The Power of the ChecklistS

When making music for films


Checklists can dramatically reduce errors and enhance performance in complex tasks. This principle holds true for film composers, where orchestrating a score involves numerous moving parts, tight deadlines, and high expectations.  You have two types. The general ones, that you can use over and over. And more short-term ones, like a ToDo list. Maybe scrambled down during the process.

1. Organization and Efficiency:

  • A checklist guides you through your composition process, helping you prioritize tasks and allocate time efficiently.
  • It ensures you don’t miss essential steps, such as scoring key scenes, communicating with directors, or reviewing instrumentation choices.

2. Clarity and Focus:

  • Checklists provide a clear roadmap for your work, reducing overwhelm and allowing you to concentrate on your creative process.
  • They prevent distractions and help you maintain focus on the most critical elements of your composition.

3. Quality Assurance:

  • By systematically reviewing your work against a checklist, you minimize the risk of errors, inconsistencies, or overlooked details in your score.
  • This ensures the final product meets the highest standards and satisfies the director’s vision.

4. Collaboration and Communication:

  • Checklists facilitate effective communication with collaborators, such as directors, sound engineers, and musicians.
  • They ensure that all parties are on the same page regarding the composition’s objectives, timeline, and revisions.

5. Stress Reduction:

  • As the deadline looms, stress can hinder creativity. A checklist reduces anxiety by providing structure and assurance that you’re on track.
  • It empowers you to maintain composure and confidence, even in the face of tight schedules.

Checklists help to navigate the complex, multi-faceted process of composing for film, ensuring a thorough and disciplined approach to the creative and practical aspects of scoring. To keep some kind of notebook nearby, digital or on paper, when working is a clever practice that can make your job easier. 

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