Deane Ogden: What Directors Want from Their Composers

Posted By: ryan On:


Composer Deane Ogden has written two remarkable posts that I thought were too good not to share. He asked two groups of studio and independent directors a series of multiple choice questions about their preferences, feelings and thoughts regarding hiring and working with composers.

Absolutely worth reading for composers and filmmakers alike, check them out on Deane’s site here:
What Directors Want From Their Composers: The Hollywood Directors
What Directors Want From Their Composers: The Indie Directors

Some of my favorite insights and quotes:

    • Independent directors prefer to bring on composers early, studio directors later. It seems like perhaps independent directors want more of an organic relationship and development process while Hollywood directors are looking for someone to get the job done.


    • Recommendations (from a studio or another filmmaker) are incredibly influential in the director’s decision of which composer to hire.


    • Independent directors weigh the music most heavily in their decision, while Hollywood directors are more interested in credits.
      One commentator point out the obvious Catch-22 that we all face:
      You can’t get a big credit without already having a big credit.


    • Independent directors don’t see the value in spending money on live musicians.


    • Directors are most ticked off by composers who procrastinate and argue.


  • There is a massive split in opinion about wether the score should be memorable or transparant. The Hollywood directors want memorable, the indie directors want transparant. Is it possible that this difference in attitude correlates to a director’s success?

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