I am slated to score an upcoming feature film and the director has given me a script to look at and wants me to come up with a catchy, universal, memorable theme that will make the audience remember his film once they hear the music.
My challenge is that everything I submit, while it sounds great, it is not memorable or catchy enough to him, and I'm basing all these sample themes off of just a script which is full of so many different emotions. I have no picture to go off of yet as they are still filming so I really can't get inspired visually. It's getting to a point where I am getting upset that I may never please this director. What makes it more aggravating is that I'm doing the score for a very reduced rate as the director is a student director. And the director's previous film work is well, home video looking. No tripod. Terrible acting. Sorry to say but if his feature film is not going to up the ante on the filmmaking end, the music may be the only thing decent in it. I don't know why he's so dead set on me coming up with the most amazing theme ever in the history of film. The film should be about telling the story, the music should complement and support it, not be the focus. What needs to be memorable is the film as a whole.
So I ask you fellow composers: Have you ever been in this situation? How do you write memorable themes? What even makes a theme memorable? When it comes to instrumentation, what do you do, less instruments, more instruments? I would like to open it up for discussion.