Draft #12 and the Art of Collaboration

It's not always easy being of the collaborative attitude. To get your ego away from your work and instead use empathy and understanding to help guide a project forward, but when it does, beautiful things really happen. This is especially true for trailers. 

Writing music for trailers can be a joyful and somewhat frustrating experience.

A microcosm of the entire movie, TB's of data, hours of footage, days and months of shooting, all compressed in to 2 minutes or less. 

In those 2 minutes, audiences must fall in love and feel compelled to go out right away and see this film. Not only that, they must walk away with a sense of wanting, of unresolved business, of I have to see more. 

As a composer, these are some pretty tough shoes to fill, but when it comes down to it, it's about really understanding the story, understanding the filmmaker, and understanding basic human needs. 

Now I'm not saying I'm a psychologist or any more intuitive from the lay person, but the reason why I chose this profession is because I believe in the language of music. I use my polyglot background to create a kind of dictionary of sounds. My formula is as follows: 

Music = Emotion

If I know what emotion I'm after, I am able to find sounds, chord changes, counterpoints to fit this formula.  

And so with trailers, and my most recently finished, which felt right by Draft #12, Alex and I created an arc of the action and went through iteration after iteration to find what melded the best with the footage and the story to tell. 

While his footage was a work in progress, it changed the course of the music into ultimately what it is now, a few arpeggiated pianos, and lush vibrant strings, making it our most simple draft yet our most reflective.  

I am immensely proud of it and of the film to be done later this year and look forward to future collaborations.  

Now back to sweetening up the audio.