Published on 4 Mar 2021

Music – The Only Score That Matters…

Music – The Only Score That Matters…

“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Anderson

In video production, music is an essential piece to the storytelling jigsaw. So much so, that you could say that music is the only score that matters. It supports the overall tone of a film playing with our emotions, encouraging us to feel in a particular way. The decision on what to use however, is often left until the edit. When budgets are limited, royalty-free music is the preferred choice. It can work really well but it can be a bit of a compromise. Put your ear to the door of many an edit suite and you’ll hear too corporatetoo funky, and quite often too much of a cliché.

So what’s the alternative?

Well, you can use commercial music. In my early days as a TV Director, the opportunity to use some of my favourite music was always fun – but in hindsight the music can be a distraction from the story if it’s well known. Then of course there’s the cost. Using commercial music is expensive as well as the bureaucracy involved in getting approval to use it – that’s why broadcasters have departments dedicated to clearing it. I shan’t mention who, but one of the world’s biggest bands requires an application on why you want to use one of their songs. Good for them – that just means it’s a path few producers have the time to pursue.


Then there’s commissioned music – paying a composer to make something unique. Again, not a particularly cheap option but you have more control over usage and its impact will be substantial given how much more connected it will feel to the visuals as composers take their cue from what they see in the edit.

Which brings me to Steve Maud, Cloud9Media’s Creative Director. We’re fortunate in that he’s an accomplished musician and he revels in the opportunity to create soundtracks for our films – when he’s got the time! Check out his work in this film we made in Nigeria for the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP). You can watch it below – let us know what you think!



Read the original article by Duncan Walsh on LinkedIn here