Multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis is a member of several musical groups and has also composed film scores with Nick Cave.
In this clip from his NFSA oral history interview with John Olson, he discusses his approach to writing music for The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005).
Ellis notes that he and Cave worked on musical ideas and motifs for the score by themselves first and then in the studio, rather than writing music to match particular film frames.
Their approach differs from the typical process of using the film's imagery and narrative to drive the musical choices.
Instead, they were able to achieve a sense of mystery – and what he calls some 'great accidents' – when the music was later paired with moments from the film, finding an interplay between sound and image that might not have otherwise been obtained.
The interview speaks to the different approaches composers may take when scoring a film.