View Full Version : OT: temp tracks--a good thing!
04-23-2002, 01:20 AM
Reading the Rob Krall interview, it kind of confirmed something that I\'ve been suspecting--that \"temp\" tracks are one of the key time-savers for TV (and maybe film too) composers who have to write lots of music in a hurry (6 minutes a day--whew!) and have to have a very high \"hit to miss\" ratio. Any thoughts about this?
04-23-2002, 02:15 AM
With Robert\'s work, he mentioned that the temp cues were of his own previous work from the series rather than some other composer\'s altogether, so that\'s a bit different from the typical temp track.
Sure, temp tracks are great for getting on the same page as the director/producer, but they can also bite ya in the rump.
First off, seeing a film cut for the first time with no music at all really gives you a blank canvas to work from. It gives you a chance to develop your own voice for a scene. Temp tracks somewhat predetermine the direction the music will most likely go, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the circumstances.
Secondly, I\'ve had a few instances where the director was so hung up on the temp track that he basically wanted a revamped version of it and wouldn\'t agree to anything else. That\'s a lousy situation to be in.
If time permits, I prefer to have someone tell me they liked \"such and such\" score to give me an idea of what they\'re looking for rather than actually placing tracks on the video. That way, I know what the director is generally looking for and work with that, and he doesn\'t get too attached to the actual temp score by Williams or Horner.
But if the temp cues are going to be as crucial as they are in Robert\'s situation, it sounds like he has an ideal model for how it should be done.
[This message has been edited by Scott Speed (edited 04-23-2002).]
04-23-2002, 09:07 AM
I\'ve always read that film composers generally don\'t like temp scores, so I always dismissed it. But I\'m finding that the opposite seems to be true of episodic TV composers. I\'ve just always wondered what it would be like to have to write 30 minutes of music in 3-5 days week in and week out! I\'ve always been afraid of a schedule like that, but I\'m starting to understand that there are time-saving techniques and methods in place for those people who do this kind of writing.
04-23-2002, 10:50 AM
I co-wrote the music for a few BBC series, quite a few years ago. I remember how excited I was when the Director called me to tell me that we got the gig, purely based on writing the theme song! Excitement soon turned to panic when the scheduling changed and the series was to be aired prime-time on BBC1 (that\' England for those who don\'t know!) 6 weeks early!
We thought we were going to have the luxury of at least a few weeks per episode, but this became days, and you know what? I realise that short deadlines really helped! I think that when the pressure is on, you just do it without thinking too hard, and usually the music benefits. I think Robert mentioned that the episode where he worked his **** off, was musically his favourite.
When we also won the gig for the same director\'s next series, I realised that the experience of that first 13 episode series really speeded up our work. The more you do, the quicker and easier it becomes, just like any job I guess?
We never had temp tracks, and I don\'t think it would have helped in my case, and I can see when scoring a movie, how a composer would not like to have a temp track. However, when you have tight deadlines and a big filmic score to do regularly, I\'m sure it is a big help for the composer to know what the director wants.
[This message has been edited by ChrisAxia (edited 04-23-2002).]
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