Music supervision is as much about finding the right cue as it is about making connections, building on past experiences and finding opportunities to place that perfect cue. Emma Middleton Create London’s Music Supervisor shares her experiences tracking down the cover of Bob Dylan’sThe Times They Are A Changin’ which became the anthem for the The Crown Series 3 global trailer.
“I was introduced to Adrian & Kieran at My Hart Canyon last year. We were working on a sales promo for Cannes at the time. Knowing their cover of ‘Masters of War’ and a fan of Kieran’s style, I was keen to see whether they’d explored other Bob Dylan tracks.
We discussed creating a cover of The Times They Are A Changin’ as a concept. Before we knew it, we’d identified the most relevant verses and shaped the style we were looking for. Kieran shared a completed verse overnight, within a couple of days we had two full versions of the song, with options to match the level of intensity our edit needed. The cue worked a treat, however Cannes came and went and it did not find a place on our promos. But we held onto the cue, knowing that its use would really be about finding the right project to match it to.
It wasn’t until several months later, we were gathering conceptual ideas for THE CROWN SEASON 3 launch trailer. I pulled a wide range of cues for an initial search, however I snuck this particular cue into my ‘curveballs and covers’ folder one of the covers Kieran had created. It had stuck with me and I wanted to make an opportunity to make use of it.
It quickly became a cue that our editor and producers were drawn to on this project, however in its then state it was still quite a raw and stripped down cover. After some initial playing around with it, we reached back out to Kieran and Adrian to see if be interested in developing the track further with us.
There was always a haunting and arresting tone to the vocal and instrumentation in the cover. However we wanted to further bring the cue closer to the heritage and tone of THE CROWN series, without losing its originality. With a lot of dialogue around our direction and needs, Kieran armed us with a variation in versions and mixes, and a split instrumentation to work with. Our editor used that flexibility to build the track out as they needed.
The ambience and sound design driven richness of Kieran’s vocal allowed us to weave emotionally in and around our narrative. As we moved further through the process, we realised we agreed we would need to increase tension in the back end. However we were keen to do this without generically ‘trailerising’ the track. A ‘Shepard tone’ and simple raw, dark, cello note helped do the job for us. This is what you hear as Phillip lands his hand firmly on Charles’ shoulder in the trailer.
And the rest is history. Check out the trailer here and let us know what you think of the cue – tweet us @Create_Ldn.