The Temp Track

Forums Film Scoring Composing The Temp Track

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Evan Evans Evan Evans 10 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #2507
    Profile photo of Evan Evans
    Evan Evans
    • Topics: 31
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    Let’s talk about “Temp Tracks”, also referred to as Temp Scores, or Temp Music.

    I am currently writing a long article about the Pros and Cons of Temp Tracks, and would love to discuss everyone’s thoughts on the subject in depth so I can be sure I am covering everything.

    🎹 Evan Evans, Film Composer & Mentor, www.evanevans.org
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  • #2509
    Profile photo of Travis Lohmann
    Travis Lohmann
    • Topics: 2
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    i think its easy for directors to get married to the temp tracks, and then want to have the composer to be very much like the temp, if not completely spot on, which could then lead to a lack of creativity when writing.

    • #2511
      Profile photo of Evan Evans
      Evan Evans
      • Topics: 31
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      Absolutely Travis. And that’s because they’ve been trying to watch the scene objectively, without noticing the music, so many times, that after a while they forgot about the original source of the music (another film) and have brainwashed themselves into thinking that’s the right music for that scene. They’ll even wind up editing around some of the quirks and qualities of that temp track, in an effort to make the scene feel right whilst with the temp track. But, it wasn’t their original intention to create something they’d be conditioned to liking.

      🎹 Evan Evans, Film Composer & Mentor, www.evanevans.org
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  • #2572
    Profile photo of Travis Lohmann
    Travis Lohmann
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    i had a project once, i didn’t get too far on it, but it was all temped up and director wanted all the hit points to be exactly where the temp hit at, same temp, same everything, and it felt SO foreign to me that it just didn’t work.

  • #2615
    Profile photo of Colin Andrew Grant
    Colin Andrew Grant
    • Topics: 0
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    I’m facing a problem like that right now.The director sent me a bunch of music that he likes but he likes them to the point where I might have to remind him that there’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. On the flip side, temps are great way to help a director explain what they are looking for if they have a hard time communicating what they want and i’ve had positive experiences with them.

    "You can play a shoestring if you're sincere." - John Coltrane

    • #2622
      Profile photo of Evan Evans
      Evan Evans
      • Topics: 31
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      Ok Colin, I hope to have my article up in time for you to benefit from it. It’s going to go into what you should be getting from the Temp Track discussions with the Director, in a positive way, and how to break down their “temp love” issues which have gained on them after seeing the same music used in the same scenes over and over.

      🎹 Evan Evans, Film Composer & Mentor, www.evanevans.org
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  • #2687
    Profile photo of Eric Lein
    Eric Lein
    • Topics: 3
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    Same story right now actually. Director wants basically the same thing as the temp. I’m glad I sent him an early version because he basically said, “Not quite. I really want something just like the temp.”

    On the other hand. I like temps as a starting point so I can get a musical understanding of what a director wants without all the non musical vaguery. On the other other hand, I don’t want my ear to get married to a sound either. I’d much rather get some ideas out without being influenced.

  • #2745
    Profile photo of Evan Evans
    Evan Evans
    • Topics: 31
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    What I’m going to be keying into in my article, is that you should think of the Temp Track as indicative of what’s working for the filmmaker(s). On a demographics level as well as stylistic. It’s not often about the themes, or the exact tempo (other than upbeat, slow, etc). Think of it more as a way to get to understand the texture of what they’re looking for. For instance, if it was a Rock and Roll biography, and the Temp Track is “Dances With Wolves” by John Barry, it’s not because of the Themes, although it might be that it’s “thematic” (lietmotif based). Rather, what they’re liking, is, classical strings, smooth solid warm sound with clear almost songlike and sweeping epic composition. It’s not that they want you to write Indian score. It’s recognizing that they are putting a CLASSIC Score sound, in a Rock and Roll movie. That in itself, is a huge “dial in” they’ve figured out works. You need to think about how the music they chose for your film, “dials in” what they are hoping to get out of the music track. It’s about the marketing, more than anything. They don’t even know that. But that’s what it is and that’s how you should look at it. It’s the ANGLE they want. The slant. The approach. You just have to encapsulate your own style and creation, inside that box, and you’ll find that inside that box, composing in your own style, you feel pretty free actually.

    🎹 Evan Evans, Film Composer & Mentor, www.evanevans.org
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  • #3467
    Profile photo of Travis Lohmann
    Travis Lohmann
    • Topics: 2
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    love the example of the R&R bio and using a temp track of John Barry!!! 🙂

  • #3516
    Profile photo of Evan Evans
    Evan Evans
    • Topics: 31
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    Haha, yeah, I wonder if that would work well!? I’ll tell you what though, I love John Barry. I have a hard time not getting choked up listening to his score to CHAPLIN. But, I digress.☺️

    🎹 Evan Evans, Film Composer & Mentor, www.evanevans.org
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