The Reel World: Scoring for Pictures
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Miller Freeman Books (December 1, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
Composer Jeff Rona (WHITE SQUALL, television’s CHICAGO HOPE, PROFILER) has written a practical guide to the art, technology, and business of composing for film and television. Rona packs a great deal of data into his 276 pages, and offers plenty of examples from his own experience. It’s a nuts-and-bolts guidebook that benefits not only from Rona’s involvement in the industry, but from that of others interviewed for the volume (which include Zimmer, Williams, Burwell, Isham, Poledouris, and Shaiman).
Rona doesn’t go into the nuances of composing for situation, character, setting, or period, which after all can be fairly subjective based on a composer’s personal style and approach, but instead proffers the kind of practical advice about dealing with producers, directors, music editors, recording engineers, music execs, agents, musicians, and all the other stumbling blocks the industry seems to put in the way of composers who just want to write music. He also expounds on such topics as equipment, home studio design, mixing for film and television, getting a career started, demos, finances, company politics, and more. Rona has included plenty of charts and score examples, illustrating such tools as timecode, synchronization, concepts of orchestration, and the like.
Rona describes the role of the music supervisor and the predicament of scoring a film that otherwise features a song score. He has also launched a companion web site to enhance and update the notions incorporated in his book. It’s a valuable guidebook for the would-be film composer; it also makes significant reading for the enthusiast by filling in the details of the business end of film scoring; understanding the workaday environment and challenges of the film composer enhances one’s appreciation of the efforts they manage to provide – despite all those challenges!
Randall D. Larson