- April 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm #29901
I just saw the new trailer for the Venom movie (Sony Pictures). This trailer used the same track as one of the Avengers Infinity War (Disney/Marvel) trailers. The difference being that the Infinity War Trailer only used part of the track before transitioning into the Avengers theme while the Venom trailer used the entire track.
Is this a common practice with big time movie trailers?April 24, 2018 at 10:24 pm #29903
No it’s not 🙂April 25, 2018 at 2:11 am #29904
Congratulations to whoever composed it..!April 25, 2018 at 4:13 am #29905
Thanks!April 25, 2018 at 10:18 am #29906
Teach me your ways Mark!April 26, 2018 at 10:51 pm #29930
Haha cheers! Well, if that was a remotely serious question, here’s a big ol’ block of text I have added to over the years, when people have asked me about writing for trailers:
– How do I get into writing for trailers?
High end trailer music is one of the toughest things for a composer to produce. The music is deceptively simple with relatively uncomplicated harmony and melodies. To keep it fresh and modern, a composer needs to find ways to use basic musical building blocks in a way that isn’t cliched or dated. In addition to that challenge, the level of expectation for the ‘sound’ or production value of trailer music is unmatched, you could argue that trailer music has to sound as good or better than blockbuster film music. Very little of the work that goes into producing trailer music is composition, the rest is making the music sound fresh, huge and realistic. It’s an entirely different skill set to purely writing music for live performance, involving arranging, orchestration, keyboard skills, MIDI programming, audio processing and more often that not – mixing and mastering.
Because of these high expectations, it took me about 7 years of composing full time to get to the level where I was ready to start writing music specifically for trailers.
I would suggest to a beginner composer, to set their sights a little lower for a while, as there are plenty of avenues for making money from music that are far less demanding. What’s important is that you:
– write something every day,
– finish what you start,
– and constantly compare your music and production value to similar work by established composers, to learn where you need to improve.
Writing for companies that supply music for TV shows and commercials would be a great start. Most libraries will take your music, but won’t pay upfront, while a few still do (your music has to be valuable to them though). Try to sign exclusive deals ONLY if you get some upfront money (although this is getting rare lately).
Building a residual income (royalties) is a great way to fund studio /software upgrades (which you need to do often, especially if you want to write for trailers). Having that income stream also allows you to be more picky with gigs. You’ll need about 400-600 decent tracks in a handful of well connected libraries to make a living from royalties. If you’re regularly writing for indie films where you can keep the rights to all that music, you’ll get there in 4-6 years. If you don’t have film projects, write when you don’t have to. It will pay off in the long run – your future self (and family) will thank you.
Once you think your production skills are ready for trailers, compare your music to the established guys (Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine, Immediate Music, Colossal Music, Glory Oath & Blood, etc) and if you’re certain your stuff stands up to theirs, go for it!
A COUPLE OF GOLD NUGGETS FOR READING THIS FAR DOWN…
If I can offer two things I wish I’d known when starting out on trailer music, it is:
1) THE HOOK
Trailer music (and most music really) is all about the HOOK, a catchy, evocative idea that makes the track exciting. Learn to identify hooks in tracks that you admire – they can be rhythmic (like in the bass line or drums), a cool chord progression, a melodic idea or simply a weird sonic blast that gives a track a unique identity.
I don’t commit to working on a track until I have at least one solid hook and maybe a support one (like a rhythm and interesting ostinato pattern).
(I’m getting long winded here – sorry!) trailer music needs to be AUTHENTIC to have a chance of being used on big budget trailers and promos. What I mean by that is:
the track has to be trailer music in every way – every sound, chord, melody, voicing, tempo, the mix. It can’t be like trailer music, that is a genre some call ‘epic music’ – basically an attempt at sounding like trailer music. It’s tough – you have to make 1000s of little decisions when working on a track and just one of those can take you away from that authentic sound.
You get to this point by immersing yourself in the sound of trailer music, watching lots of trailers, and constantly making detailed comparisons of your work to that of the music used in recent trailers. You eventually know instinctively when you’re making a wrong turn and can quickly get back on the path to authentic-land.April 27, 2018 at 12:07 pm #29939
Thanks for the input Mark.
I’m trying my hand at making trailer music now. I’m not where I need to be yet by any stretch, but it’s a fun and challenging project. By the time I get to where I need to be, things will probably have evolved, but it’s cool knowledge to have.
Did you do that Venom track? If so, mind sharing where I could listen to it on it’s own? I need to study those drums to see what I’m not doing. If not, that’s cool.April 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm #29940
Venom uses the original track, and the Avengers uses that same track but customized with the Silvestri theme interwoven.
The original as used in Venom:
The version that is closest to the Avengers without the customization is this edit:
The drums are a mish mash of old and new samples – some well known ones like Decimator, hybrid tools, Atlantica, Dragon and lesser known ones like Barrage.April 27, 2018 at 1:25 pm #29942
Thanks again Mark.
Mixing that stuff must be a nightmare. It sounds so dense (in a good way).