I'm new to this forum, so 'hi' :-)
I have to admit, the hardest part for me is spotting correctly. Do it wrong, and you waste a lot of time trying to write music to a teflon-coated scene that just shrugs off anything you write.
At the moment I have a little project on a friend's short that I'm quite excited about - it involves an epic space battle which is great, there's a lot happening. Most of the stuff I've done before has had a simpler emotional journey.
Dramatically this scene swings all over the place in a short space of time; from a serene floating opening shot, to the sudden arrival of the enemy ships, hoping our guys may win, losing a friend in the battle, They make a difficult decision on the mothership bridge which then turns the tide in favour of our guys only for a de-cloaking enemy to completely destroy the mother ship and with it humanity's last hope; the fighters flee into the asteroid field and get picked off one by one, only to be rescued by the lost fleet appearing out of nowhere - yay! - time to kick ass.
So I've played around with a lot of stuff to see what works. The difficulty is the contrast - it all happens in a short space of time. I feel like I need to support the big moments, but when I pull it back for the quieter stuff, like on the bridge, it feels like I end up mickey mousing it.
On the one hand I could I could do a kind of ostinato rhythm throughout the battle and use orchestration to modify the intensity with a few crescendo's over the top, etc. but it moves so fast as I said, I worry it comes across as mickey mousing. The alternative is to wash over everything which ignores subtleties, such as the quiet tension on the bridge compared to the chaos of the fighters in battle.
Any suggestions gratefully received.