F&TV confab panel talks about film trailers

Requires quick thinking, endurance for stress

Film trailers play a crucial role in marketing upcoming releases, but those with the desire to enter the trailer business should be quick thinking and have a high endurance for stress, according to a panel of experts on day two of the Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter Film and TV Music Conference.

"The trailer business is very stressful," Yari Film Group executive in charge of music Richard Glasser told a standing-room-only crowd at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles. "The music comes in and you maybe have a day to go out to every company and find the piece of music you need."

If the score for a forthcoming film is complete in time for the release of a trailer, "we try to go to the composer and listen to his score," Glasser noted. "But it doesn't always work that way, so we either hire a company to score the trailer or find individual pieces that fit what the executive is going after."

If film companies can't find what they're looking for in music libraries or popular songs, they go to people like Immediate Music co-founders Jeffrey Faymen and Yoav Goren, whose company specializes in custom scoring. Goren noted that "the coolest thing about writing music for trailers is that there's a lot of openness to new directions and more contemporary styles" like rock and electronica. But the challenge is that "you are expected to produce a soundtrack-quality product in a very short amount of time," he added.

Composers and artists looking to tap into the trailer business should focus on writing music that feels the most natural to them and not worry about covering all genres, according to Faymen. "The key is to represent yourself in a way that feels honest for you." Goren added, "If you brand yourself you stand a better chance of getting attention. I don't want to hear that you write in all styles."

In the future, Glasser sees more music from trailers being added to a film's soundtrack. A memorable piece of music from a trailer sometimes "drives the campaign for a trailer," he said. "If you relate that to a commercial, how many times have people watched a commercial and walked away humming that song? It's a direct relationship between commercials and trailers."