Understandably, film production companies are often restricted by time and budget, so opt for library (or production) music rather than composed.
And when time is short, handpicking the finished article from a database is often more effective than getting a composer to write and produce a cue in a day (or less.)
But for a filmmaker pouring their heart and soul into crafting a film, nothing but a highly considered and tailored score will do.
Composed music delivers a consistent tone and repeated motifs that library music can never provide.
Plus, there is only so much an editor can do within the limitations created by using pre-produced music.
“Stock music is to film what a ready meal is to cuisine. It serves a purpose but doesn’t provide a memorable experience.”
Imagine you’re fitting a kitchen. First, you measure the room. Then you design the kitchen. You don’t build a kitchen and then plonk it in the room, hoping it fits.
Your film deserves a bespoke kitchen.
This rings true for both narrative and factual films.
Whilst you’ll be hard-pressed to find an award-winning documentary that doesn’t have composed music, I do accept that the general restraints of commissioned films mean that production music may make more sense. However, I don’t believe that is the case for the title sequence.
The opening credits or title sequence is the first impression a programme will make and first impressions count. This is where the tone and personality of a programme is defined and it’s a critical moment.
(I talk about this in my previous post: The Top Five TV Title Sequences).
The music and the visuals need to be working hard and together to get the viewers’ attention. A bespoke piece of composed music should be at the core.
Music is often overlooked is because it’s a subconscious element.
The visual element is the guiding factor, but music is critical to adding pace and emotion to a film and without it, a film suffers.
If you choose production music for your film, you’re limited by the structure, emotion, motif and theme. Go gourmet, and you’ll be crafting a musical experience that complements and elevates the visual delivery.
To discover more, listen to some recent ‘gourmet’ compositions in my portfolio.