You are here

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside
By Paul Farrer

You can find most things in the world of music for television, but don’t look for logic. Or dignity.

Hi Paul! It’s Vicky, the Series Producer on that show.

Hi Vicky. How’s it going? Did you get my latest tracks? I’ve uploaded the four new demo theme ideas into the same online folder as my 34 bed tracks.

Yes, got all that. Many thanks. Listen, the Executive Producer doesn’t like the main theme.

Which one? There are nine.

No, we only have seven Execs.

No, I mean which theme don’t they like?

Oh. Well, all of them.

Really? Are any of them even close to what they want?

“I  know we said that Dr Smith could perform the operation, but really, Dr Walton would do it so much better. Trouble is, we can only afford to have him do one–third of a  tonsil...”“I know we said that Dr Smith could perform the operation, but really, Dr Walton would do it so much better. Trouble is, we can only afford to have him do one–third of a tonsil...”They don’t know what they want.

Right.

There’s a feeling that none of them like the orchestral sound palette you’ve chosen.

But that’s what you told me it specifically had to sound like. Remember you sent me all those film–score guide tracks to listen to.

There’s a worry that it’s all sounding a bit too much like that Big BBC Show that’s massively popular.

None of it sounds even remotely like that show.

Well, they heard some violins in your music somewhere, and they think there might be some violins in that Big BBC Show.

You wanted it to sound like a classical film score, but now worry if viewers hear any strings they’ll assume we’ve ripped off another TV programme?

Yes — and we can’t risk being accused of trying to emulate their success.

But you are trying to emulate their success, aren’t you?

Only stylistically. And in terms of viewing figures.

OK. What would you like to hear next? Does any one have any other directions you’d like me to go in?

In fact yes we do. We’ve decided to go in another direction.

Well, that’s a good start.

We want to go with Fred Made–Up–Name.

With another composer?

Yes.

I’m being fired?

Yes.

Wow. OK. Er Well, Fred Made–Up–Name is really good. He’s a terrific composer and a mate of mine. He’s done lots of this type of show. In fact he did that Big BBC Show that’s massively popular that you don’t want to sound anything like.

Yes, he’s really in demand at the moment — I think that’s why the execs wanted him.

Weeks Pass...

Hi Paul, it’s Vicky again.

Hello. How’s it all going?

Well, Fred Made–Up–Name could only provide us with a main theme.

Right.

But it seems that the editors have been using a load of your bed tracks and some of your themes in the edit and, well, it’s too late to change anything.

So you’re basically saying that despite having fired me, you still want to use all of my music in your show?

That would be terrific. Thanks so much! Unfortunately we had to pay Fred Made–Up–Name so we don’t have much budget left. Hello? Are you still there?

Published February 2015