In the past, I have always taken the "classical" or John Williams approach to the End Credits of my film scores. I look at the End Credits the same as I would a recapitulation in a sonata form composition, no new material added. Just restate and move on. I have always taken cues and themes used throughout the film and reworked them into a suite. On my past two films, however, I wrote completely original cues for the End Credits, with just a hint of the "main" theme of the film. To be completely honest, I think I dig the original material approach better than the suite. Granted, using a End Credit Suite as one book end and the Main Credits as the other really puts a cohesive feel for the score, which is what you always want in a score, a natural feeling of progression.
So my question, when listening/watching a film, which do you prefer. The suite or new material? Why?
You mean the part that 99% of the audience doesn't ever hear?
How about the modern approach of having a pop song blast out of nowhere at the end? Some perfectly decent movies do that - They get songs Very cheap that way, by the way, and have something catchy to add to the soundtrack album.
--More seriously, if the mood of the last scene can be continued, while a musical statement on the whole film can be made--and it can be done with new material which is related to what's gone before--that's super.
Where and how are you getting all these film scoring gigs, Jonny? My word!-- I know, you can't really pass on trade secrets. But it always amazes me when people actually get music gigs - I don't know how they do it. "Dorian" is a complete anomaly in my life, and I have no idea how to repeat it.
For me, I guess the type of movie determines how I feel the end credits should be - I like hearing a restatement of the main themes are for an epic or extremely serious movie. When you write as good as John Williams, it's worth hearing the themes again at the end .
However, comedies and family/children's movies seem to often go with the pop song route, which I think works all right for those kind of movies. As far as the idea of writing new material goes...well, the end credits is usually the second best place after the opening credits for the music score to be the most noticeable.
@Randy - film scoring gigs are easy to get if you are in the film-making business yourself! I've scored a few of my shorts, with varying degrees of success. You may be able to find student film-makers that are looking for scores; the only issue there is we generally don't have enough money to afford it.
Thanks for the replies. I will probably end up writing something original for the End Credits. It just seems to be the mind set I am in right now.
Randy, there really are no trade secrets involved here. It really is all about who you know and what you do with it. Personally, a lot of my films have come from filmmakers who I have known and worked with for the past 12 years.
The best advice I could give is to find one or two filmmakers that you are interested in working with, build a rapport with them, and give them the best scores that you can. Word of mouth truly is the best type of promotional tool available to you. In fact, the film I'm currently working on came as a direct reference from a director/writer that I worked with on one project 10 years ago. You never know where a gig is going to come from. Plus, you have to be a bit of a salesman. Shameless self promotion is a must if you want to get anywhere in this industry.
Next, you could try looking for films in places that usually aren't picked over. Most cities have some type of local filmmaking circuit. These places are usually teeming with films that are in need of good scores of all types.
I live in Ohio. Believe it or not, Ohio has a burgeoning film industry, due to the new film commissioners in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Ohio also has a tax credit for film companies that is used to attract films to the area.
Lastly, once you have made a few connections, do whatever you need to to keep those connections solid. I call/email my main group of directors/producers about every two months, just to see what they are working on and say hello. If you build enough of a relationship, chances are that, when/if one of your connections make it big, they will take you with them!