In the first article in this series, we looked at how you have music in your films without a composer by using royalty free music from SoundCloud and licensed ones from Artlist. In the second article we looked at using Filmstro to truly create music without a composer. Hence let us now look at what we lost in the process.

Besides an artistic collaboration, what we missed out on was storytelling through music. Because we are using precomposed music, we could not in any way vary it. In regular films for example, a character might have a certain melody attached to it. Think of Darth Vader from Star Wars. With a composer we can vary the same piece of music to convey various emotions and stories.

Check this video on the variety with which Darth Vader’s music has been used throughout Star Wars.

If you do not believe me when I tell you music in films can tell stories, watch this three part analysis video on how music was brilliantly used in Lord of the Rings.

Such brilliant execution is it not!

Should You Get Music Without a Composer?

I wanted the music of Munnariv to tell such subtle stories. Which is why I had found someone to do the music for it as I told you in the first article. Maybe he quit on us because we were not paying him, or maybe he did not like the visuals, or maybe he had too much work at that time or maybe he was indeed sick as he claims.

Whatever his reason might have been, accepting an advance, agreeing to do a project, and then not picking up calls when it was time to deliver, and quitting way past a mutually agreed deadline, is no way for a professional to work.

One of the good things though about making films with no resources is that it is easier to find people who stand with you not for the money, but because they trust you and your vision, or your project. They would of course need some other means to cater to their day to day needs.

Now that you know your options, I will let you weigh them and decide how you want music for your film. All said, I am still grateful for what happened. Now I know for certain that I can have reasonably acceptable music without a composer in any film. I also know how subtly I can tell stories when I do work with a talented and professional composer.

Problems Are Only Challenges

I love challenges. Those that are just outside my comfort zone. What is the fun in doing something if not for the challenges! The steeper the mountain, the longer the climb lasts. The longer the climb, the hungrier I get. The hungrier I get, you better not stand in my way. For I fail to see anything but that which I am going for.

It is that laser sharp focus, the clarity of knowing the kind of music a particular scene needs, that got me through listening to thousands of tracks to find those perfectly fitting 50 pieces that Munnariv needed. I am sure at least once in your life you too would have felt such laser sharp focus. Those moments that you now look back on, and wonder how in the world you did it.

Problems are only challenges for you to become better. Bring that laser sharp focus to everything you do and make your film happen. If we can do it, you for sure can do it as well.

Hey Aspiring Filmmaker,

I debuted my film career making a feature film for ₹5 lakhs ($7,000) on an iPhone. I’d like to help you do the same. So I wrote everything I learned into a book. It is now available on Amazon, called The Indian Indie Film (or Make Your Film for rest of the world). Enjoy!