My guiding principles are to create realism and a deep connection between the characters or action on screen and the audience when viewing the film. I do this by looking for expressions in the characters, the motion, and the feelings I feel that the characters would be experiencing within the scene. The instrumentation/pallet is then based on these details and I take note of the ideas. For the moods in sequences, I look for a pallet that illustrates the colouration in the scenes and set the tonal quality of the music using this as a direction. The timing and pacing of the music is determined by the pacing of the film and the actions that are occurring, or not occurring on the screen. Being careful to notice the subtle differences in the film's pacing helps to direct the ritardandos and accelerando’s (changes in speed and tempo) throughout the musical cue. Rhythmically the music will depend upon whether the sound design or the dialogue occupying a scene also has rhythmic qualities because I prefer to use the on-screen sound for natural rhythmic indicators wherever possible and take guidance from the audio.
Where there are no apparent signs from on-screen audio, then I craft the music to fit the pacing of the on-screen action, taking into consideration the scene's mood. This will also determine what kind of percussion or rhythmic pallet I use in that sequence. I approach music composition in this way because it enables the musical underscore to enhance the communication between the drama and diegetic sound happening on-screen with the emotional underscore (non-diegetic sound) to draw the listener into the story. I am influenced by Ennio Morricone, Giorgio Moroder and Nobuo Uematsu for their scores when growing up.