Visionary and indie film maker Domiziano D. Cristopharo, took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about how he as a Director/Producer and Writer regards music in his films and his relationship with the composers.
As a film maker are you conscious about music or what style of music that you want for your movie as you are directing on set?
I started my Career in art fields as a singer and also a music producer, so I must say I’m very conscious about the music in my movies. I’m a perfectionist but I don’t like to do the music myself. I prefer collaborate with a handful of composers that share good vibes with me.
When spotting a movie with your chosen composer, do you allow them a certain amount of freedom with their creativity or do you tell them what specifics you have in mind regarding the music?
I only send the movie to the musician once the editing is done. First the movie should have its power and internal rhythm. When the movie works by itself then the music can be an emotional support. I always try to find a common line together, and work towards the right moods required for the film; some musicians love to do a certain style, but this does not always fit the movie style so, it is very important to find the correct sound or style first… then, the musician is free to express himself. And considering the huge amount of international music fest won by the scores of my film, I must say we do make the right choice’s!
How much time do you give a composer to create a score for your films?
It depends on the result we want. Alexander Cimini needed 2 years for complete the DARK WAVES score, while musicians like Sangiovanni and Susan DiBona in less that one month gave me a complete orchestration ready!
I have spoken to a few film makers who are at times reluctant to hand over their film to a composer, do you ever get the feeling that you have worked on this project for months maybe years and then along comes a composer who will score it and could potentially make it better or make it less impacting via his music. Do you have to trust a composer without when you ask them to work on your project?
My choices are never casual, and of course this risk is present… music can improve, add much or nothing to a movie, even destroy it. I had a few experiences with nice composers that just were not the right choice for the movie… but after 2 or 3 attempts I remove them from the commission and I fInd another. I’ll never release a film if I’m not completely satisfied of the result.
When do you like to bring a composer onto a project, do you send them a script or do you invite them to see the movie in its rough cut stage. And when do you first hear the music they have created, do they play it to you or send you a mock up of a theme or is it at the sessions to record it?
As I said I prefer to send the movie complete, its the best way for any composer to understand the film. A script can be many things. As for when I hear the music most composers send me a sample that then test on the film and if it works we go ahead step by step!
How do decide what composer is for what film. Is it by recommendation or do you see another movie and hear the music and think that is what I need for my movie?
I usually work with the same people, its the best choice. A successfully team doesn’t need to be changed. I crossed my street with theirs on different occasions, but first I choose a person to collaborate with in first line for the person he is. A good man or woman is more important than a good artist. Then when our energy can be melted in a positive way, we can co-operate. I’m not much into a cold exchange of work because I do Indie films.
Have you a favourite film score from one of your movies or any movie at all?
For sure RED KROKODIL, DOLL SYNDROME and DARK WAVES.
My thanks to the Director for taking the time to answer my questions.