TEMP LOVE (TL) is a serious affliction that affects millions of people worldwide. It is commonly found amongst filmmakers and it is estimated that 5 million are affected in the United States Alone. Recent statistics are suggesting the onset of a worldwide epidemic.
Temp love can strike at any moment, when you least expect it. It is a devastating disease that can leave you and your film sonically paralyzed if not caught in its early stages.
What is Temp Love?
TL is the medical condition of falling in love with a temporary piece of music which eventually will need to be replaced. It has been compared to the musical equivalent of falling in love with a filmstar … ie., ‘it ain’t gonna happen!’
How does one get temp love?
By making unrealistic choices about music in a film. If a piece of music can not be obtained or adequately replaced, the filmmaker will eventually need to let go of having that particular music in the film.
What are the symptoms?
Early onset of TL includes delirium, poor judgment and strong attachment to a piece of music often accompanied by excessive worrying, frustration and mild nausea. Second hand Temp Love has been known to affect relatives and those close to the affected filmmaker. It is a vicious cycle that can leave families shattered and bank accounts drained of vital funds.
How does one prevent temp love?
Be safe. Use protection. Always exercise caution. Going into the temping process with healthy expectations is half the battle.
When using a song by a band, be realistic. If you are a small indy film, chances are you won’t be able to license that amazing Beatles track. You also don’t want to find yourself trying to copy that track with another band or composer. Temp Love has landed people in legal entanglements for copyright infringement. Use temp music as a sonic roadmap to delineate the emotional requirements of a scene. Talk to your composer (or band) about what you like about the music, what you don’t like. Go for the feel, the tempo, the style and loose production values and then let go of everything else (melody, harmony, lyrics).
When using an orchestral recording, keep in mind that if you do not have the budget to record a real orchestra, you will not end up with the same effect. Most composers use high quality samples which can go a long way. High quality samples are not a real orchestra though. They lack the warmth, expression and imperfection which makes a real ensemble sound like it does. It goes beyond sound … it really comes down to feeling. What you get with an 80 piece orchestra is 80 spirits breathing life into the music, together as one. You can not emulate this with samples. You can merely hint at it. It is the difference between standing in front of an original Renoir and looking at a postcard of the same painting. Keep this in mind while temping your film. Sometimes it is better to think small, knowing it will allow you to bring in some live musicians that will give your film the emotional quality it deserves. Alternatively, there are many examples of low budget film scores done entirely in the realm of synthesizers, which can be highly effective. Crash and Bladerunner jump to mind but the list is endless.
It is not easy, we know. Support groups can be very helpful. That’s were we come in. We understand how hard it is to lose a piece of music … letting go of that high school crush. Going into the temping process with the mindfulness that eventually you will have to let go is the best way to ensure that letting go later on will be relatively painless. Sometimes clinging to an unavailable piece of music can mask a greater underlying issue of general insecurity about one’s film. Although a piece a music can feel perfect, it is never the only choice … only the best one so far. By letting go of that particular piece of music as a valid option, one opens up the creative space to explore other possibilities, most often resulting in something better than the temp music. It is a leap of faith. Meditation has been known to help. See your local guru.
Is there a cure?
Yes. Temp Love is treatable with a 100% recovery rate in most case. Severe cases take longer and require ongoing professional care. Surround yourself by a music team that can guide you through this process. Music Supervisors are great at helping you navigate the sonic maze of film music. If you can not afford a Music Supervisor, work closely with your film composer. Bring her in early on in the process. Most composers welcome this collaborative approach. Another approach can be the use of music catalogs. Rather than temping your film with pre-existing film scores which are out of reach, develop a relationship with a music catalog that resonates with you. Some catalogs sound like canned music while others take a more creative approach. At Konsonant Music we pride ourselves in the latter. Our catalog consists of music written by successful film composers and real bands, not library composers. Fresh … not canned. We also give Gratis Film Festival licenses to independent filmmakers. We feel it is a great way to help you get the music your film deserves and help you get distribution.
So don’t feel discouraged. We are here for you 24/7 and although we don’t take medical insurance, we feel confident that we can help you overcome your case of Temp Love, no matter how mild or advanced it may be.