All,

I just recently completed two trailer rescores for an upcoming competition and am looking for critical feedback, especially from those of you with commercial experience.

Thoughts on orchestration/balance/mastering/etc are most welcome. Don't be afraid to be harsh or a pedant!

Trailer 1 (Crime Trailer Rescore - All Music is original)

https://youtu.be/Ehx4-_DGLxw

Trailer 2 (Sci Fi Trailer Rescore - All Music and Sound Design is Original) - REVISED

https://youtu.be/sfyYtPQcdpI

Thanks for listening!

DM

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • Yes, I agree there is a niche if you make it happen I think, it's good to be different!  There are a host of audio techniques that your competitors are using that may or may not work for you; but knowledge is power as they say.

    DriscollMusick said:



    Thanks, Ingo. I agree with your assessments. The tone/style is mixed, but that was deliberate since my read of the trailer (I haven't seen the film) is that it does have some camp elements. I think I rather walk that line than try to take it all too seriously... I'm not really looking for a career in trailer scoring, but maybe there is a niche for this type of conservative, tasteful scoring in actual films...?

    I will look into side-chaining. Having mostly done classical-type music, I have generally avoided all kinds of compression, but I think I need to do that more for a trailer like this, at least for dialogue.

    Gregorio, thanks for listening and commenting. I will work on that section and see what I can do to help clear up the understanding of the dialogue.





    Ingo Lee said:

    Hi DM, I'll defer to those with more experience here but for my 2 cents worth I think your music is conservative and tasteful which would be great in many situations but from what I am seeing in theaters now is not used very much.
    It's a little hard to tell where this film is coming from, is it spooky or campy or what? That makes a lot of difference I think. I'm not really getting a feel for this movie from your music.

    In general the trailer music I hear now is tasteless and completely over-the-top in one way or another. You can use side chaining for the dialog so that it doesn't get lost and just go for it once you have the right direction I think.

    Two Trailer Rescores - Please Critique!
    All, I just recently completed two trailer rescores for an upcoming competition and am looking for critical feedback, especially from those of you wi…
  • Hi John,

    I agree with Ingo and Gregorio comments.

    If I'm judging it as a trailer, then for me, it is still too stop/start. As film score however and on the understanding that scenes and their corresponding music will be separated in time, then the music really could work very, very well as cues -   your feel for underscoring is apparent. 

    Perhaps another way to tackle scoring this as a trailer would be to write a theme tune, one that does what themes are suppose to - encompass the overall psychological tone of the movie. If the theme is appropriate enough (emotionally that is) and is musically clear and good ( memorable), it can ride over scenes with ease.

    Scoring the theme obviously has to take into account the major moments and establishing maybe only 2 or 3  of those might well help in keeping up a build and flow. Starting intimately and building also seems appropriate as you have indeed done so.

    Another reason for what feels a little disjunct at the moment might be the harmonic/key shifts you have used to spot. Too much information being used in too short a time -  and the matter is compounded in the reductive scoring and the slowing of rhythmic impetus. Staying close to what you establish early on harmonically and building and spotting within those parameters might be another solution worth considering. You would  achieve this by thinking in terms of thematic writing and harmonisation, rather than parsing 10" here, 15" there.

    Have you tried finding some temp tracks of your own for inspiration? When faced with no brief in the past, I use to just line up the sort of music I thought appropriate from the film score repertoire and play the film to see what happened. More often than not I would immediately see what worked and what doesn't. It was a great way to hear different scoring approaches and more often or not I ended up with several possibilities. It' serendipitous I know, but it opens your mind a bit more and in doing this, I often got rid of my stress band, especially when I only had a few hours to produce something!

    Just some ideas John, I hate giving an opinion and not being constructive too, so I hope you may find something of use in the above if you want it. But don't forget, it is only my opinion, others will disagree and theirs will be no less valid for it. The problem here I think is not your music because as I've said, as far as underscore goes I believe you are on the right path. It's the current trailer paradigm which is perhaps at odds with your approach. But then again........

    DriscollMusick said:

    Mike, here is a revised Sci Fi trailer incorporating your helpful feedback (and now with Bell Tree!):

    https://youtu.be/sfyYtPQcdpI

    Original for comparison: https://youtu.be/K11QcZQDjo4

    Curious to know if you agree it works better?

    Anyone else willing to critique???

    Thanks!

    Two Trailer Rescores - Please Critique!
    All, I just recently completed two trailer rescores for an upcoming competition and am looking for critical feedback, especially from those of you wi…
  • Thank you Ray.

    You are spot on in your post, especially about a theme being simple - it could almost just be a hook that keeps building.

    The idea of unusual instruments too is great. The open mind can make the difference in an overcrowded market for sure. 

    Ray's post immediately made my rusty old instincts kick in and think about a drone throughout (could be orchestral, could be electronic, or could be a drone with unusual sound design-ish pads!) , a gradual fade in of a rhythmic device that becomes so tense that it explodes into a climax at an appropriate point. It might be a bit cliched, but cliches are there for a reason, especially for the immediacy needed in popular entertainment.

    You really can't be taught this though as Ray said, but you can cultivate a feel for what you think is right - from that point on if you're a maverick or gifted enough, you'll be a trend setter. That said fortunately there is enough room in the industry to make a living for composers, you don't have to be the trendsetter, but you do have to be very good.

  • Thanks, Mike and Ray. I appreciate the thoughtful comments. Just curious: did either of you listen to the first trailer (Crime) or are all these comments focused on the 2nd one (Sci Fi)?

    I will be honest that I have a much greater interest in film scoring than trailers (and I do believe it would be a much better fit for me). I am certainly not interested in chasing the current commercial trends of trailer scoring (no offense to those who do). Heck, I'm working on an opera right now, so it should be clear I'm not composing music for financial success... :D

    I do understand my style is more conservative, but I also think there is an interesting tension between advice like "only a few can think outside the box", "you cannot be taught this, you either have it or you haven't" and... "Find a theme (probably simple) build on it with unusual instruments or sound design." It is precisely on the first two principles that I deliberately avoid the latter approach.

  • I have always been a fan of Beethoven's use of "unusual instruments [and] sound design"!

  • Fair point John, well said.

    I have only heard the sci-fi trailer and was only referring to that. From what I can tell, you have a good feel for the understated which will hopefully put you in good stead when it comes to scoring delicate scenes at least. Stick to what you do best was always my motto but I don't know if the route these days should include trailer work or not.

    I do understand my style is more conservative, but I also think there is an interesting tension between advice like "only a few can think outside the box", "you cannot be taught this, you either have it or you haven't" and... "Find a theme (probably simple) build on it with unusual instruments or sound design." It is precisely on the first two principles that I deliberately avoid the latter approach.

This reply was deleted.