Watching Rough Cuts

When you see a film you’re going to be working on for the first time, there might be a big chance that it is far away from picture lock and you might easily be lead on the wrong track regarding its dynamics. Usually you get a quite rough cut which might be overly long and might be quite slow in the narration pace.

The danger is that you try to get some first ideas and concepts that might fit to the speed and feel of the rough cut but will not work when the movie is in its final state. It happens quite quickly to get stuck in a concept/idea and try to hold on to it even though it doesn’t work anymore. So you should really ask yourself whether your concept still works after watching the final cut.

It’s usually wiser to just “watch” the movie for the first time, try to make notice of your emotional responses and not try to focus on finding an actual music concept yet. Wait for actual discussions with the director or the final cut to seriously think about actual concepts. If you gain a bit more of experience understanding “rough cuts”, you might get a feeling how it’s going to change and base your thoughts on this but in the first few projects you’re better off starting to conceptualize the music when you got a more or less final cut of the movie.


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