Brief: As part of my work I will make proposals for potential clients film soundtracks. These proposals don’t always lead to full projects, but serve to show the range of composed work I am capable of producing.
Method: The exact method used differs from proposal to proposal, but there is a common course of action I use when approaching any new soundtrack based demo.
Firstly, I get a good grasp of what the client wants. This is the most important step, and I find spending more time doing saves time in the long run. Doing this involves asking the client what their piece is about, and what it means to them. This helps get an idea of both the tone of the piece and which emotions the client wishes to evoke upon the audience. If the client has any reference pieces or examples they wish me to use as a guideline, this is the stage when I will listen to them to get a good understanding of what is expected of me.
After this is done, I go to the studio and start composing the track. This part of the process is usually the most creative and thus least predictable, but using my knowledge of different instruments and composition I write a track that best fits the established criteria. I use both natural and electronic sounds to achieve whatever tone is required, whilst using my songwriting abilities to evoke the appropriate emotion.
Lastly, I will take the recorded tracks and mix them to the standard expected of film soundtracks. There are exceptions, but most the time this means a very loud and clear track which can be altered easily without losing essential elements of the song. Using DAWs and multiple plugins, I mix the tracks to a suitable level, however I don’t usually master the tracks at this stage as they are only demos which demonstrate what I will be bringing to the table.
Though it is a shame not to see the initial demo flourish into a whole finished soundtrack, I always have a lot of fun making these proposals. Please see examples below:
Imaginative Dreamscape Demo: