View Full Version : should i use or create new music for film?

01-04-2009, 12:54 PM
A movie Im working on has a few scenes where the type of music is vital. The music from the dark knight soundtrack matches perfectly with much of it, including a climax scene using "track 4 aggresive expansion". What do i have to do if I want to use this music? Would it be better to create or collaborate with composers on music? Any composers good with the type oif music used in the dark knight? All songs are posted on youtube for listening. Here's a link to the one song i specified before. They have all the other songs, too. More the second half of song.

Thanks much!

Will Vincent
01-04-2009, 03:34 PM
Your best bet if you're dead set on that particular bit of score is to find a composer who can write something with a similar sound. That way there's no worry of copyright infringement. It's a lot easier than it may seem initially too. There are a number of posts around this forum of composers offering their services for cheap or free. My suggestion would be to hit them up, and see if they'd be interested in working with you and writing something inspired by that particular score.

At any rate though, don't steal the music, especially music from such a well known film. That'd just be asking for trouble and would frankly make you look an amateur.

01-04-2009, 05:16 PM
Composers are one of the easiest team members to find. If you place an ad on Craigslist, you'll be bombarded with replies - from experienced ones, to those looking to do their first attempt at someone else's material.

Their location doesn't matter that much, as audio files are small enough to email many times (or using free RapidShare, if large).

Here's what I did on my last project:

1) Added a visible timecode burn to film (optional but extremely useful)

2) RapidShare'd a 360x240 quicktime file of the film

3) RapidShare'd a 360x240 quicktime file - with the notes on it! Using the "Title" tools, put a description of the type of music/ambience needed for that particular stretch. All kinds of notes can be put on here. Just place the titles on the areas they cover.

If you want, you can also lay down a temp track - ie: put that Batman track where you need that music. Composer then hears & sees exactly where the soon-to-be-created batman-esque music needs to go.

4) Wait a week. :hmm:

5) Receive music file(s) and place into your timeline. If you were able to generate that timecode burn, the composer ought to send you a cue list, as well, that lists the exact points to drop the various files in at.

6) Winnah!


In your Craigslist ad, be sure to put in all relevant details for payment (even if it's none!) so you don't waste anyone's time. Also, ask for any replies to link to their website or sample tunes. Even composers who've never had a real gig ought to have a website, with sample tracks on it.

Spend a few days going through all the replies & links, then get in contact with the one you like best.

Good luck! :cool:

Loud Orange Cat
01-04-2009, 09:19 PM
Semi-offtopic, but somewhat ONtopic, I just want to say that I always wanted to create a silent film.

If I had three people to act for me and 48 hours, you'd see a truly historic short film that won't let you stop laughing. :D

01-13-2009, 03:28 PM
i prefer custom, music tailored to the project.
to quote you: "...the music from the dark knight soundtrack matches perfectly with much of it, including a climax scene..."

sooo wasnt that music written specifically For the movie? maybe you already know the answer to your question.....just gotta find the Right Fit Musically.

01-13-2009, 03:38 PM
In this cg film i'm working on i'll use aphex twin for the soundtrack, try and get permission for the song and if not get a composer for the original soundtrack, but using a well known movie soundtrack does make it a bit amateur

01-17-2009, 03:12 PM
You should definitely looking into working with a composer to meet your musical needs.

Music from another film may work well with your film, but on top of any copyright issues arising, the music wasn't composed with your film in mind! A good film composer is probably capable of writing in another composer's style, anyway. I regularly get asked to do that.

*removed advertisement

01-20-2009, 01:45 AM
I agree with composeralex. You should definitely find a composer. I suggest that you temp with that cue you like and communicate to the composer, once you find and hire someone, what you like about that music; what's working, what's not working, why you chose that, what dramatic points it hits, what emotion it is evoking that's striking a chord with you.

However, at this point don't expect the composer's new composition to be the same as the temp music. As a composer myself, we're constantly having to fight against a director's temp love against worrying ourselves about plagiarizing another composer's work. A great composer will be able to create an original, albeit slightly different cue that will function the same way as the temp.

Rusty Studio
02-12-2009, 12:17 AM
It's always good to give a chance to someone, who wants to spread his/her name around. Probably just like everyone.

02-24-2009, 03:04 AM
Hi, pm me and I'll direct you to a service where student/indie filmmakers can post their needs and the company will search through all the composers for no extra charge. That will save you the time of listening to submissions and established composers and filmmakers who know what to look for in film music will listen to the cues (sometimes hundreds) and send you a personal web page with the best 10. If you don't like them, they then send you another 10 etc. Its the easiest way to get music and its also got a roster of incredibly talented composers. Its $200 minimum for a project, but worth it.

Or you can try craigslist or even posting on here for free. You will probably get someone just learning but even that is better than using another movie's score. A score is a huge part of your film and the right composer will add value to it.

I was just reading about an old movie that was re-release 4 times. Nothing changed about the movie on each re-release except the music. On the 4th re release, over 12 years later, the film went on to win over 9 awards (best actor, best director, best screen play etc). The only thing that changed was the music-although the composer and the music was never recognized and did not win any awards.

The right music will add to your project without being distracting. It will enhance the emotions you are trying to display in a much more powerful way. That is why composers exist. My advice, you've already put this much time and effort into your film. Take it all the way with great music for that last punch.

Just a thought! Oh yeah, don't use the Batman music, that is definitely amateur and even a totally free guy would be better than doing that.

Robert Alexander

03-12-2009, 04:17 AM
I'm a music technology lecturer and I'm looking at a way of building up a portfolio of work for my own film composition/ audio post production website, so I'd be extrememly interesting in creating a soundtrack/score for the right project free of charge!

I specialise in dark orchestral/electronic music and could deffinitely do a good "Batman" style theme!

I wouldn't want any kind of payment and there's no obligation to use my work if you don't like it! So it's a win-win situation!

I can work to time code, create cuelists and even work on sound effects/ambience. I can export each section as a seperate audio file or as one entire piece to the highest standards.

Anyone interested? :/

Alcove Audio
03-18-2009, 11:28 AM
Putting the copyright issues aside, using music from a well known film will invariably draw comparisons to that film, and since you don't have a $120million budget you will definitely come off second (third? fifth? tenth?) best. For the same reason you should avoid musical cliches unless you are going for comedic affect.

I sometimes work as a music supervisor as well as my duties as sound designer, and one of the biggest problems I encounter is directors/producers becoming married to their temp music. On a low/no/micro budget you are going to have to make compromises on most aspects of your project. One is definitely going to be the score, no matter how brilliant the composer. Even with some of the awesome composing tools and sound libraries available to composers these days you're not going to get the quality of a "Hollywood" score performed by a known orchestra recorded in a multi-million dollar facility. However, a talented composer knows the limitations of their tools and can still give you a very effective, high sound quality score that can provide all of the moods/emotions that you require. I know, I've worked with several.

07-23-2009, 02:55 PM
Finding people to do music for a film is easy. If you want a score or a soundtrack, you've got it made. There are a ton of musicians who want their music heard (even more than filmmakers who want their films seen!). I tracked down a band to do the score and soundtrack for my short and now they are wokring on my upcomng feature and have since asked me to direct and produce their first music video! Now I've got free music and a production job.

Leah Kardos
07-24-2009, 04:03 AM
... and just to add to what everyone else has said (cos I agree completely), IF you DO decide to nick some music that was written for a different film, you should steer clear of blockbuster soundtracks. Everyone knows the Dark Knight music and people are bound to recognize it which will inadvertently make you look artistically dodgey.

Just sayin.

07-24-2009, 04:55 AM
Jeez this thread is old I was still working on that CG movie i scrapped back then

07-24-2009, 08:57 AM
Semi-offtopic, but somewhat ONtopic, I just want to say that I always wanted to create a silent film.

If I had three people to act for me and 48 hours, you'd see a truly historic short film that won't let you stop laughing. :D

You know, with YouTube and everything being what it is I'm really kind of surprised silent films haven't made some sort of weird comeback.

As for composers, yeah, finding one shouldn't be a problem. Whenever I meet someone who works in film they're almost always either a screenwriter or a composer.