The two have to go hand in hand - the atmosphere and the music. I actually get rather worried if I can't see the music first. There always needs to be a mood, a feeling, a story, even if it is abstract. There's got to be a narrative to guide things before they're even created.
Even though I studied in New York and I know the American system, I come from France where I learned that with movies in France where the director is king. There's no such thing as a studio edit. It's the director's cut, period.
No nation as young as America can be expected to become immediately a power in the arts.
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