both options have their pros and cons.

To be more precise, using an already finished song is better for a faster creative process. Since there won't be no revisions, all one will have to do is going to be simply buying the rights of track for commercial use.

On the other hand, starting with a producer from scratch only to focus on a specific theme may produce a more 'complete' work. Although this is a more pricy option, it is more fulfilling by artistic means.

What about the musician's perspective - where to start making soundtracks?

To be honest, there is no universal answer... And the reason is, even one emotion can be expressed musically in million different ways - imagine many of them, in a decent movie. After all, this is what makes art priceless!

But stay with us, as musiconline we have some tips on where to start film scoring.

Know Your Game

Art and especially music may initially seem magical. But essentially it has a mathematical foundation. In fact, there are a set of rules which specifies which note will be harmonic with which one and when to play what. Okay, we admit it is a weird definition but it is what it is: Music Theory.

You can imagine music theory as the alphabet whereas composing a decent piece is like a poem. It is technically possible to nail a perfect poem with placing random letters - but such possibility is so low, we don't even have to elaborate.

Train Your Ears

Discovering which sound triggers what kind of emotion requires focus, dedication and disciplined work. Listening to different genres of music is a must to be a well-established film scorer.

You can also start looking up to worldwide-known composers and analyze their work. Here is a kickstarter list:

Hans Zimmer:

Lion King (1994, 2019)
Gladiator (2000)
Hannibal (2001)
The Ring (2002)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Da Vinci Şifresi (2006)
Batman: The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Inception (2010)
Interstellar (2014)
Dunkirk (2017)

James Horner:

Braveheart (1994)
Titanic (1997)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Troy (2004)
Avatar (2009)
The Magnificent Seven (2017)

John Williams:

Jaws (1975)
Star Wars (1978, 1983, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2015, 2017)
Superman (1980)
Indiana Jones (1989, 2008)
Home Alone (1990)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Schindler’s List (1993)
E.T. (1996)
Harry Potter (2001, 2004)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Munic (2005)

PS: Also, never ignore the classics... Listening to high in complexity genres like opera or symphony helps a lot in both developing a sophisticated music taste and a sharp ear. We owe a lot to Strauss, Brahms, Mozart and more...

Get Moving!

We have just threw a bunch of names, from different eras but they had one thing in common: their dedication. Remember, you don't have to be great for starting but you have to start for being great. So as you finish reading this post, start working!

Analyzing your own work helps a lot in improving your sound, too. You don't need a lot to produce good quality songs - you can build a budget home studio or a setup to record your music.

If we tell you that you can compose just like Hans Zimmer within a week - that would be plain absurd. But we can remind you that you can start your music career anywhere, any time.

Thanks to the internet, as long as you have a computer and a connection, you can enroll in online music courses with musiconline. Learning music has never been this easy!

Knowledge increases as it is shared!

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