We have to help our live musicians prepare as much as possible. I’m a big believer in giving players their music early whenever possible. They may look at their music in advance. They may not look at it. They may not need to look at it. But I would like them to have it so they can spend time with it if they choose to do so.
I do a lot of TV and those schedules are always insane, always. You more often than not get called on a Friday night for a Monday delivery for some reason. Speed is always mandatory, and it comes from doing it over and over so that your turnaround time is next to immediate. I always create a sound palette, a concept for the score. When time is short I decide on using limited instrumentation, if it's appropriate for the project of course, but something that is going to be exactly the right thing to serve the film so I can also move quickly. This is an old Bernard Hermann trick. When you’re working with a tight schedule, limiting yourself to a small ensemble can yield incredible results.
Composers have to be able to assess things properly when going into a project, because you don’t want to end up with your own personal horror story. You have to lay it all out in front of you, see what’s coming in, and decide what you'll be able to put out in return. You need to have a solid battle plan so everyone you are directly working with benefits, whether it's the post house or the director. In other words, you want to limit your horror story exposure.
A very common question is "How did you get your break?" No matter who you ask the answer is a circuitous series of seemingly random connections. It’s intangible. It’s hard to say when you’re first starting out how that’s going to happen to you.
When you're starting out you truly have to do everything alone, but that's not always a bad thing. Quite the opposite, it can be invaluable. Working as a guerrilla composer gives you skills you didn’t possess before and insight on how to be more effective when managing team members later on.
I prefer to offer a fair amount of detail in my scores, but I’ve been in situations where players came in and blew my expectations out of the water. It’s wonderful when that happens. I’m open to their ideas, but I want to give people as much information as possible to work from so their job is easy and the final product is satisfying.
Timothy Andrew Edwards is one of the most diverse and accomplished composers working in entertainment today. With nearly 75 film and television credits to his name, his genre spanning oeuvre is a testament not only to the multiplicity of his skill, but the openness of his approach, and his reliability in all forms of media. The Berklee College of Music alumnus’ background and sensibilities in composition, and experience as a Music Supervisor make him a singular, expert resource for the music needs of any project. Timothy is a SESAC writer and publisher, a voting member of the Recording Academy, and a current member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists.
Edwards has collaborated with Universal, Lionsgate, National Lampoon, Spyglass Entertainment, Relativity Media, Reverend Films, Dreamworks, Compass International Pictures and Magnolia Pictures. Most recently his music has appeared in such feature films as Get Him to the Greek, You Can’t Kill The Bogeyman; a Trancas Films International theatrical documentary about the iconic Halloween franchise, and Columbus Circle from director George Gallo. Additionally, he has scored over 100 trailers and promos for successful feature films and television shows.
Edwards is a ‘go to composer’ in the world of television with compositions on shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Bachelor, Ellen and TMZ. His themes for Extra, Leeza, and BBC’s My Genius Idea have become enduring signatures for all three programs. His songwriting contributions to The Vampire Diaries, Smallville, and CW Now solidify his status as a master of all formats. Edwards’ music is not relegated solely to film and television. His compositions in national advertising campaigns such as Secret Deodorant and the United States Marine Corps are a testament to his diversity. His continued involvement with the sCare Foundation, a non-profit which combats teenage homelessness and poverty, a cause close to his heart, has yielded emotional scores for numerous promotional and public service announcements.
He is a key panelist at SESAC events and a frequent guest lecturer in classes for UCLA, CSUN and the Art Institute where he speaks on the art and business of film and television composition.