How to score a short film without direction?

I often get approached with scoring short films for people and I find that most of them forget the most central aspect of filmmaking: story.

They can beautifully shoot and compose pictures (a lot of them coming from advertising that’s not a big surprise) but if characters change their way of behaviour out of the blue from one cut to the next it and then change back right away without the film being a study on erradic behaviour and taking that topic to an extreme, I often feel left watching a shallow, badly acted film that could have been produced by a teenager.

Now the million dollar question: how do you score a film like this? Do you take the not existing story seriously and try to create dramatic music? Or do you tell the director: look, your film lacks everything (obviously I don’t tell him that), please use the best songs that you can get clearance for so that people at least stay in their seat and look at the film as a music video?

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