Post Production: How To Use Custom Music When Scoring

Most movies use custom music for their scores, and you should too because it will enhance and complement your movie. There is a misconception that this process is very time consuming and costly, but it is in fact a lot cheaper than licensing pre-existing music. It will also custom fit your project.

Step 1: Know What You Want

Everyone and every project is different, but if you're getting to the point where you're really thinking about music, then you should have a clear cut idea of where the music is going to be in the movie and what kind of music it will be. You don't need to know the exact specifics of the music, but you should know what genre and style you're looking for.

Step 2: Get a Composer

Not everyone is a musical genius. If you are, then feel free to score your own movie, but if you know that music isn't your best talent, then you should look into hiring a composer. Before you try hiring anyone, you should look into what you can afford to pay him. After all, this person is creating something that you will exclusively use. Try to work out a deal where you can pay him a one time fee to own his musical piece.

There are a lot of places where you can find composers. Make sure you listen to their previous work to see if their quality and style is up to your standards. There are a lot of passionate and talented musicians out there who want the opportunity to work. It is definitely possible to find someone who is great and not expensive.

Once he is hired, you will send him your rough cuts and discuss where the music will play, as well as what style you are looking for.

Step 3: Listen to What Is Composed

The composer should be sending you tracks as they come along. Put them in the movie and see if they are right. You might really like it or you may think it needs improvement. However you feel about it, and what actions you want to take, are up to you. However, don't finalize your decision until you had some time to sleep on it. Your opinion will change when you had some time to distance yourself.

If the track needs improvement, then tell the composer what you would like changed. After all, it's also in his best interest to make the best music for the movie. If something isn't right, then it also reflects on him.

Step 4: Finalize the Edit

Once the music is approved, you will add it to the movie and will finalize your edit. Sometimes a cut might be changed so that it's pacing matches the music. Once everything in your scene is the best it can be, you can move on to the next one until the editing is complete.