You have to write outside of yourself while maintaining your identity. It's always a challenge not to fall back on what you rely on normally, or what you relied on three years ago, or 5 or 10 years ago. You have to go into new directions on every project. It's challenging every time to write well, to not repeat yourself, to push the envelope a little bit, and to get the production value A++. It's challenging even though I've been doing it for 20 years.
In the trailer world, in the initial part of a job you usually need something written and produced in 2 days, maybe 3 days. That's generally the average. You work really hard, you pull an all-nighter, and you pull your team together to get the result you want to get. Then you hurry up and wait while they think about it. That is usually the course of action, so you always have to be ready for intense periods of work.
If you hone your craft enough, and that means spending a lot of time doing it, well past any reasonable amount of time that you really should be doing it, then inspiration is what emerges at the end. Inspiration is the result of all that time spent, all that banging your head against the wall, or laughing it up because you found something just incredible. You can't buy that. You can't manufacture it. That time spent results in a true passionate core that comes out.
I think we all have to remember to listen to a lot of music because it often acts as a spark for creativity. You need to listen to music within your industry. Listen to what you're competitors or what your colleagues are putting out. Trends change very quickly, especially in trailers. If you want to get into trailers you have to listen to trailers all the time. I know guys who do that a couple hours a day. You really have to home in and clearly see what you're shooting for.
You can't stay balanced. Not in this business. I'm serious. It's different from a lot of careers. You have to think of it as if you're in a crowd of a million people and you're just trying to lift your chin above everybody else. In order to do that you have to every day work on standing on your toes a little more than everybody else.
In the music industry today there are no limitations except the limitations you impose on yourself. You can find all the help you need, you can build a team around you, you can bring on freelance composers, and you can hire an orchestra in Budapest to do a remote session overnight. We're in LA so we're privy to some of the world's best session musicians. Nothing is impossible these days and anything can be had. On a custom composing job it's really important to go all out. If you have the budget to do it, I would always recommend to spend as much out of that budget as you can to make it as good as it can be. Don't cut corners on that, because that leads to other work.
It's important to not be worried about wasting time. I used to worry when I'd sit and play for a couple hours and nothing great happened but I adapted my thinking to a different way where those two hours were not a waste. The whole process was a very valuable building block into something unknown in the future.
As with all the arts, I think it is better to go out and DO even if it means that you're going to spend 8 years in a lowly position somewhere. You need exposure to the environment and to the connections. You need to be out in the real world doing it as opposed to being in a university laboratory which is a bubble.
I'm very busy composing and producing for Immediate Music, and I can't do everything. We have a person in our company that is the marketing director, and she does all of the liaising with the clients. It's not that I don't like to talk to my clients, but it's just another thing that takes me away from what I'm trying to get to, which is the music.
The number one thing I would say to composers is to continue honing your craft. You don't know much. I don't know anything about composing. I'm always learning, and in order to do that you have to do it regularly, all the time.
Of all the varied challenges a composer faces, the biggest challenge is the actual writing. You can't repeat yourself because especially in trailers, where I mostly work, the trends and the styles change very quickly. It's a mind boggling whirlwind and you have to stay on top of the trends.
Yoav Goren is one of the founders of Immediate Music
, one of the most influential companies in the industry that provides high-end trailer music for commercial motion pictures. Immediate Music was founded in 1993 by Jeffrey Fayman and Yoav Goren with their first trailer track for Carlito’s Way
. Since then Immediate Music has licensed music from its library to hundreds of theatrical trailers and television spots for all the major Hollywood studios. The company’s music has been featured in the trailers for films such as Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Avatar, Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Coraline, Kingdom of Heaven, Dante’s Peak, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, X-Men: The Last Stand
, the Matrix
films, the Spider-Man
films, The Wolfman, Assembly
and the Harry Potter
In 2007, Immediate received an Emmy for “Outstanding Music Composition in a Sports Program” for their work on the 20th Olympic Winter Games. In 2008, Goren was the recipient of a composing award from BMI, of which he has been a member for over 20 years. Also in 2008, the company opened its libraries to the video game and advertising industries. He was also honored with the Vanguard Award by the Hollywood Music & Media Awards in recognition of Immediate’s success as pioneering producers of trailer music.
In addition to Immediate Music, Goren and Fayman also operate 1 Revolution Music, a company founded in 2010 that specializes television soundtracks and trailers. Its record label, Imperativa Records that releases albums in an epic music genre to the public since 2006. They have trailblazed the public release and distribution of passionately pursued, yet rarely available epic trailer music.
On June 27, 2009, Immediate Music put on a concert called Trailer Music Live. A full orchestra and choir performed tracks from Immediate’s trailer music library. Additionally, Immediate’s cinematic rock band Globus played a set. Music from trailers such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings was performed. Previously, Globus, the trailer music inspired rock band, had performed in England at Wembley, and the success of that venture has led to the US live performance.
Goren had this to say about the concert: “This event was received with such enthusiasm in London, that we felt compelled to bring it to the states. Trailer Music Live is truly a unique live concert experience for movie fans of all ages, featuring a large orchestra, choir and rock band bringing this emotional and epic movie music directly from the screen to the stage.”