As a sound editor I have always loathed temp mixes – I always think of them as akin to having someone prepare to run a marathon, and a few days beforehand suddenly asking them to sprint it!
I.e. it doesn’t matter if you don’t achieve your ‘ideal’ goal/s, we just need you to run as fast as you fckng can, in the limited time available… And btw sorry, the actual goal posts are still at the end of the marathon…
but no one expects you to achieve them… It isn’t possible… but still… ready set GO!
Maybe its because I’ve spent 20+ years as a sound editor/designer (& have more of a handle on the parameters) than this, being only my third film score, but with music it feels so much more subjective.
You could pursue an idea, put your heart & soul into it, only to have it shot down in flames within ten seconds of the director hearing it, if it doesn’t help their cause…
So a temp mix, for a composer sucks!
If you do not contribute your draft cues, they will likely fill the film score with inappropriate/unachievable music from the last 100 years of film making… Which then start to establish themselves as some kind of reference! When all you really want to do is slowly investigate the heart of the film & express it through your own musical magnifying glass.
So how do you solve this impossible quandry?
You cant, you won’t and you don’t.
But to quote Yoda, try you must.
Sprinting a marathon – its my best metaphor for such suffering of the musical soul.
ps the plus side:
– its a chance to try different approaches & see what sticks
– its a chance to hear the director express their intentions
– its a chance to hear what the dialogue & sound dept intend
– its a chance to hear what the rerecording mixers might expect
– its a chance to experience the context of the final mix, months before it occurs
If you’ve never experienced the cycle of the creation of a feature film soundtrack, then this will all be abstract/academic….. But when you do, you will….