I opened up my email inbox yesterday and saw a longish email from the director and thought “rut roh…” (in my best Scooby Doo impression). It wasn’t a huge manifesto or anything, but it was a couple of short paragraphs – longer than “Perfect, I love it!”.
Longer emails/responses typically mean that there’s something that needs to be fixed, tweaked or thrown out the window all together.
In this case it was some good direction on his desire to have a bit more “oomph” in the scene – he was looking for more aggression and pushiness.
Suck it Up Soldier!
I say, “your creation” and not “you”, because I had to work hard at remaining objective about my work and abstracting the personal layer that goes into making music.
I can’t say that it’s easy to do that, but when you’re getting paid to support someone else’s vision, then you’ve got to remain flexible and objective as well as willing and able to change course if need be.
Usually, it’s just a matter of adding/subtracting instruments – beefing up or thinning out the arrangement. But, there are times where it’s a bit more significant than that.
All the Best Laid Plans…
Sure, planning and talking about the music helps in minimizing confusion on direction, style and feel of music, but there are times where perhaps, the director has a different vision or inspiration with the “real” music embedded with the visuals. It might be exactly what he or she asked for, but now that it’s there, something’s not right or there’s a new inspiration that has surfaced.
It’s kind of akin to drawing up plans / looking at blueprints and actually walking in a physical space. Conceptualization and reality can be close to identical in some instances, and seemingly polar opposites in others.
It’s all part of the territory … and something I’ve learned to kind of expect – not in every cue mind you… 😉
Granted, as you clear out the cues and write more, things go smoother as you “zero in” on the specific sound and feel that the director is hearing in his or her “mind’s ear”.
And that’s what it really comes down to.
Yes, you are creating something unique and possibly putting your own stamp on it, but inevitably, it’s got to suit the vision of the project AND please the director. He or she may not be able to exactly and completely articulate what they want to hear, and getting back those “No’s” is all part of circling the drain and getting closer to delivering what’s needed.