Every film needs a trailer and what’s a trailer without music? Well did you know that most of the time, trailers do not feature any music from the film. Why’s that? Well, in this world of corporate quarterly earnings results being micromanaged, the marketing machines require the trailer while the director is still in post-production- sometimes even in the midst of the shoot. And since most Composers aren’t even hired until post-production starts, where does the music come from?
Well there’s a bunch of music houses that specialize only in trailers. And after a while they all start sounding alike. What’s the difference between The Mummy and Batman Begins? There’s still going to be some flash frames and some brooding menacing sequence and…
Well it doesn’t have to be this way. If you think of the audio as an essential identity piece for your film in the same way that logos and color palettes and graphic treatments are, then you can vastly improve the marketing and branding of your film. By including your Composer way early in the process, (how about in the pre-production phase?) and then let him/her start working parallel to the shoot, you stand a great chance of having some excellent material for your film AND the marketing materials.
I don’t know the entire story behind Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but I do know that Tan Dun had already completed parts of the score whilst the post-production computer graphics folks were creating certain shots of the Forbidden City. They had the luxury of working to the music score. Pretty inspiring.
Oh and check out the new King Kong trailer. Howard Shore was replaced as Composer by James Newton Howard. They’re still in post-production. Did it change the trailer? Not at all.