The landscape of film is constantly changing, with the global recession and the state of pirating, this is true now more than ever.
I have been told more than once that mid-budget films are on the way out and it will either be very low budget or high budget. I don’t know if it’s true or not, I am no economic prognosticator. Others have told me that there needs to be a new model for making films, a more streamlined approach that brings the cost down and the quality up.
So either way this hints at a growing pool of films with low music budgets but high aspirations.
A great soundtrack can dramatically increase the production value of a film, and there is no better way to get a great score than with live musicians. The filmmakers might believe that they can only afford a score with samples and synths, but that is not the case.
Gone will be the army of orchestrators, assistants, mock-up artists and engravers. If the composer is trained (and has solid time-management skills) he can do his own orchestrations and score preparation as I have done many times. Some many even mix their music but I prefer hiring someone for that myself.
This is what I did for “Comforting Skin”, a film where the filmmakers thought they would only get a synth score, but I put together a group of 7 musicians, found a studio and engineer, did all the orchestrations and score preparation myself and ended up with a score that does not need to hide.
Budgets get higher with a full orchestra, but it does not need to be full orchestra all the time, just like you don’t need to see the full set all the time to know you are there, and this way costs go down.
But don’t forget, you can only pick two: cheap, fast or good.